Version tested: Wii
Released to a muted fanfare on Wii and PSP almost three months ago in the US, Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 is the filler release you're expecting. The apathy surrounding it is hardly surprising. After more than ten different MOH titles since the back end of '99, we all know the drill: shoot clueless Nazis, wander around linear levels, blow stuff up, meet objectives, repeat until dead/bored.
Even if you're somehow new to killing brain-dead Nazis, Heroes 2 is so by-the-numbers that you won't be satisfied. If that sounds cynical, it's a fleabite on the gelatinous flabby arse of this bone-idle attempt to reprise the World War II shooter. You'd have to really want to own another World War II shooter, and on the Wii, to find sustenance in the few crumbs of comfort on offer, although, to be fair, if you ignore the bland, predictable, linear environments, the atrocious enemy AI, the boring objectives and the same old same old same old, the Wii version's control system is worth inviting into your tent to snuggle and compare haversacks.
Waving and drowning
Unlike last year's irredeemably awful Vanguard, EA has realised that waving downward to crouch and waving right to do a 180-degree turn are silly ideas. Instead, Heroes 2 takes its cues from the much slicker Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, rather than, say, Red Steel, and other awful Wii game attempts at FPS controls. Aiming is precise, movement polished, and simple actions like crouching and zooming down the sights are bound to buttons rather than dance moves.
Leaning involves a little tilt of the Nunchuk in the appropriate direction, and you can easily peep over the top of cover by zooming in while crouched. Reloading is still performed with a little shake of the remote (complete with a workmate-baiting 'Clunk-Click' from the Wii remote's speaker when you do), but it all works, so we'll forgive this rather silly concession to gesture controls. Better still, the ability to tinker with look-speed and aiming sensitivity makes it possible to refine it to your tastes - always appreciated - while the addition of a Zapper configuration also takes care of those who feel the need to fashion a gun-shaped peripheral out of their controllers and go "pew pew!"
The Zapper doesn't really lend itself to full first-person controls, so the eight-mission Campaign mode feels far better played by the default method. On the other hand, the new on-rails Arcade mode works a charm with the Zapper, and is by far the most entertaining way to play. Taking place in the exact same levels as Campaign, and broadly involving the same objectives and enemy placement, you simply let the game take over movement and get on with the business of shooting those dastardly Nazis. The scamps. The other major difference is that ammo is unlimited, and so is health; so instead of the usual recharging system, you have to shoot health-packs scattered around to top up your health bar, just like Granddad did with Tom Hanks.