Given the current popularity of war-themed first-person shooters, it's no wonder that one of the best WWII shooters, Medal of Honor Allied Assault, would get a second expansion pack. Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough takes you to previously unexplored parts of the European theater. Unexplored doesn't necessarily mean fresh, though, and while Breakthrough has a little more meat to it than the first expansion, Spearhead, it ends up being repetitious and stale.
Once again you'll be on your own fighting Axis soldiers.
The original Allied Assault consisted of several missions, which in turn had many levels. Breakthrough doesn't change this formula, and consists of about a dozen new levels. These comprise three missions, which will take you to North Africa, Sicily, and finally mainland Italy. The individual levels are varied and will take you about six hours to complete in total. You will destroy German artillery, rescue prisoners, and drive assorted vehicles, among other things. The individual levels don't fit together to form a cohesive whole--you're dumped onto a battlefield and given objectives, without any explanation as to your ultimate purpose.
The drive into Italy was important because it split German resources in Western Europe, especially when Mussolini toppled from power. You'd never know it from the game, though; all you ever get are cutscenes with war footage and famous quotations. Similarly, it would be nice to know how you are making a difference in the war as you complete objectives. Not that anyone will be there to notice your achievements--you will spend most of the game fighting alone. Whenever there are Allied soldiers nearby, they get killed more often than not. You can try to save their lives--we really tried--but these soldiers are just doomed to die. At any rate, only in the first part of the first mission and the last part of the last mission do you ever get a feeling that there's a war being waged around you.
These few intense battle sequences are actually quite fun. The sandstorm in Africa drastically limits your visibility, so you need to push ahead and try to find where gunshots are coming from. The next level has you protecting a minesweeper as it attempts to clear a minefield. The castle at the end of the game at Monte Cassino has Germans and Allies fighting all over the place, and you can hear gunfire and screams coming from all directions. You have to fend off wave after wave of German attacks in several key positions on the map.
The problem is that these moments are too few and far between. The majority of Breakthrough is rather forgettable because it is too similar to the previous Allied Assault missions. A lot of times you'll be riding on a vehicle shooting at enemies that pop up like targets at a firing range, or you'll have to lay explosives on artillery. You again have a mission in which you must use papers to fool the Germans and Italians so you can sneak around their base. Sometimes these recycled elements are made to be challenging, but they end up becoming save-reload moments. For example, you'll be stuck in a building and have to repel a tank assault. You have mortars to fend them off, but the problem is that there is a huge delay between when you fire and where you see the mortar land. It will take a few tries until you get the positioning correct for the first wave. But then more waves come, forcing you to figure out positioning again before the tanks breach the wall. There's a similar situation when you have to cover escaping prisoners from snipers. Having to save and reload until you figure out the exact pattern and locations of an enemy isn't what makes a shooter fun to play.