I recently picked up Medal of Honor, and I've never run into a game I can only recommend extremes with. First to be sure, if you want MOH for multiplayer, then you have to buy it, and probably new unless you want to dump more money into the online pass. I say probablly new, since there is a chance, despite how minimal that someone will play the single and trade it back in with the access code. Not likely, but there.
The single player game is a decent experience. For as much as they talked about honoring the soldier, they really meant overt melodrama, not neccessarily accurate by today's standards.
The first thing you do notice about the Single Player experience is that it wants to be pretty. The landscape is nice, and the area is well researched. It makes me think I'm in Afghanistan, not just some dirty town. The voice work is pretty good as well, and not only do you hear your partners over the comms, but if you're near them, you actually hear them talking. It's a nice effect that I'm surprised no one has really used. The game makes sure to blend or switch to either the comm or voice depending on how close you get to the speaker, and it's pretty immersive. While the game has some stealth action, it's not so much stealth as it is wait until they look the other way, and then it might not matter how much noise you make. It's not a game breaker, and in fact makes some of the missions easier to complete because of it. Expect you're partner NPC to advise you when to go though, as the game will hold your hand through all the missions.
That's one of the bad parts of the single player. I get it's right there in the name single player, but considering you're always in a squad of at least 2, and up to 4 it's surprising they didn't do a CO-OP. It's setup for it at least, and would have also made the Tier 1 mode a bit more interesting.
Tier 1 is a single player timed mode where you replay the missions for the fastest times to completion. The trick is there is no checkpoints. Die and you fail and have to start from the mission beginning again. In some missions the timer is your enemy moreso, and in others I it's the gunfights. Don't expect alot of HUD elements in Tier 1, though you can bring them up and I'd recommend playing through the mission prior to doing Tier 1, not only because it's a necessity, but also because enemies spawn and run the exact same paths, so you can know what to do.
The single player will put you in alot of firefight opportunities. This was another mode they had a chance to bring in, but didn't that could have rounded out the offering. Firefight is a huge hit with Halo and Gears of War, and while I know those series are Sci-Fi, it doesn't change the element. There are times where you'll be pinned down, and having to deal with the never ending spawn, and when you run into those, you reallly are just saying wow, that base had 20 people when I got here, where'd the other hundred come from. It'll be frustrating, and you'll probably have some fun, and I can't for the life of me figure why they wouldn't add that to separate this game from CoD and Battlefield.
There are some technical problems you'll see in the main game as well. Expect a poorly rendered goat. He showed bad for me once, and then fine the next, but either way it was disapointing, and expect sights that don't always seem correct. There are plenty of shots that count as headshots that probably weren't and plenty of headshots that apparently miss. I've never seen a game have to give you an indicator of if you got the headshot until now, and it's really annoying that they decided it was necessary.
Overall though, I initially thought the main game was going to be the weaker part of the two part offering. MoH is developed by two studios, one for the Main story, and DICE for the multiplayer. You may remember DICE for their Battlefield games, and if you do, then you expect large open worlds. Not so here. This MoH reboot is directly trying to take players from Call of Duty. The upgrade is an attempt to do what CoD does, but it honestly feels like they don't know what CoD that is. The single player comes off more as a tribute to the soldiers in Modern Warfare, than in real life. maybe that's because the game tries so hard to be MW, and not hard enough to be better than MW. The story really shouldn't feel related to MW at all, but by having us jump through the eyes of multiple soldiers in the same conflict it does. There are a few times, when we segway between soldiers that the game becomes much better, but the storytelling and pace isn't consistent enough to keep it throught.
Despite the bad, expect a moderately fun single outing for a really short time, with forgivably annoying controls. Following that you'll play some Tier 1, until you beat the 10 missions together and eventually move on. Surprisingly enough this is the better half of the game.
(Spolier Alert) I'm not personally related to the War in Afganistan, but even I know there isn't a General sitting in his office in the states isssuing cowboy commands without regards to the actual lives and information he's receiving from the ground. The story really revolves around that concept though, that somehow the soldiers in command, don't know how to listen to the soldiers in the field and may try their hardest to put them in situations where they will die. It's a shame really, because if they hadn't included the General, and just had the troops get attacked by terrorists, or find a base it would have been better