GOONL!NE Advent Calander 2010: #7 – Medal Of Honor

By Will Swarbrick.

“My enemy will kill me if I am not more accurate and 1/2 second faster.” Wow. Tough break. You see, that’s rarely the case in video games, especially first person shooters. Now, I’m not one to act all high and mighty, and condemn Modern Warfare 2 for being ‘unrealistic’; that’s what we all knew going into it, and that’s why most of us loved it – laying down some tactical nuke pwnage online might not be in the U.S. Military Handbook, but it sure is fun.

So, the only other FPS that really comes close to ‘realism;’ is Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. And while it was very realistic, it wasn’t what you’d call perfect. It has flaws and annoying little ticks, and sometimes you wanted to smack the hell out of it, but other times it’s brilliance would shine through revealing an astonishing achievement with incredibly tense moments. A bit like having a child. In that battlefield, having the fasted trigger finger did matter for once, and there were no second chances.

Thing is, Medal Of Honor doesn’t really have a history of realism. From the very first, mind blowing outing (hands up who has dreams about that undercover boat mission! Just me?) to 2007s Airborne, and all the 13 games between, they’ve been the usual romp through Nazi lines, taking handfuls of plot from Saving Private Ryan or Band Of Brothers, and while fun, they were generally unsubstantial. That didn’t mean they couldn’t impress; Frontlines was heralded as one of the best FPSs of it’s time.

But with Medal Of Honor now leaving the second big war (it’s official name), and locking horns with Call Of Duty, what can EA do to propel the franchise further than Infinity Ward’s? Well, judging from the Tier 1 quotes, realism is a big feature – hopefully, the game will walk that line between the arcade of lower difficulty CoD and utter impossibility of OpFlash. The guns have to hit hard, the enemies have to go down like dead weight, the noises have to tear the sky in two, and the AI has to be dastardly and deadly. A big challenge, but if anyone can rise to it, it’s EA.

One thing is for sure – the multiplayer will be of the highest quality. With DICE at the helm, it seems very hard to see a bad multiplayer being attached to such a well known series. This is DICEs opportunity to show their worth, and who knows – maybe, just maybe, knock Modern Warfare 2 off the Multiplayer top spot.

Obviously, all this is guesswork and speculation. The fact remains that, at the time of writing, no gameplay has been shown, and no hints have been given, other than the promises of developers, about the style of the game, it’s focus, the characters, plot, and so forth. But a man can dream, and we only ask EA to make those dreams come true. A small task.