Medal of Honor: Airborne for Xbox 360 was one of the first games I purchased for the system. I'm a pretty big fan of the WWII shooter genre; the framework for an epic story is inherent to it. And as a successor to the long line of previous MOH titles, Airborne continues the solid tradition. Set in WWII Europe, you play as a member of an elite airborne division; your job on each level is to drop deep behind enemy lines to neutralize key German targets, and in doing so turn the tide of battle.
Each mission begins with your character parachuting into combat; you control where you land and ultimately start each board. As a result, most boards are fairly non-linear, allowing you to tackle each objective in any order you choose. Each map feels much more open, as a new landing location can completely change the flow of the mission. This was especially refreshing when I happened to get stuck on a certain objective, since I could just parachute down to the other side of the map, and either tackle the same objective from a new angle, or even begin a new one.
The freedom to drop into any part of the map at the start of each mission is bolstered by some very creative map layouts. While a few levels (there are only six in the single-player campaign) are rather dull, others take advantage of his new wrinkle. The final board, Der Flakturm, immediately comes to mind. The level design is pretty simple; the map consist of one gigantic menacing tower. You begin by parachuting out of your plane a few hundred feet above the tower. The massive tower roars with massive AA guns and artillery. Below halftracks patrol the ground floor. And here is where MOH: Airborne shines. Do you drop onto the roof of the tower and destroy those giant artillery guns, or do you sail down into the shelled city below and fight your way through the front door? This type of freedom is very refreshing in the mostly linear WWII shooter genre.
Medal of Honor: Airborne is definitely worth a look. The sound and graphics are impressive, and the controls are tight. And while the whole single-player experience only lasted about 9 hours, it was enjoyable from start to finish.