Medal of Honor Infiltrator is a fun mission-based shoot-'em-up that's similar in style to old-school arcade games like Commando and Frontline.
Medal of Honor is a highly successful first-person shooter franchise that started out on the PlayStation and eventually made its way onto a variety of platforms, including the PC, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. Unfortunately, in 2002, while set-top consoles received an excellent one-two punch in the form of Medal of Honor Allied Assault and Medal of Honor Frontline, the Game Boy Advance got an ugly, subpar remake of Medal of Honor Underground--a game that was originally released for the PlayStation two years earlier. This year, Electronic Arts is back with another Medal of Honor game for the GBA, called Medal of Honor Infiltrator. Thankfully, the first-person graphics have been done away with in favor of a top-down viewpoint, and now the game's been fashioned into a fun mission-based shoot-'em-up that's similar in style to old-school arcade games like Commando and Frontline.
The top-down graphics and gameplay are reminiscent of classic games like Commando and Frontline.
In its 15 total levels, Infiltrator brings together a variety of different play styles that should be familiar to anyone who's played their fair share of 8- and 16-bit games. Most levels are presented with an overheard viewpoint that has you looking down on a large portion of the surrounding area. These stages share a great deal in common with such classics as Commando, Ikari Warriors, and Frontline. You use the directional pad to walk around in the environment, which is typically a large jungle or village. Enemy soldiers appear at varying intervals, and you need to use your character's machine guns and grenades to eliminate them. Your weapons shoot toward the direction you're facing, but you can hold down the R button to lock your aim in one direction while you walk in another. Interactivity with the environment comes into play fairly often. You can hide behind houses and other buildings to stop enemy bullets, and there are a number of structures that you can actually go inside of. Small houses and tents give you the opportunities to switch weapons or replenish your health, while larger buildings are often entire sublevels unto themselves. If you come across a stationary gun or a tank sitting in a level, you can put these weapons to use against the enemy. The stationary gun has unlimited ammo, but you can't pick it up and take it with you. The tank, on the other hand, can be driven through a level. Additionally, it can be used to run over enemy soldiers, and its cannon can be used to destroy enemy artillery and buildings. Each level has a number of mission objectives assigned to it, such as locating documents or destroying ammunition depots. To complete a level, you need to accomplish these goals.
You can take control of tripod-mounted guns and tanks.
Medal of Honor Infiltrator offers 15 missions, which you can play from beginning to end in the campaign mode or tackle one at a time in the quick start mode. Most players will end up playing through the campaign mode a few times in order to collect all of the gold and silver medals that are earned by clearing away the enemies in a level and by satisfying all of the secondary mission objectives. By collecting medals, you can unlock a harder version of the campaign mode, as well as a survival mode where the goal is to see how many soldiers you can kill before you run out of health. The setting for the survival mode is a village that features a number of different neighborhoods to fight in.
Medal of Honor: Infiltrator borrows heavily from the classic games it's inspired by and, at the same time, captures most of the things that give the franchise its identity. The typical overhead shoot-'em-up doesn't have much to offer except the sheer thrill of killing one enemy after another. Netherock has taken that simple design and has updated it for today's player by adding depth through the inclusion of stealth elements, tricky AI, first-person crosshair-shooting sections, and a varied assortment of mission objectives. The end result is a fun handheld game that should please anyone who's looking for an action game with teeth.