Edit: EA has released the following statement regarding how the single-player campaign within Medal of Honor will function, this comes after a misconception from information that I reported below that the campaign would be split into two rather than both elements melded together – for that, I apologise. The below quotation will hopefully clear up any confusion, sorry!
We want to clarify that Medal of Honor will have one seamless single player campaign, not two separate campaigns as was recently reported. You will, however, play as multiple characters that each partake in diverse and unique experiences from both the “Tier 1” and “Big Military” perspectives; hence the “Sledgehammer” and “Scalpel” motifs that were taken out of context.
New details have emerged today regarding EA’s complete reboot of the Medal of Honor franchise. Abandoning its long-established World War Two setting, Medal of Honor will now position players amongst the ranks of Tier 1 Operatives within Afghanistan.
Regarding whether such games should be made, the Tier 1 Operatives – who are unnamed due to obvious reasons – state “Not if they’re done respectfully, no. And after speaking with EA, we have full confidence that the product they’re making will do the subject justice. It’s a game about honor, above all. If you look at the font of the logo it’s the word that stands out above all others.” Each is concerned that life in the military isn’t being correctly portrayed within the games industry (Wait, you can’t respawn in real life?) so such a stand point is an admirable one as long as the final game delivers, which it certainly looks like it has the potential to do.
Such sentiment is echoed by the trust that EA place within the Operatives, who are continually acting as consultants regarding the content of the upcoming title.They have full power over EA to ammend anything they feel isn’t authentic enough – be it character behaviour, dialogue and obviously weapon handling. This amount of input will obviously set apart the title from its rivals, with first hand knowledge of combat situations players are set to be “surprised by how some of the enemies respond to you, both in terms of tactics and the weapons they use,” explains Executive Producer Greg Goodrich.
Footage shown provided a first glimpse at an in-game mission which is already looking particularly impressive apparently. For those that don’t want to learn about it, skip past this paragraph! Within the trailer that was shown, US Soldiers work together in an attempt to storm a hut and having succeeded they enter inside. As they scour for intel and any enemies, a mobile phone rings at which point the whole shack explodes. Such situations like this are realistic to modern combat apparently, so their honest and brutal nature will be a refreshing representation within the FPS genre.
The story itself will be told from the perspective of several different operatives, providing unique experiences across a range of missions set in Afghanistan. Further examples include the use of disguises whilst meeting up with local informants.
Most interesting, is that we learn that Medal of Honor is set to divide its single-player portion into two sections intertwined into each other throughout the campaign. The first is as previously described, formulating around a series of Elite Op missions that see you on more secretive and specific objective based tasks. Alongside this however, is a Sledgehammer campaign that takes you away from playing as the Tier 1 Elite Ops, and will change the focus of the gameplay of being part of the standard issue military. These are on a far bigger scale than the Elite Op missions, with the player becoming engulfed as a small part of the overall war machine – rather than the tight city/ town environments, you will be placed in wide open Battlefield areas and granted more access to vehicles, helicopters and such like – there’s even a Quad Bike!
The gameplay elements will differ between both Elite Op and Sledgehammer, though EA haven’t currently gone into much more detail. From early footage, there were glimpses at a possible cover mechanic yet such details were speculative observation rather than current fact.
It is authenticity that will set Medal of Honor apart from the Hollywood Blockbuster nature of its direct competitor Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, yet we wait intently to learn more.
Source: Gamesmaster, Issue 221 February 2010