Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Game Poster Image
WWII VR shooter aims high but doesn't quite hit the mark.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

While the game does a decent job of recreating the experience of being on the frontlines of World War II, the real showcase is the documentary videos that show real WWII veterans recounting their firsthand accounts of the war.

Positive Messages

The central focus is combat, though there are themes involving teamwork and cooperation. Recreating the WWII atmosphere also emphasizes some key reasons for the war and the motivations that drove soldiers to fight.

Positive Role Models

Players are part of the Allied forces during WWII, working missions to help defeat Nazi Germany. The real heroes though are the actual veterans interviewed for the game. These are the people that lived through the war to tell their firsthand accounting of the experience. It's often a sobering view of the war and the personal courage that went into fighting.

Ease of Play

Although the basics of the controls should feel familiar to anyone with first-person shooters, there's still a level of awkwardness that requires patience and practice. Using the game's older weapons and sights can strain the eyes in VR. Also, outside of the easiest difficulty, the enemy AI seems to be made up of uncannily accurate sharpshooters.

Violence

This is a generally realistic look at combat in wartime. Players use period accurate weapons, including rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenades, and more against Nazi opposition. There are realistic cries of pain, large amounts of blood, and some cinematics show even more graphic depictions of things like executions.

Sex
Language

Some profanity, including "f--k" and "a--hole" appear in the dialogue.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is a World War II-based, virtual reality, first-person shooter game, available for download on Windows-based computers using the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Valve Index virtual reality hardware. Players take on the role of an agent in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II precursor to the present-day Central Intelligence Agency. Players take part in various operations throughout war-torn Europe, including sabotaging Nazi bases and aiding the French Resistance. The game includes both single player and multiplayer gameplay, with players using period accurate weapons against enemy soldiers. Violence is presented in a realistic way, including blood splatter, explosions, and dead bodies, with some cutscenes showing even more graphic portrayals of violence. The game's dialogue is peppered with profanity, including "f--k," "a--hole," and more. Finally, the game includes documentary style interviews with actual World War II veterans recounting their personal stories from fighting in the war.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMitchellWarne1974 February 12, 2021

Amazing game, without too much violence

The game is good For kids and adults alike. We can all learn from the messages of war, however gruesome the effects may be. To be part of your country, and to... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymidnight moira April 23, 2021

best shooter i've played yet so far.

its great for kids ages 9 and up as long as they have parents watching them play. kids 9 and under should not play because of the following
to much violence and... Continue reading

What's it about?

Players can walk back through time and experience World War II like never before in MEDAL OF HONOR: ABOVE AND BEYOND. The game brings gamers beyond the frontlines of the battlefields, fighting back Nazi forces in Europe with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. You'll play as an agent of the Office of Strategic Services, moving through enemy lines to sabotage the enemy forces and to aid resistance allies. You'll battle on land, in the air, and over the sea as you crawl through the trenches, drive a tank as its cannon booms, and fend off a squadron of fighters in the gun turret of your heavy bomber. You'll also learn about the harsh realities of the war from the people that lived through it as real-life veterans from the war tell their personal tales of both tragedy and triumph. With an extensive single-play campaign, as well as an action-packed multiplayer, all presented in pulse pounding virtual reality, you don't just play Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond … you live it.

Is it any good?

While virtual reality gaming has come a long way in recent years, moving past the days of being a gimmicky fad and into the realm of top tier gaming, this title's issues keep it from getting any medals. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is EA's attempt to bring a true console experience to VR while returning to its WWII roots, trying to breathe new life into the franchise. On the surface, it seems like it would hit the mark. The game requires some heavy-duty computer hardware to power its virtual WWII environments. The controls are intuitive enough to feel natural, recreating the feel of firing off some period accurate firearms. There's both a substantially meaty single-player campaign and a fast-paced multiplayer component. And to drive it all home, there's the unique documentary style interviews with real-life WWII veterans recounting their personal tales and adding an extra emotion punch to the experience. But while all the pieces seem to be there, they unfortunately never quite fit together just right.

For starters, while the high system requirements help to make the game look sharp and detailed, the character animations look stiff and awkward when they move. They're less like people and more like wooden mannequins. Other visual hiccups pop up from time to time, but usually they're little more than the occasional odd distraction. One frustrating thing about the gameplay is the enemy's uncanny accuracy. While you might have trouble lining up the perfect shot to take out a sniper in the distance, they seem to have no problems picking you off at range. And even though the multiplayer is fun, finding a full group of people to play with is a rarity. In most cases, the game fills empty slots with AI bots which are either completely clueless or ace sharpshooters. Either way, it's a far cry from fighting against live opponents. All told, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is a decent WWII shooter that stops short of being either above or beyond other VR shooters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond affected by the amount of realistic violence shown in the game? What are some of the ways that realistic violence, such as recreations of war, have on younger audiences? Does virtual reality magnify the impact of that violence by bringing audiences even closer to it?

  • What are some of the ways that World War II shaped history? What lessons did we learn and how can they help in the present day? What sort of personal impact does war have on those sent to fight?

Game details

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