Somewhere near the halfway point in the game, I put playing on pause for my PC upgrade. My old i7 6700K was not enough for the game to run smoothly. My AMD Ryzen 5800X, on the other hand, runs it like a dream. Finishing Medal of Honor VR (Above and Beyond) was a joy after my upgrade.
Go Overload, Storming Omaha Beach
It would not be a true World War 2 game without storming Omaha beach. Although a truly terrible event, it’s a sight to behold in VR. Pacing and the skipping around to different scenes is still jarring in the lead up to finishing Medal of Honor VR. Still, I had a blast. Here are some of the highlights of my adventure storming the beach:
- Hanging around the airfield before the mission watching airplanes fly by overhead.
- Chatting up the squad mates on a steam ship the night before storming the beach.
- Standing helpless in the Higgin’s boat as artillery sent splashes of water over the boat.
- Running on Omaha beach bullets whizzing by and artillery exploding all around.
- Pulling a raft to each hedgehog (those metal X’s on the beach) to plant TNT while dodging bullets.
- Using the Thompson machine gun to clear out trenches and toss grenades to clear out the bunkers.
There was a bit where I took control of tank main gun, but it was a weak mission. It was all on rails and the headset control where it points at. It was just weird. I would have preferred using either the joystick on the controller or more physical controls (Pavlov VR’s tanks have hand cranks to change position).
What I really love is how detailed even the bunkers were. Some with realistic supplies and others had desks with paperwork in some of the connected rooms.
Fighting Through War Torn France City Streets
The artwork for the city streets was great, whether fighting building to building or from the courtyards. Some of the buildings were intact, while others bore scars from bomb and mortar fire.
Some of my favorite parts:
- Using a pump action shotgun to fight my way through a coffee shop, then hiding near an espresso machine.
- Killing Nazi’s in a small cemetery outside of a church.
- Protecting the city from a high tower with grenades, sniper rifle and machine gun.
- Using binoculars on the same tower to mark flak cannons for the bombers that buzzed over my head.
I loved visuals from that rooftop and kudos to the developers for buzzing me with those planes. The main thing I didn’t like about that experience was the tripod for the machine gun. It was very fickle and rarely mounted where I wanted. It phased through most cover.
Scuttling the Nazi Uboat in Medal of Honor VR
This is my favorite mission set of the whole game. There’s some janky stuff in there, but it’s a classic set of experiences before finishing Medal of Honor VR. It did start out with an underwhelming PT boat ride. It amounted to on rails shooting at other boats and some planes. The explosions and physics were definitely off a bit in that section, but things got better after.
There were plenty of highlights from this mission:
- Going undercover in the Nazi Sub base as a janitor.
- Picking up actual trash in the laboratory of the base to blend in.
- Using a trash trolley to sneak into a Nazi commander meeting to steal blueprints.
- Slowly pushing the trolley out of there to not blow cover.
- Searching for officer uniforms with a boathouse gunfight in between.
- Using the uniforms to perform a “surprise” inspection of a Nazi boat.
- Sneaking around that boat with a stealth dart pistol like a secret agent.
- Stealing radio codes to then telegraph the ship coordinates.
- Getting interrogated by a gestapo agent on the boat before it got torpedoed.
- Escaping the sinking ship with gun fights and climbing pipes as the ship sinks Poseidon adventure style.
- Swimming to our rescuers on the U-boat (still undercover).
- Fighting through the detailed corridors of the U-boat before scuttling it with its own torpedo.
- Escaping the sinking submarine with a rebreather and spear gun.
- Using that spear gun to kill great white sharks on my way to the surface.
This long list of highlights is a clue as to how good this mission set was. The laboratories, boat corridors, submarine pipes/valves, all lovingly crafted by the artists. The production value of simple things like the pipes on the sub are so high. It’s refreshing in VR with so many games using plain models and textures to avoid performance issues.
Fighting and Skiing Across the Norway Alps
The snowy rocks and peaks are a big step up from what Skyrim VR offers. Snow covered trees complete the scene. Nothing like killing those Fascists in the snow while catching a view over the cliffside. It really was a beautiful view.
There was fun on my way to finishing Medal of Honor VR:
- I shot at giant ice sickles to impale unsuspecting Nazis below.
- Fighting across a collapsing rope bridge, before cutting it out from under the bad guys.
- Skiing down the mountain while shooting at Nazis before going over ski jumps, James Bond style .
- Taking a break in a mountainside cabin to reload and resupply.
- Climbing a radio tower to redirect the signal. Great views of the mountains up there.
- Blowing up giant generators at the secret atomic base.
- Shooting holes through water barrels that dripped as I fought through the atomic base.
- Gunfight amongst the centrifuges.
- Fighting Nazi scientists in their lab coats in the laboratories and offices.
- Blowing up scientists locked in the office using the pneumatic mail tubes and a few grenades.
- Made a great escape from an avalanche riding on the front of a sled, shooting at Nazis on the way down.
The atomic base was very detailed from the generator room and laboratories to the offices. All the stationery and hardware you would expect, crafted in loving detail.
Secret Rocket Base to the Medal of Honor VR Great Escape
The rocket base was just screaming for explosions. I knew the mission required running and gunning with sides of explosions.
It was a race to the finish:
- Running and gunning to scrounge for V1 rocket parts.
- Sabotaging the V1 rocket to attack the base.
- Meeting with the Nazi defector scientist. He was quite a character.
- Launching a rocket inside a test chamber, frying a few of the evil scientists in the process.
- Using a gas mask to escape the facility through the fire.
- Working with the scientist to steal experimental thermite and using it on the Nazi computer.
- Killing Muller in the rocket hangar while he held a gun to the scientist’s head.
- Pretending to hold the scientist hostage as I walk in front of a small army.
- Fighting up the marble atrium staircase to the control room.
- Watching the scientist sabotage the V2 rocket on the launchpad, then smoke a cigarette, enjoying the explosions.
- Running and gunning to scrounge for sticky bomb parts while avoiding a Tiger tank.
- Blowing up the tank with our homemade bomb.
- Fighting through Nazi hangars to steal a plane for our escape.
- Using the rear gun of the bomber to fend off Nazi’s. Our other pilot covered our escape with a rocket plane.
- Watching the base explode as we fly away.
Finishing Medal of Honor VR was a little bit meh compared to a lot of the previous missions. Ollie’s death was sort of ho hum, then ending with an on the rails type shooting gallery was not that epic.
Overall, I really liked the game. The detailed environments and objects were so good to see in VR. It goes to show what the production value of AAA developers can come up with. The game was no where near as polished as Half Life Alyx, but there was so much more good than bad.
I definitely recommend Medal of Honor Above and Beyond to anyone that’s played any WWII game and liked it. I definitely recommend waiting for a sale. There’s plenty of game there, but the $60 I paid is a bit much.
The content is there, but the polish is not at that level of money if you just care about the campaign. Still, it was a lot of fun and I want to encourage the developers to make more. Plus, I still need to try the multiplayer.