Despite their first game in the franchise’s reboot reciving lukewarm reviews, Danger Close are developing a second game in the modern-day-set Medal of Honor series.
Producer Greg Goodrich revealed in a blog post entitled “In case you were wondering…”: “Yes, Danger Close is currently working on the next Medal of Honor.”
Goodrich went on to say: “Since our launch last October, we’ve studied, listened and absorbed much of your feedback and are very excited to be marching forward on the next title. We can’t wait to tell you more about it, so check back often to the website and the fan page on Facebook.
“It’s going to be a fun ride for the Medal of Honor franchise. We are happy to have you aboard.”
Whilst Danger Close had already announced it was recruiting for a new AAA FPS title, speculation had been than the EA studio would be working on a different franchise. Tonight’s confirmation demonstrates that even in the face of it’s ridiculously high-selling rival Call of Duty, Medal of Honor still plans to persevere.
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In the latest map pack for Medal of Honor, you get two new maps and two redesigned maps!
Medal of Honor offers a cohesive campaign and fierce multiplayer competition for those who don’t mind a little bit of tarnish on their first-person shooters.
Score: 7.5 / good
Medal of Honour citation: Sergeant First Class xSN1PERRx, pretend videogame army, distinguished himself with actions not quite above the Call of Duty while serving in Afghanistan as a super-secret megasoldier operating in a hush-hush ‘Tier One’ unit, sometimes switching brains to become a frontline grunt who learned about the futility of war and stuff like that.
Sergeant xSN1PERRx spent eight hours trudging around a geographically accurate but worryingly beige combat zone in southern Afghanistan. While on duty dressed in the skin of both Tier One operators and Army Ranger, he was ambushed repeatedly by infinite streams of Taliban fighters. Facing their withering assault, Sergeant xSN1PERRx was able to identify and click on each of their heads in turn until they fell down and their bodies disappeared.
Sergeant SN1PERRx willingly gave his life, choosing to hurl himself into a room waving a shotgun after his teammates told him to hang back, because he was bored of staring at yet another brown rock. His extraordinary badassishness and mouse-wielding ability are in keeping with the highest traditions of videogame service and reflect great credit upon himself, and acceptable credit on Medal of Honour’s developers. Now he’s dead, 75%. OMGLOL.
Blood and tiers
Let’s take a moment to salute our fallen brother. Have you saluted your magazine? Good. Medal of Honour is very strict about that kind of thing. It’s a shooter made with the close involvement of real-life soldiers: special forces so classified that before the game was released, publishers EA could only show them off with their faces hidden and their voices masked. Their input was intended to give the game a sense of respect and understanding for the soldiers involved.
It’s a fine line to walk, ruminating on the nature of the warrior in a game about inserting digital bullets in skulls, and MoH stumbles regularly. At times, it goes mawkish, the overt sentimentality of years of battlefield cooperation squidged into an ill-fitting shooter template. There are a lot of cod-meaningful man-glances that feel forced, busting in on your good shootin’ time with slow-paced cinematics.
On the other side, attempts to even the conflict and move it away from goodies vs baddies are undermined by a black and white approach. Almost every soul who lives in the game’s southern Afghan region of Takur Ghar takes potshots at you within milliseconds of you arriving in their area; those that don’t are goats. If Medal of Honour’s enemy count is even vaguely accurate, the coalition forces in Afghanistan are outgunned seven hundred to one. New fighters pop into existence every couple of seconds in the game’s lengthy and repeated ‘defend until extraction’ objectives. These vignettes are tense but tiresome: in a real battle they’d be frantic scraps for seconds of life; in Medal of Honour, they’re click click click from behind the same point of cover until a timer ticks down to zero.
But damn, if I didn’t get suckered in. The first section of the game is in the secret shoes of Tier One operators, and feels resolutely retro in its approach: four men versus the world. Halfway in, you get control of an Army Ranger – a more typical grunt. Before, I was an extension of the nighttime scenery, silently killing in the dark. In the combat boots of the Ranger, the rocks and dust of Afghanistan itself seemed to want to kill me, twatting mortar strikes and RPG fire into my landing point. My helicopter ride downed, I felt a minuscule approximation of the confusion and panic EA’s co-opted soldiers mentioned in their pre-game primers. For a short while following that ambush, every “OO-RAH!” that I’d otherwise have winced at became a statement of intent, every kill-shot a revenge strike for the unfair murder of my pretend buddies. Much more and I’d have broken out whooping “USA! USA!” Tough to explain to the office. By the time I was stuck in the bed of a valley with my Ranger squad, tributaries of Taliban forming a river of pissed-off militants, I’d lost my cynical critical connection, and was genuinely wishing for evacuation. I didn’t want to die in the dust.
That was a high point. Prior to the stand in the desert, Medal of Honour isn’t sure what it is. The first segment of Tier One missions are Call of Duty rejects, cod-CoD gimmicks that get used once or twice then tossed. As decreed by ancient law or something, I was forced to direct shots fired by everyone’s favourite military namedrop, God’s own giant fucking plane o’guns – an AC130. I aimed a screen-filling sniper-rifle repeatedly, puncturing heads from a kilometre away as my spotter called out targets in a watered down version of Modern Warfare’s silky ‘one shot, one kill’ mission. When MoH isn’t trying to ape its peers, it fares a lot better.
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Shacknews receives a slew of new screenshots and trailers for upcoming games everyday. The most anticipated titles receive their own post, because we know you’re eager to see that content. For the rest, we have the Daily Filter, a place to feature all of the media we add to our enormous database on a daily basis.
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This week we take a look at Medal of Honor, Super Scribblenauts, and Lucha Libre.
Crosshairs–Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, James Bond 007: Blood Stone, GoldenEye 007, Atari GO, Medal of HonorPosted on October 07, 2010
We get hands-on with the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer and speak to the developers, share our experiences with James Bond 007: Blood Stone and GoldenEye 007, speak to Thom Kozik about Atari GO, and take a look at our Medal of Honor community event in Sydney!
Following word that Electronic Arts had decided to rename one of the multiplayer factions in the upcoming Medal of Honor reboot from “Taliban” to “Opposing Force,” the Army & Air Force Exchange Service said it would engage in a “thorough review” before deciding whether or not the game would be allowed to be sold in on-base stores.
Today, Joystiq reports that the AAFES has maintained its position and will not allow the first-person shooter to be sold on military bases.
“Out of respect…
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Now that Electronic Arts has changed the name of the playable enemy forces in Medal of Honor‘s multiplayer, no longer directly referring to the US faction’s opponent as the “Taliban,” the game might possibly be allowed to return to stores on US military bases.
A representative of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service told Joystiq that it was “aware of reported changes to the latest Medal of Honor game” and that “the organization has been, and continues to be, engaged in a thorough review to fully understand the extent of the modifications.
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Following controversy, EA changes name of force opposing US soldiers in Afghanistan-set game’s multiplayer mode to “Opposing Force.”
Following Konami’s dropping of Six Days in Fallujah, games set during modern-day conflicts have come under extra scrutiny. One game in particular has been put under the microscope–Electronic Arts’ Medal of Honor reboot, which is set during the early days of the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
Following protestations of families who have lost members during the Afghan conflict, EA has now decided to no longer let players assume the role of the Taliban in the game’s multiplayer mode. Instead, the forces opposing US soldiers in the mode will sport the far more generic moniker of “Opposing Force.”
“Because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force,” said executive producer Greg Goodrich in a statement on the game’s official Web site.
Goodrich also said that the multiplayer aspect of the game, designed by Battlefield: Bad Company 2 developer EA DICE, would otherwise remain unchanged. Players will also still fight the Taliban in the single-player campaign.
In development at EALA’s Danger Close studio, Medal of Honor is due out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 12. It will initially be offered only in a limited-edition format, one that carries a standard-edition price tag of $60 across all three platforms.
Belying its price tag, the Medal of Honor Limited Edition includes many of the customary premium perks, including early access to EA DICE’s Battlefield 3 multiplayer beta, two in-game shotguns, and an exclusive weapon. PS3 gamers will also find a free copy of the PS2 classic Medal of Honor: Frontline packed into the Limited Edition.
The first installment in the series not to be set during World War II, Medal of Honor will follow a group of elite commandos called Tier 1 Operators during operations behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. It will be set during the early stages of the war, when the US-backed Northern Alliance was pushing toward victory over the now-resurgent Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies.
Though the Xbox 360 and PS3 multiplayer betas have come and gone, PC gamers still have a chance to participate in an open testing period beginning October 4. The online multiplayer beta download client will be available through Medal of Honor’s official Web site beginning today, and the testing phase will close on October 7 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
For more on EA’s Medal of Honor reboot, check out GameSpot’s previous coverage.
We sit down with senior creative director Richard Farrelly about Danger Close’s reaction to the Medal of Honor controversy, creating a balance between realism and engaging gameplay, and working with Tier One soldiers.
Electronic Arts has announced the system specifications for the PC version of its upcoming Medal of Honor reboot. The game will be released on October 12 in the US and on October 15 in Europe.
A second, open beta will kick off for the PC version on October 4 and run through October 7. This will hopefully let players check out a new build of the game as there were many improvements made between the closed beta version and the version I played at PAX 2010.
The system specs are:
Medal of Honor requires at the following minimum configuration:
- Operating System – Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7
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We chat with the magnificently bearded Greg Goodridge and Patrick Liu about the multiplayer in Medal of Honor.
In an interview with MCV, European EA exec Jens Uwe Intat makes some bold predictions about the upcoming Medal of Honor reboot. “We’re not going to outdo Call of Duty with this year’s Medal of Honor but it will get dangerously close,” said Intat. He continued with “Actually, our long-term strategy in most genres is just to have the best game with the biggest audience. We already have that in the football sector and the racing market – although we can make Need for Speed much bigger. And we certainly want to get back on top for shooters with Medal of Honor.”
Sounds like the company is definitely taking aim at Activision’s juggernaut, but how realistic is it? With mega-sellers like Reach and Black Ops releasing this fall, will FPS fans be interested in a series that’s been dormant for years? In terms of quality, you’ll hear our thoughts when our review goes online in a couple of weeks. As for now, you’ll have to go with Ice T’s review (spoiler…he says it’s wack).
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PC gamers interested in joining Medal of Honor’s beta don’t have long to wait. The EA DICE-developed multiplayer will be available for testing October 4.
Two game modes will be available for play – Combat Mission and Sector Control. Combat Mission is a story-oriented mode that has one team completing objectives and the other trying to stop them. Sector Control has competing teams fighting to control specific areas on the map.
“We also hope that by offering the multiplayer open beta, we can clear up any misunderstanding about the patriotism and respect that are the foundation of this game,” says EA Games president Frank Gibeau. “The Medal of Honor franchise has always shown extraordinary reverence for American and Allied soldiers — this game is no exception.”
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DICE has been tuning Medal of Honor’s multiplayer since the June beta. We sample the four multiplayer modes on offer.
Development duties for the multiplayer component of Medal of Honor have been given to DICE, the studio behind Battlefield: Bad Company 2. With the success of that game’s squad-based multiplayer offering, it’s easy to see why. Making a dent in the military first-person shooter market–a market where the all-conquering Call of Duty franchise looms large–is no mean feat. If anyone is up to the task, it might be Stockholm-based, EA-owned DICE.
Medal of Honor’s multiplayer action has been built with a tweaked version of DICE’s Frostbite engine–the engine that powered Bad Company 2. Much of that tweaking has been done since the multiplayer modes were offered up for testing in beta form back in June and July. The early beta gave more time for feedback and fixes, according to Patrick Liu, the game’s multiplayer producer. “We didn’t really have time to do that in Battlefield: Bad Company 2,” he says. Feedback from the beta has given rise to “thousands of fixes,” says Liu, ranging from a boost to the recoil of weapons to more consistent hit detection. Support actions earned with kill streaks have been balanced, making them harder to achieve than in the beta. Weapon pick-ups have also been changed, so players can now seize weapons from fallen players rather than seek out ammo crates. The front end has received a cosmetic overhaul as well, making the menus and heads-up display “more sober,” according to Liu.
These adjustments are about refining a multiplayer military FPS experience for an audience that, you suspect, already knows what it likes. Seemingly, Medal of Honor aims to refine, not revolutionise, the genre. Bad Company 2′s extensively destructive environments–a key point of difference in its multiplayer action–don’t even feature. Instead, the game checks the major boxes: There are three classes, four modes, and eight maps, with all of the modes playable across most of the maps. There’s persistent progression, with unlock trees for each weapon and your character ranking up toward elite Tier 1 status. There’s also support for up to 12-on-12-player matches, plus team-focused offensive and defensive kill streak bonuses. The classes, as outlined in our earlier multiplayer preview, are rifleman, sniper, and special ops that can be played on either the side of the coalition forces or the insurgents–that is, the Taliban.
Team Assault is Medal of Honor’s classic team deathmatch mode. We sampled it in Garmzir Town: a rural settlement of clay huts beside a river spanned by a couple of bridges. Though much has been tuned since the beta, the basic experience won’t be unrecognisable to beta testers: fragile soldiers (or insurgent fighters) on compact maps make for twitchy multiplayer action where cover is crucial. Spawning is nearly instant, offsetting the frustration of any near-instant deaths, though certain maps and modes encouraged the dominant team to just crowd in on an enemy spawn point. For the sniper class, the multiplayer experience is markedly different from sniping in the single-player campaign, with different controls for scope zoom and steadying the sights. The lack of a prone position will be a complaint for some players, though more will lament the scarce vehicle action and absence of a kill cam.
Sector Control mode adds a tactical layer, creating sectors on the map that teams need to dominate to gather points. We hit the Kunar Base for this mode: a compact, up-close map filled with trenches scattered with crates and camouflage netting. On the horizon were hilltops covered in smoke and struck by occasional lightning. The tight corners and enclosed spaces meant plenty of sudden deaths as we flocked to our target sector; shotguns were especially effective down in the trenches, as well as melee attacks (with an axe, in the case of Taliban fighters). More often than not, raising your head above the parapet meant getting it shot off by a sniper. We also tried the Sector Control mode in the Kabul City Ruins: an urban map featuring rubble and burning car wrecks. Here, defensive and offensive team-centric kill streak bonuses came to our aid, with flak vests and full metal jacket ammo being “handed out” to team members as we progressed.
Objective Raid, on the other hand, is an asymmetric multiplayer mode that involves capturing or defending two objectives on the map. The attacking side can go after the objectives in either order, and with the small maps, the mode makes for very short matches–three minutes on average, according to the multiplayer producer. On the Kandahar Marketplace map, we took turns to defend and attack objectives alpha and bravo. We did so among the market stands and narrow alleys, with a mounted M60 to alternately take cover from and fend off attackers with. Spawn points were outside of the walls of the marketplace at the edges of the map, with multiple entry points. On another map, Diwagal Camp, we fought from a cave network into the adjacent village, taking both objectives in a couple of minutes; the attacking team loses if it is held off for a full five minutes.
Combat Mission, the last of the four modes, is the least familiar and most promising. Like Objective Raid, Combat Mission is asymmetric, but where that mode is about short, fast-paced rounds, this one is slower and more methodical, with a series of story-based objectives. In the snowy Shahihkot Mountains, the side that plays as US rangers must seek out a downed Chinook helicopter, capture the area, and then complete a mission while being harried by the opposition. This mission involves destroying an ammo depot, a mortar station, and an antiaircraft gun so another Chinook can land for extraction. For this, the rifleman class’ smoke grenades were useful for getting safely through open areas. As the US fighters pushed forward, the spawn points moved forward with them, but the team had a finite number of respawns; if these were used up, the insurgent team–which had been fighting the coalition forces at every turn–wins the match.
The Shahikot Mountains map was the biggest we tried, with new areas being opened up as each objective was cleared. The second Combat Mission map, Mazar-i-Sharif Airfield, was littered with the remains of old Russian tanks and planes. It also featured some of the game’s scant vehicle action: a tank to temporarily support the attacking American forces. For the attackers, the mission meant fighting through a roadblock, a hangar, through the hangar yard, and onto a control tower. Of these, the hangar yard was the toughest objective to crack, with grounded planes providing patchy cover.
For those players who don’t find the multiplayer punishing enough, there will also be a Hardcore mode: a suite of settings–fully customisable on the PC, less so on the console–to make things tougher. This includes friendly-fire damage, no health regeneration, no ammo pick-up from enemies, no crosshairs on weapons, and no minimap. According to Liu, Medal of Honor becomes a “completely different game” with this mode. We’ll have to wait until the mid-October release to see if this is the case–and whether Medal of Honor’s multiplayer can make its mark in a crowded genre.
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