To say first-person shooters based on World War II are a dime a dozen might be putting it mildly. There are still some great ones every now and then, such as Call of Duty 3 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but even the best WWII games are getting dangerously close to having their top-notch gameplay overshadowed by the "been there, done that" feeling you get from doing the same or similar missions over and over again. There's no great gameplay to be found in Medal of Honor: Vanguard, so there's nothing to hide those feelings of dÃ©jÃ© vu that you'll get when you play it. Nearly everything in the game has been done before, and it has all been done better.
Step 1: Kill Nazi soldiers. Step 2: Do it again.
Vanguard places you in the role of Frank Keegan, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne division. Each mission is set up with a bit of black-and-white footage narrated by Keegan, followed by a brief cutscene once the mission starts. It's the same basic story from previous games, and you're not likely to give it a second thought. There are four campaigns, each of which is divided into two to four missions. You'll be fighting in Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, doing just what you'd expect to be doing in a WWII FPS. You'll plant charges on enemy antiaircraft weapons, procure documents, rescue missing soldiers, clear bunkers, use bazookas on tanks, and shoot a ton of Nazis. You'll get to do a little bit of parachuting here and there, but there's nothing to it--you have a tiny bit of control over where you land, and it doesn't matter a whole lot where you end up. There's no online play to speak of. This isn't a huge shock on the Wii, but considering that other Medal of Honor games for the PS2 have had online play, its omission is notable. You can play some split-screen multiplayer if you'd like, but come on--this is 2007, not 1997.
Even if you can look past the clichÃ©d mission objectives, there's plenty of other issues to bring you down. Enemy artificial intelligence is atrocious. Nazi soldiers exhibit no advanced tactics, unless you count ducking their heads back behind cover for a few seconds after bullets whiz past as an advanced tactic. Even if they do seek some sort of cover, they'll just stick their heads back out in a few seconds so you can shoot them. The soldiers you fight with are just as brain-dead, and it's almost comical to watch your group fight the enemy--everyone's in plain sight, but nobody's hitting anything.