Medal of Honor: Frontline
Medal of Honor: Frontline is the fourth installment in the Medal of Honor series, released in North America for the PlayStation 2 on May 29, 2002 and for the Xbox and GameCube consoles on November 7, 2002. In 2010, an HD port of the game was included in the "Limited Edition" PlayStation 3 version of Medal of Honor.
Lt. Jimmy Patterson returns as the game's protagonist. It is a semi remake and reboot of the original 1999 Medal of Honor. Some missions, such as A Storm in the Port (Mission 2) and Rolling Thunder (Mission 5), are homages to Scuttle Das Boot U-4901 (Mission 3) and Destroy the Mighty Railgun Greta (Mission 2) from the first game. The plot takes place during Operation Market Garden, in between Mission 3 and Mission 4 of the first game. All of the weaponry has been brought back from the first game and Medal of Honor: Underground.
The following weapons appear in the video game Medal of Honor: Frontline:
Known as the "Colt .45" in-game, the M1911A1 appears as the standard sidearm in D-Day (Mission 1) and A Storm in the Port (Mission 2). It is also seen on the main menu as the option for 'next mission'. It is the most powerful pistol in the game, and is highly effective firing against MG positions Level 1 of D-Day (Mission 1). It holds 7 rounds.
High Standard HDM
Known as the "Silenced Pistol", a suppressed High Standard HDM is the most used pistol throughout the game. It first appears in Level 2 of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3), and then returns in Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4), and Level 1 in Rolling Thunder (Mission 5). It is slightly less powerful than the M1911A1. The in-game HDM's slide seems to be disproportionate to its actual model. It holds 7 rounds.
The Walther P38 is mainly used by enemy officers and scientists. It is first obtained in Rolling Thunder (Mission 5) and is used again in The Hornet's Nest (Mission 6). It has short recoil, and is much more accurate than the M1911A1. It holds 8 rounds and uses Pistol ammunition.
Behind the Scenes
In the game's Behind the Scenes featurette for Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4), someone is seen fumbling with a Walther P38, possibly for sound effects.
The M1 Garand is the first weapon to be used in the game, and appears as the standard weapon for U.S. Army allies in the game. Unlike the real M1 Garand, the in-game model cannot be reloaded until the entire en-bloc clip is expended. This is because the game's engine only allows one reload animation per weapon - Reloading the Garand mid clip would require a second animation to show the manual ejection of the clip, and then the loading of a new clip. In Level 2 of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3), an enemy soldier in the pub is carrying a Garand. This could possibly be a capture from an American casualty, or a programming error which is more likely.
The M1903A4 Springfield appears in Level 2 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2) and in the first 2 levels of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3). Like the first MOH game, it is first obtained through a hidden "gift package". It has a somewhat slow rate of fire due to the bolt-action, but it is incredibly accurate, and has great range. It holds 5 rounds.
A scoped Gewehr 43 appears as the second "sniping" weapon in the game, and is prominently seen in the hands of enemies in Level 1 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4), where it is first obtained. It comes back in The Hornet's Nest (Mission 6). It's accuracy is slightly less than the M1903. Being a semi automatic weapon, it has a much higher rate of fire and faster reload than the M1903. It holds 10 rounds.
Note: the real Gewehr 43 has significantly less accuracy at range than the 1903 bolt action rifle and isn't nearly as reliable. Even as a basic semi-automatic rifle, its less than desirable, especially when compared to superior rifles like the M1 Garand.
The Karabiner 98k is the standard weapon used by enemies. Like the first game, it is unusable for the player. Scoped versions can be seen being used by enemy snipers in Level 1 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4). They have a low rate of fire and take enemies a considerable amount of time to reload. Enemies will likely use them as melee weapons if close enough. They slowly diminish in favor of the Gewehr 43 in later missions. It holds 5 rounds.
Short Magazine Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk I
The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield is seen in the hands of British Paratroopers Allies in Level 3 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4). It is unusable for the player and only seen in this level. They share the same sound effect with the M1 Garand.
Known as the "STG44", the Sturmgewehr 44 is first obtained in Level 3 of Needle in a Haystack (Mission 3). It later comes back in Rolling Thunder (Mission 5). It is seen in enemy hands in any level where the player uses the B.A.R., likely to counter the firepower. The in-game model is disproportionate to the real STG44, seeming to be stretched out for some reason. Its rate of fire is generally slow, but seems to be much faster in enemy hands. At the game's climax, Baron Rudolph Ulbricht Von Sturmgeist, the game's antagonist, is armed with a Sturmgewehr in the final duel.
Behind the Scenes
In the Behind the Scenes featurette for A Storm in the Port (Mission 2), several images of in-game weapons are shown along with the developer's notes. One happens to be for the Sturmgewehr 44.
The M1A1 Thompson appears in D-Day (Mission 1) and Needle in a Haystack (Mission 3). It can be found in the surf and hidden by a Belgian Gate obstacle in Level 1 of D-Day. It has the highest rate of fire in terms of SMG's and is very powerful. The "Captain" on D-Day carries one (one of many homages in the game to Saving Private Ryan), as do several allied U.S. Soldiers in Level 1 of Storm in the Port (Mission 2). Strangely, it holds 20 rounds despite being modeled with a 30 round magazine.
Behind the Scenes
The featurette for The Hornet's Nest (Mission 6) shows the game's animators in a gym acting out in-game scenarios to better understand natural movement. One animator is seen with a Thompson M1A1.
The MP40 is used by enemies throughout the game, but is slowly replaced by the Sturmgewehr 44 as the levels progress. It is used in A Storm in the Port (Mission 2), Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 5) and Level 1 of Rolling Thunder (Mission 6). It has a high rate of fire, much higher than the actual MP40, but low damage rate. When used by enemies, the rate of fire is much higher, but they tend to fire it in short bursts. It is incorrectly shown firing with a closed bolt.
Behind the Scenes
During the weapons montage in the Storm in the Port featurette, the MP40 is featured prominently.
Sten Mk II
The Sten Mk II appears in Level 3 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4) in the hands of British paratrooper allies, particularly the squad leader - Master Sgt. Kelso. Like the Lee-Enfield, the Sten is exclusive to the British paratrooper allies and not available for player use. Although armed with the Mk II, the British para's would have likely been armed with the Mk V Paratrooper variant. It uses the same sound effect of the Sturmgewehr 44.
Winchester Model 1897 'Trench Gun'
The militarized version of the Winchester Model 1897 shotgun appears in Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3) and Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4). In Level 2 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4), an elderly Dutch Resistance member is briefly seen armed with a Trench Gun, before being quickly taken down by an enemy sniper. It has a very short range but will usually kill enemies with one shot. For some reason, the weapon holds eight shells, despite the real weapon carrying six. It uses Shotgun Ammunition.
Browning Automatic Rifle
The Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR makes its first appearance in Level 2 of D-Day (Mission 1) in the hands of a US Army ally, but cannot be used. When in the hands of allies, the bipod is unfolded. But, when used by Patterson, the bipod is folded up and cannot be used. It can first be used in Level 3 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 3) and is later obtained in The Hornet's Nest (Mission 6). Although somewhat inaccurate at long range and having a slow rate of fire, it is the most powerful automatic weapon in the game. It holds 20 rounds.
Behind the Scenes
In the Storm in the Port (Mission 2) featurette, a BAR is seen being fired for sound effects.
In Level 1 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2), a Browning M1919 can be used, mounted on a wrecked US Army jeep after being strafed by a German Me-109. It incorrectly ejects spent shells from the side, has unlimited ammo, and the same rate of fire of the MG42 in the game.
Behind the Scenes
In the Storm in the Port (Mission 2) featurette, a photo of a mounted Browning M1919 is shown on a firing range for recording sound effects.
The MG42 appears frequently in the game mounted in several positions, most notably in enemy bunkers on D-Day (Mission 1). Just like the M1919 machine gun, it incorrectly ejects spect shells from the side. In traditional Medal of Honor fashion, manning one will trigger a swarm of enemies to come forth to attack, though you again have the benefit of unlimited ammo with which to counter the threat. The MG42 is also erroneously shown being capable of destroying enemy Panzer III tanks. Its rate of fire is also much lower than the real-life MG42.
The M9A1 "Bazooka" appears in The Hornet's Nest (Mission 6). Upon finding it leaning against a wall, it uses the Panzerschreck skin. Contrary to the real-life version, it can be effectively operated by a single person, which at best would be highly impractical in a combat situation. It also takes little time to reload, and is aimed through an optic sight. It is more effective as an anti-personnel weapon than its' original anti-tank role.
The Panzerschreck appears in the game as the German counterpart to the American Bazooka. It is first seen in Level 3 of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3), in the hands of a frantic enemy who blows up a walkway bridge. It later comes back in Level 3 of Rolling Thunder (Mission 5). In the hands of enemies, they lack the blast shield for an unknown reason. Enemies are quite slow to using them, but can be pretty effective once firing. The blast shield obscures the view making it difficult to aim. And, unlike the Bazooka, it is impossible to aim the weapon. It takes a long time to reload and uses 'Panzerschreck Rocket' ammo.
Mk 2 Hand Grenade
The Mk 2 hand grenade frequently appears in the game. They are used in Level 1 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2), Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3), and Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4). Like the other allied weapons, it is generally available where U.S. Army forces are present. Like previous Medal of Honor games, the grenades explode on impact when hitting enemy troops. If a grenade does not strike an enemy, they are likely to either throw it back or run away. Grenade bundles are frequently encountered through out levels, sometimes in bags and sometimes in crates.
Model 16/Model 24 Stielhandgranate
The developers made an error when designing the German grenades for the game. In Patterson's hands, it is the outdated Model 16 Stielhandgranate with the belt hook. But once thrown, it turns into the Model 24 Stielhandgranate. In enemy hands or seen in crates, it is the Model 24. Regardless, they are obtainable and enemies will use them more frequently as the game progresses. They appear in Level 3 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2), Rolling Thunder (Mission 5), and The Hornet's Nest (Mission 6). They share all characteristics with the Mk 2 grenades, including exploding on impact with enemies.
M18 Smoke Grenade
In Level 1 of D-Day (Mission 1), it is required to mark German bunkers for the Allied Fleet in the channel to destroy. This is done by placing a M18 smoke grenade in the "gun deck" of the bunker. Once placed, time is short to escape before the fleet nails the bunker.
The game's cover art features a US Soldier (possibly Patterson despite not looking anything like his character design) charging through the surf of on Omaha Beach, brandishing a Thompson M1928A1 loaded with a 20 round magazine.
Oerlikon 20mm Cannon
The German version of the Oerlikon 20mm Cannon, the 2cm FlaK 29, is seen being used by a Luftwaffe Flak Crewman depicted on the loading screen for Level 1 of The Hornets Nest (Mission 6). This image was taken from a real-life photograph of a Kriegsmarine sailor manning a Flak 29 aboard a ship (seen in the image below). The Flak 29 was mainly designed for the Kriegsmarine. Therefore, it would not likely be found near a Luftwaffe air strip.
The loading screen for Level 1 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2) features a Panther Tank in a village battle.
An image displaying untextured weapons in the Storm in the Port (Mission 2) featurette oddly shows a FP-45 Liberator despite never appearing in the game. It is possible the Liberator was meant to be used in the covert levels of the game but was dropped once the developers realized how unreliable it would be.
In the same image of untextured weapons, a Tellermine 42 is seen in the bottom right. It never appears in the game so, like the FP-45, it is assumed that it was cut.
Like the previous games, it is required to obtain and use demolition charges to sabotage specific targets. And again, just like in the first game, targets marked for sabotage are identified by pulsating red boxes. Although a step-up from the gigantic clock design, the demolition charges still do not resemble any real-life demolition system used during WWII and remain cartoony red dynamite sticks wired to a small timer. Enemies are also seen using the same type of demolitions in Level 1 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4), strapping them to the supports of Nijmegen Bridge.
Model 39 Eihandgranate
The SS Panzergrenadier enemies have the Model 39 Eihandgranate hanging from their webbing, although they are not in use in the game.
Granatwerfer 34 Mortar
In Level 1 of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3), two German Granatwerfer 34 Mortar's are encountered. They fire numerous rounds and can inflict serious damage. They are exclusive to the Germans and cannot be used by Patterson.
The final objective in Level 4 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2) is to destroy a fuel depot within the port. To achieve this, Patterson must commandeer a 8.8 cm SK C/30 naval gun fastened to a U-Boat resting in the pen. The weapon itself lacks a lot of detail and is much smaller than its real-life counterpart, but it is extremely powerful and can eliminate numerous enemies at once.
2 cm Flakvierling 38
The Flakvierling 38 is seen throughout the game, although it can never be used. It is first seen atop the bluff of Omaha Beach in Mission 1 (D-Day), despite the fact no Flakvierling 38's were on the real Omaha Beach. It becomes a target for destruction in Level 1 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4), and can later be seen in an A-Wagen of a Panzerzug BP42 (Armored Train) in Level 2 of Rolling Thunder (Mission 5).
15 cm Nebelwerfer 41
The Nebelwerfer 41 rocket launcher appears only once in the game. In Mission 1 of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3), it is required to use a Nebelwerfer to destroy a Panzer III tank across a river. Cpl. Barnes advises "We can't get that tank from here. Try taking it out with that rocket launcher." Once triggered, it rapid fires all six rockets and destroys the tank.
In several levels, particularly Level 1 of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3), enemy Panzer III tanks use the MG34 Panzerlauf as their secondary weapon. Their rate of fire is much higher than the actual MG34, and their sound effect appears to be that of the MP40. They can be disabled if shot just right.
Panzer III tanks are encountered early in the game. They are relatively slow and easy to destroy while evading its main gun. Several are targeted for Corporal Barnes to destroy in Level 1 of Needle in the Haystack (Mission 3) where they act more as gun emplacements rather than vehicles, not being able to move at all. Going with Medal of Honor tradition, they can be easily destroyed by a mounted MG42. In reality, this would likely just scratch up the paint job.
Short-barreled Panzer IV tanks are briefly seen in the game, most notably aboard Von Sturmgeist's Panzerzug.
Behind the Scenes
Like the Panzer IV, the Tiger I is seen briefly in the game. It is never encountered as an enemy obstacle, but a hostile Panzerspähzug seems to use a Tiger I turret in Level 2 of Rolling Thunder (Mission 5).
Behelfmassischer Panzerzug 42
Described as having "Enough firepower to hold off a platoon of Sherman tanks", Von Sturmgeist uses a Behelfmassischer Panzerzug 42 as his personal train, which becomes the setting for Level 2 in Rolling Thunder (Mission 5). The BP42 (or just 'Panzerzug') has several gun compartments (G-Wagen) housing 10.5 cm leFH 18's in armored turrets, which can be manned and fired upon other hostile armored engines. Towards the end of the level one G-Wagen seems to use Tiger I tank turrets, which again can be manned, but no enemy engines appear in this section. A few of the train's armaments are unusable, such as a G-Wagen armed with a Panzer IV tank turret and an A-Wagen housing a Flakvierling 38. Using an armed Panzerzug as personal transportation within German borders is highly ludicrous, as the small number of these trains were used mainly on the frontlines against partisans (particularly the Eastern Front).
Behind the Scenes
In the Behind the Scenes featurette for Rolling Thunder, a couple wireframe images of the BP42 are shown.
Two enemy Panzerspähzug (Armored Reconnaissance) scout trains are encountered in Level 2 of Rolling Thunder (Mission 5), running on the neighboring track. The first car uses a machine gun, but the second one uses a Tiger I turret in addition to a machine gun. They can be taken out rather easily by manning the 10.5 turrets on Von Sturmgeist's Panzerzug.
Sd.Kfz. 251 Halftrack
In the Behind the Scenes featurette for Rolling Thunder (Mission 5), a semi-wireframe 251 Halftrack is shown. However, none are ever seen in the game.
The Behind the Scenes featurette for Rolling Thunder (Mission 5) also features a Karl-Gerät 040 self-propelled siege mortar in semi-wireframe mode. The Karl-Gerät is never seen in the game. It was cut, likely due to size, and it is assumed that it would not have fired.
P-51 Mustangs are the main US fighter planes seen throughout the game. Although they speed by and can barely be seen, their shape and color clearly identifies them as P-51's.
Browning M2 Aircraft
The US P-51 fighters are briefly seen using their fixed Browning M2 Aircraft guns against the Schnabelstande emplacements on Omaha Beach.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning
In the game's climactic finale, squadrons of Lockheed P-38 fighters bomb the Gotha facility as Patterson escapes. This is their only appearance in the game.
Junkers Ju 87/Messerschmitt Bf 109 Hybrid
A bizarre German fighter plane is encountered early in the game, seen strafing Omaha Beach in D-Day (Mission 1) and then dropping a bomb on a US jeep in Level 1 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2). It seems to be a mixture of the Junkers Ju 87 dive bomber and the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter plane. It has the cone-shaped body, raised cockpit, and square-shaped tail fins of a Junkers, but the flat squared-off wings of a Messerschmitt. It also performs as a Messerschmitt, performing strafing runs and engaging in dog fights with US P-51's. Since the plane is barely seen in the game, and speeding across the sky, it is assumed that the developers did not pay close attention to detail with this plane and merely designed something that looked German.
Junkers Ju 87 Sea Plane
A legitimate Junker Ju 87 sea plane variant is seen in Level 4 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2).
In the presence of the Junkers/Messerschmitt hybrid, it always uses its MG17 machine gun, which was used in both the Junkers Ju 87 and Messerschmitt Bf 109.
Messerschmitt Me 262
Several Messerschmitt Me 262 parts are seen in the aircraft facility of Gotha in Level 1 of The Hornets Nest (Mission 6). In a memorable scenario, Patterson kills a few enemy Scientists along with destroying a Me 262 by activating a wind tunnel. Only one combat-ready Me 262 is seen in the game, but a couple Mission Art images feature it.
Horten Ho 229
The innovative Horten Ho 229 prototype jet fighter becomes Patterson's main objective in the game, capturing it to avoid its introduction into the war. According to the game, Von Sturmgeist is head of the 229 project, despite being a member of the SS instead of the Luftwaffe and having no affiliation with Gothaer Waggonfabrik. The actual designers of the jet, Reimar & Walter Horten, are never mentioned in the game. They are only shown once the cutscene 'A New Plan' with the statement "The Germans turned to two brothers with an astonishing new design."
The missions involving the Horten Ho 229 take place between August and September of 1944. Although prototypes were in production in the latter half of 1944, the HO-IX model was not complete until February of 1945. And, although Patterson was apparently a pilot prior to joining the OSS, it is unlikely he would know how to fly a foreign aircraft prototype that uses jet propulsion.
Behind the Scenes
Type VIIC U-Boat
In A Storm in the Port (Mission 2), all German U-Boats appear to be Type VIIC's. Patterson has been chosen to infiltrate and sabotage U-4902, due to his success in sabotaging U-4901 in the first game. Once aboard, an entire level takes place within U-4902. Patterson is then assigned to plant explosives within the Submarine, and U-4902 can be seen erupting in the next level. Once infiltrating the Lorient port, several other Type VIIC's can be seen (some in parts on assembly lines).
As stated on the page for Medal of Honor, U-4902 and U-4902 are too high in the U-Boat classification system. The highest number of a built submarine was U-4712.
Type XXVII Seehund
Two Type XXVII Seehund midget submarines rest in the Lorient facility when Von Sturmgeist is introduced.
Both Frontline and Medal of Honor: Allied Assault have Omaha Beach missions that play blatant homage to Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. The layout of the beach is nearly a direct copy of the film's depiction, which shows the game developer's lack of research on the real-life Omaha Beach layout and German defenses. To the laymen, these inaccuracies go unnoticed. To actual historians, these details stick out like a sore thumb. However, a couple details are correct.
The first inaccuracy is the first thing seen in the game. The silhouette of the "US Battleships" seen on the horizon, shelling the coast, seem to ironically resemble German Sharnhorst-class Battleships. The same ship model can be seen up close in Level 3 of A Storm in the Port (Mission 2) in a German port. Obviously, the programmers took the model from Mission 2 and stuck duplicates in the background to resemble US Battleships. The correct US class of ships present on D-Day would be Nevada-class (USS Nevada), Gleaves-class (USS McCook), and New York-class (USS Texas) ships, along with several British ships.
Behind the Scenes
Schnellboot Typ S-38
Along with the Scharnhorst, a number of oversized German Schnellboot Typ S-38's stand in for American transports; so the American fleet on D-Day is comprised of German vessels. Their silhouette makes them just look like blocks on the horizon (almost unidentifiable), but a clear rendered image of one in the Behind the Scenes featurette for D-Day shows that it is the same shape. One can be seen for a couple seconds in Level 1 of Several Bridges Too Far (Mission 4), sailing under Nijmegen Bridge.
Behind the Scenes
LCVP "Higgins Boat"
Several Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) or "Higgins Boats" are seen ferrying US Soldiers to Omaha Beach. Like Saving Private Ryan, these seem to be the only landing craft present; LCI's, LCT's, LCTR's, LCA's, and DUKW's are nowhere to be seen. LCVP's were quite prevalent on D-Day. However, the in-game soldiers within the boat sport the orange rhomboid marked "2" on the back of their helmets, identifying them as 2nd Rangers. The 2nd Rangers who landed on Omaha Beach were ferried ashore in Landing Craft Assault (LCA) vessels, the smaller British counterpart to the LCVP. While the LCVP's on D-Day held at least 30 soldiers per boat team, Patterson's boat in the game only holds 8. They all lack identification markings, except for one washed up in the surf. Strangely, the Coxswain piloting Patterson's boat has "USS" (abbreviation for 'United States Ship') stenciled on his helmet when it should be "USCG" (United States Coast Guard).
Tellermine 35 (Mine Post)
Upon landing on the beach and finding the "Captain", a Soldier can be seen running (almost deliberately) into a Mine Post (a wooden log with a Tellermine 35 attached). Besides this scripted scenario there are no other Mine Posts along the beach. These devices, nicknamed "Rommel's Asparagus", were among several placed along the shore of Normandy. At high tide they would be completely submerged, designed to impale the hull of any landing craft it came in contact with.
Just like Saving Private Ryan, the Schnabelstande bunker model is depicted as an MG emplacement built into the escarpment on Omaha Beach. In reality, these were used as observation posts and target spotting. But, there were no Schnabelstande bunkers along the five miles of the real Omaha Beach. The ones depicted in the game (which were copied from the film) represent one remaining in the port of Etretat, nearly 90 kilometers west from Omaha Beach. The in-game models have been drastically scaled-up from the real-life version, likely to make them more imposing. Level 2 of D-Day (Mission 1) takes place entirely inside a Schnabelstande, which is depicted as a concrete fortress of communication rooms and living quarters as opposed to a single room with a telephone. The small number of OP bunkers along the real Omaha Beach were very well hidden, and only large enough to hold around 3 men (commander, assistant, and radio operator); most MG emplacements only held 2 (gunner & loader).
M1A1 Bangalore Torpedo
Once off the shore, the Captain orders you to retrieve Private Jones, who has a bundle of M1A1 Bangalore Torpedoes, in order to clear the "seawall". Due to limited graphics and the fact they are only seen for a few seconds, Private Jones does not even assemble them once reaching the wire. He just sticks all four tubes into the sand and primes them.
Two blue P-47 Thunderbolt fighters soar overhead towards Omaha Beach in the opening sequence. In reality, Bomber Groups strafed the shore in a pre-landing bombardment. But, fighter planes did not support the seaborne forces. Aside from this shot, these planes are never seen in the game again.