WW2 #13: Medal of Honor: Vanguard

Finally, a good fucking Medal of Honor, pity it’s one of the last ones

june gloom
2 min readMar 18, 2024

This review was originally posted to Twitter on September 24, 2018

Initial release: March 26, 2007
Platform: Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii
Developer: EA Los Angeles

It kind of figures, when you think about it, that what the long-suffering Medal of Honor franchise needed to finally regain its past glory was to abandon all pretense of having its own character and just rip off Call of Duty wholesale. Medal of Honor has come a long way from its early days as a glorified WW2 skin for GoldenEye 64; if you only played the PlayStation 1 games you wouldn’t recognize the series by this point. For all intents and purposes, Medal of Honor: Vanguard is essentially EA Los Angeles’ take on Call of Duty 2 — right down to the regenerating health system.

The only remaining vestiges of Medal of Honor’s previous life is the still-mostly-bloodless carnage and the fact that you can’t move when using ADS. Everything else is just a pure, straight clone of Call of Duty 2, and to be honest with you, it was a wise direction to take. That being said, it does have one new idea: on a few select levels you can decide where you want to land your parachute at. This makes for some interesting scenarios where things might play out differently depending on where you land. Another new feature is upgrades for your weapons, though they don’t carry over from level to level. It’s a neat idea, though. your weapons otherwise are all the mainstays: Garands, Tommies, MP40s, BARs, and so on. No Italian weapons despite fighting in Italy tho.

Compared to previous Medal of Honor games like Rising Sun, Pacific Assault or even European Assault, Vanguard de-emphasizes story. There’s more story than, for example, Medal of Honor: Heroes, but it’s like the first two Call of Duty games in that there’s no overarching plot, you’re just moving from one battle to the next with some recurring characters. The closest the game gets to any sort of war movie cliche is the sergeant character is killed off midway through. He’s mourned for all of 10 seconds, and then you’re in charge — but people still tell you what to do. Okay then.

Plot aside, for a franchise with such an incredibly uneven level of quality, it seems as if EA Los Angeles put their all into this one. For the most part, the AI is decent. The difficulty curve is sensible. The presentation is solid. the last PlayStation 2 entry might just be the best one.




june gloom

Media critic, retired streamer, furry. I love you. [she/her]