Towards the end of last year, EA announced that they would be bringing the Medal of Honor franchise out its slumber, and that it would be given a considerable revamp. No longer would the game be based around the World War II setting - it will now take place in a modern setting.
As seems to be the common trend in first-person shooter titles these days, players will take on multiple roles throughout the single player campaign. There will be experiences shared by the "Tier 1" band, and also that of the "Big Military" - in the demonstration, the US Army Rangers were shown. Both of these will have differing gameplay styles, as the Tier 1 will be more focused on stealth and specialist action, while the Big Military sections will be much more action focused. According to Greg Goodrich, the Executive Producer, the game will by split quite unevenly between the two, as approximately 66 percent of the game is likely to focus on the Tier 1 perspective.
In the demo, the US Army Rangers were trying to clear out small groups of insurgents located in Afghanistan. It involved a squad-based mechanic, with the player having three AI partners for assistance. Gameplay looked fairly standard, with players able to vault over walls, use different types of weaponry, perform beaches and brutal melee attacks.
The levels aren't necessarily comprised of simple objectives either, as at one point, the player had to provide suppressive fire so their squad could advance and mark a target for air support. The game also features destructible scenery, which made this objective much more tense and exciting. These elements could really help to distinguish the game against some of the competition - something that's really crucial considering how saturated the genre is becoming. Here's hoping that the rest of the campaign is much more innovative and isn't simply about getting from point A to B.
That could be the game's biggest problem though, as there are so many games out there of a similar nature. Right now, Medal of Honor looks like it will be a competent addition to the market, but that's not necessarily good enough any more. So far very little has been announced to suggest the game will take the genre to the next level and it'll certainly be interesting to see how the multiplayer, which is being developed separately by EA Dice, will compliment the single player offering. The developers still have plenty of time to turn things around though and make Medal of Honor a must-have title when it comes out in October 2010 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.