Medal Of Honor Reborn

By John Walker on December 2nd, 2009 at 6:58 pm.

THAT'S a beard.

Cor, big gaming news: EA have announced Medal Of Hono(u)r is to return next year, all up-to-date and modern. What they’ve done here, you see, is they’ve taken a popular WW2 series and updated it to present what I’m going to call “modern warfare”. And frankly, good. Because I liked the Medal of Honour games even if they weren’t quite the most cutting edge, and the splendid Medal of Honour: Airborne was lost in the noise of Call of Duty’s reinvention. You should buy it. Although not at that price – cripes – that’s what it cost new! But to the new game. So, what do we know so far?

The game, named only Medal Of Honor, is planned to arrive some time in the next year, and to be set in the most contemporary of settings, Afghanistan. Set to be jam-packed with war for the foreseeable future, Afghanistan is 2010’s Iraq. It’ll be interesting to see how the game handles this, whether with sensitivity or balls-out realism.

It’s been in development for a while, the secret somewhat blown last month, and EA now explain that “Tier 1 Operators from the US Special Operations Community” have been consulting on the game since it was first conceived. They are, I’m reliably repeating, super-soldiers who work under the National Command Authority. They’re elite types, and so presumably get involved in the more interesting campaigns. Quoth the press release:

“Inspired by real events, Medal of Honor reveals the mission of today’s most elite soldier – his will, his mindset and his uncompromising professionalism. The Tier 1 Operator is the most disciplined, deliberate and prepared warrior on the battlefield. He is a living, breathing, precision instrument of war.”

The single player campaign is being handled by EA LA, while Battlefield developers DICE are taking care of the multiplayer. Here’s a bit more press release bumph from EA LA VP Sean Decker:

“EA has always been an advocate for telling the soldiers’ story. The new Medal of Honor follows that tradition. We felt it was important to tell the story of today’s war and today’s elite soldiers via today’s most relevant medium – videogames. We are so proud to bring together two powerhouse development teams to make this game a reality; EA Los Angeles and EA DICE. Medal of Honor promises to be an unforgettable entry in the modern shooter genre.”

More details are to be revealed during Spike TV’s 2009 Video Game Awards on Saturday, 12th December at 8pm. For American types, at least. The official site is here. And can we all just take a moment to properly appreciate that beard.

PS. I’d never be so horribly cynical after the second sentence of this post, but m’colleague Richard Cobbett tweeted this:

“Ah, the new modern day sequel to Medal of Honor. Inspired by “real events”. Specifically, the sales of Modern Warfare.”

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87 Comments »

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  1. Steve the Imperial Guardsmen says:

    If it’s like Medal of Honor Allied Assault it will be great, although I would have preferred a Vietnam game over another cookie cutter modern warfare shooter, but oh well.

  2. Heliosicle says:

    Seems like the Giant Bombcast guys were correct in their guessing.

    I’m guessing its just going to be like MW but with a bit more realism and longer campaign. I hope its good…

  3. Radiant says:

    “Medal of Honor reveals the mission of today’s most elite soldier”
    So this means we get to play a game with lots of sitting around and calling in airstrikes?

    • Radiant says:

      “…his uncompromising professionalism.”

      So he’s the guy in our office who tuts when I’m downloading porn?

      Yeah you Pete I’m talking about you.
      Nice beard fucko.

    • Baris says:

      You bet he does a lot of fucking, with a beard like that, Phwoar!

    • Rabbitsoup says:

      http://www.theonion.com/content/video/ultra_realistic_modern_warfare

      The MW3 is being touted as the most realistic war sim ever.

    • monchberter says:

      So in the wholly real Medal of Honour universe we also get the post traumatic stress disorder, purposefully trying to avoid combat, pangs of conscience, literal pant wetting and being discharged as a veteran and possibly topping oneself due to stress and mental illness.

      Yay realism!

  4. westyfield says:

    “…while Battlefield developers DICE are taking care of the multiplayer.”

    Now I’m very interested! I loved Medal of Honor when I was young, Allied Assault was the first first-person shooter I ever played.

    Also, judging by that beard (which puts John’s to shame (sorry!)), it seems that the new MoH will be a crossover with the Midnight Riders from L4D2.

  5. Squirrelfanatic says:

    Wait wait wait. I think there are some chapters missing in the CoD franchise. Why is there no “CoD: Vietnam Fun” yet?

  6. Nobody Important says:

    They’re going for the big time. It’ll be like that meme that South Park did one episode, “The Simpsons did it,” but with COD4 instead of The Simpsons.

    Nukes going off? COD4 did it. Snowmobile chase? COD4 did it.

    Rinse, repeat.

  7. DMJ says:

    What’s that you say? Call of Duty changed to a modern theme and made enough money for even the mice in the office walls to get money hats?

    Make one of those.

    Send the money-haberdasher to my office with his tape-measure, I need to make sure my new money hat will fit perfectly.

    Now its off to the corporate hospitality bar, I need to calm down after that burst of creativity.

  8. ZIGS says:

    Am I the only one who thought the weapon handling in Airborne was total shit?

  9. subedii says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how the game handles this, whether with sensitivity or balls-out realism.

    I expect realism.

    Hollywood realism.

    Where things explode a lot. Also, chisel jawed heroes and despicable puppy killing scoundrels just a cat shy of Bond level Villainy. I won’t exactly be stunned if it turns out that way.

  10. StalinsGhost says:

    I’m cautiously curious – not optimistic, you must understand, but certainly curious.

    They’ve picked what I would consider excellent source material compared with Modern Warfare’s atrocious setting/narrative. Quite how involved they are with capturing the antics of special forces in the ‘Ghan in a conceivable fashion remains to be seen yet of course, but I won’t deny I feel this is an adventurous move, especially for those of us who’ve actually taken time to read up on the shadow invasion of the ‘Ghan back in ’01.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Was that a A Bit of Fry and Laurie reference there? Nice.

    And, sigh, did they really have to follow CoD? It just makes them look even more like 2nd best.

  12. Vinraith says:

    For the record, Medal of Honor : Airborne is on sale at Gamersgate right now for $8.

    • Jason Lefkowitz says:

      Is Airborne worth it at the $8-10 price point? I remember hearing bad things about it on release but the reviews at Metacritic seem positive, if lukewarm…

  13. StalinsGhost says:

    C’mon chaps!

    How many other FPS games are set in some sort of vaguely modern day conflict? I’ve probably not got enough fingers and toes. Bringing the series into the Modern Day might be unoriginal, but it’s certainly not just because CoD “did it first”.

    • Shalrath says:

      “…but it’s certainly not just because CoD “did it first”.”

      Because they didn’t? Am I the ONLY one who remembers the grumbling when COD ‘copied’ Desert Combat/BF2?

    • Draken says:

      @Shalrath: It’s always like that. There is always one game that no one cares to remember that had done it first. Everyone just think that the one with the biggest sales are the “original one” and are being copied because of their success.

  14. Squirrelfanatic says:

    “A new enemy. A new war. A new warrior…” It’s Santa, kids! :D If they manage to provide proper DLC like a red coat and a reindeer sleigh skin for tanks, I hereby promise – ack, I SWEAR, I am going to buy this game.

  15. VHATI says:

    anything is better than modern jokefare. a tiny single player campaign, and a multiplayer riddled with bugs and the fact that it is hitscan based.

  16. Darkelp says:

    Considering COD stole from MOH, I think MOH has the right to steal from COD.

    My abbreviation sector hurts.

    But I thought they had been working on a modern Medal of Honour a few years back. Anyway I am excited about this, and look forward to it.

    I wish they would make a Call of Duty or Medal of Honour set in WW1, that would be brilliant.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      WW1 shooters! Yes! That’s what every WW2-tired gamer has been clamoring for! :D

    • Jad says:

      I know you’re probably joking, but I’ve thought about it and an “action” game in WWI could be possible. (I say “action” because I’m sure there are some obscure hardcore strategy/wargames set in WWI. And of course there are all those flight sims.)

      However, it would not be over-the-top action like COD, but more stealthy like Splinter Cell. See, while the bloody human-wave attacks are justifiably famous, they were not much a part of the day-to-day experience of the soldiers in that conflict. Yes, most of their time was spent sitting around and waiting like soldiers in any war, and I’m not talking about that, but in many sectors they also had frequent night-time raids.

      Slowly sneaking across No-Mans-Land, quickly freezing/diving for cover when flares go up, then reaching the enemy lines, a flurry of violent, often hand-to hand fighting, the destruction of some enemy machine gun nest, the theft of battle plans, and the kidnapping of enemy officers (for later interrogation) and then a mad dash back to friendly lines as all hell breaks lose. If pulled off well, it could be very tense and exciting, with plenty of chances for player agency and skill.

      How to make the above scenario varied enough to carry a whole game, I don’t know. But it could work.

    • Guy says:

      Duder!
      -Waiting: same for WW2. Freezing your balls off on some African djbel, lying in a sangar on an Italian mountain or hiding in a foxhole with trenchfoot. No historical FPS has been anything like ‘accurate’ or dogme and there is no reason a WW1 one has to be.
      -Human wave attacks: By 1916 that stuff is over and even by 1915 there were serious tactical re-jigs going on. People overemphasise this stuff like every day was the first day of the Somme. Anyways, the Soviets did human wave attacks all the time in WW2 and most infantry combat involved lining up in a field, marching forwards and hoping your artillery barrage kept the enemy pinned. Like I say, WW2 games are bull and WW1 games can easily be the same.
      -Bloody: WW2 is much, much bloodier. Anyway, videogames never do the really bloody stuff because you can’t make a SP campaign out of dying all the time from stuff you can’t see or hurt.
      -Trench Raids: would be fucking awesome. Also there is some classy kit: SMG’s, body armour, clubs, pistol bayonets, sawn-offs. This would actually be really fun.

      A WW1 game would be piss-easy to do and be hugely enjoyable. Drugs, aristocrats and Japanese silk necklets. What’s not to love? Damn it, anyone willing to pay me 50p and chocolate digestive biscuits can have me as their historical consultant.

      That aside: MOH. Special Forces right? The guys who keep getting involved in drug wars, wrongly bombing the locals and generally screwing over the COIN? Those are the people you want to base your game on? And the beards? They do realise it makes the locals think they’re ghazis, right? Only the CIA rate as bigger clusterfucks.

    • Jason Lefkowitz says:

      Slowly sneaking across No-Mans-Land, quickly freezing/diving for cover when flares go up, then reaching the enemy lines, a flurry of violent, often hand-to hand fighting, the destruction of some enemy machine gun nest, the theft of battle plans, and the kidnapping of enemy officers (for later interrogation) and then a mad dash back to friendly lines as all hell breaks lose. If pulled off well, it could be very tense and exciting, with plenty of chances for player agency and skill.

      Seriously. If you’re in doubt about the potential (or the plausibility) of such a scenario, I recommend reading this Army research paper (PDF version here), which examines in detail how the German Army in World War I developed the infantry tactics that finally allowed them to break through the trench lines in 1918 by operating in just the style you describe (so-called “infiltration tactics” or “Hutier tactics”).

      It’s a fascinating rebuttal to the idea that Western Front combat was just four years of hopeless infantrymen going over the top and promptly getting mowed down by machine-guns.

    • Darkelp says:

      I was genuinely serious about WW1 setting, but then I’m still not tired of the WW2 setting so I can understand your comment :p

      Thanks for the history lessons guys! You’ve just made me want a WW1 themed shooter even more! Or maybe an RTS or FPS/RPG hybrid would work better with the waiting around.

      Wait, imagine between raids having to get 10 cigs for Alfie, 5 baskets for Gregg and doing puzzle based missions to open new trenches. Maybe not…

    • Guy says:

      Jason- the Americans tend to lionise German infiltration tactics but the Germans actually took most of the techniques from other armies, notably the Russians and the British. All armies were involved in those sort of infiltration tactics. You’re right though- plenty of room.

      Here’s an oldie but a goodie: http://www.investigations.4-lom.com/2007/05/25/cant-make-wwi-game/#more-85

  17. int says:

    Nice, Medal of Honor: ZZ Top

  18. Dreamhacker says:

    Wow, if Dice are involved in the multiplayer, it might be something DIFFERENT to the tired old deathmatch ala CoD.

    As for the Spec Ops guys: Pfft, give me a break. A quote from the Kuwait War memoirs of Andy McNab (former SAS) comes to mind (paraphrased here): “There’s only difference between regular army and us [SAS] is that we’ve had more training. When the bullets start flying, we’re just as scared as they are.”

  19. StalinsGhost says:

    “There’s only difference between regular army and us [SAS] is that we’ve had more training. When the bullets start flying, we’re just as scared as they are.”

    Well of course :P

    Not that the press release indicates otherwise. It just says they’re better trained – the “most disciplined, deliberate and prepared warrior on the battlefield. He is a living, breathing, precision instrument of war.”

    At no point does it indicate he is immune to fear :D

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Why yes, it does: “Most run from the sound of gunfire. I run toward it.”

    • StalinsGhost says:

      So what?

      It’s just for rhetorical effect – that the type of soldier presented is capable of working under immense pressure in combat, and whose role on the battlefield requires them to step up to the situation and overcoming their fear.

    • Funky Badger says:

      “He is a living, breathing, precision instrument of war.”

      Sounds better than “He’s an incredibly well trained amoral psycopath”, I suppose.

    • phil says:

      “Sounds better than “He’s an incredibly well trained amoral psycopath”, I suppose.”

      From someone who, I would guess, spends a large amout of time simulating their actions, the implied criticism sounds a little odd. In any case, psychopaths generally don’t make good soldiers, they’d be too arrogant to follow orders.

  20. Smurfy says:

    In a couple of years modern warfare will be an oversaturated market and we’ll be begging for some WW2 shooters.

  21. rocketman71 says:

    Sooooooooo, dedicated servers?. Lean?. Modding?. Mapping?. Despicable attitude towards the community that put them were they are?.

    Oh, sorry, that last one is IW.

  22. Larington says:

    To be honest, I’m surprised it took them this long to go for something like this. Heres hoping they’ll try to maintain the sense of authenticity that MW achieved, rather than the over-the-top sillyness of MW2.

  23. A-Scale says:

    SWEET BABY JESUS this is TREMENDOUS news. Finally, it’s back, and it’s competition for MW!

  24. Legendary Teeth says:

    I don’t know what kind of crazy British price you have going on up there, but for those in NA that got put off by the comment Airborne is going for $10 USD, which seems quite reasonable.

  25. Rick says:

    I want that guy’s beard.

  26. Psychopomp says:

    Was talking about this earlier, and Stalin made a good point

    StalinsGhost: Beardy man on the case indicates they might actually be researching actual special forces.
    StalinsGhost: Who’ve had to adapt their appearance to be more in place with the locals.

    • StalinsGhost says:

      Indeed, I remember saying this! :D

      Though on second thoughts, it could also of course be down to them having spent many moons in the field.

      Though that chap does infact appear to be the guy on the case

  27. Lars BR says:

    MOH:A splendid? Maybe the first couple of levels or whatever. I gave up when I had to deal with multiple bulletproof mg42-wielding super-soldaten. I hate those fucking super-soldiers / super-zombies / whatever-the-fuck in ww2 shooters. Sheesh. At least the MW2 juggernaut stumbles when I shoot him with a .50.

    But I’m excited about this. A studio which knows how to make single player games combined with a studio which only knows how to do MP. Just put it somewhere OpF2 and MW2, with proper server-support, and we’re golden.

    (I don’t mind the p2p-stuff in MW2 at all though, except that I can’t convince mine that the network IS ALREADY OPEN YOU BASTARD, STOP SAYING MY NAT IS STRICT!)

  28. Buemba says:

    So DICE is currently working on the multiplayer part of Medal of Honor, Battlefield Bad Company 2, the PC version of Battlefield 1943, Battlefield 3 and (If the rumors are to be believed) Mirror’s Edge 2? Just how big is that studio anyway?

  29. Wooly says:

    That guy pictured up top kinda reminds me of that prototype beardy guy who became Gordon Freeman… Somebody the Space Biker, or something like that?

  30. Mister Yuck says:

    Or they’ve seen the pictures of beardy SF guys in the newspaper, like me…

  31. Gabanski83 says:

    Surely Iraq/Afghanistan/whatever based or themed games are becoming the new WW2 FPS by now, aren’t they? I mean, we’ve had about 8 years of them now. Can’t they think of something a little more original by now? Why not invent a possibly believable fictional modern day warzone, and invent something like a Japanese invasion of Australia, or something, or N.Korea and S.Korea coming to blows? Anything, just something that’s not ruddy identikit desert-urban combat would be nice.

    More ArmA and OpFlash style settings, please.

  32. Funky Badger says:

    Mmmm, more yummy war porn.

    At least its not zombies.

  33. Kadayi says:

    As long as they opt not to use a storyline even the script writers of 24 would label preposterous it might be interesting, esp given that under the direction of JR, EA seem to have turned around a bit in the last couple of years in terms of product quality.

    Yes You’re right, I’m deliciously evil

  34. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    See what would be great is if the new Medal of Honor turned out to be better/classier/more serious(?) than Modern Warfare. Then I could use this great analogy: Medal of Honor would be like Christina Aguilera to MW’s Britney.

  35. TheSombreroKid says:

    i get the feeling they see where modern warfare 2 floundered and are going to pick up the ball with a very grown up, modern war parable with dedicated servers.

  36. Caiman says:

    Carrot successfully dangled, I’d say.

  37. malkav11 says:

    Iraq/Middle East themed shooters of any note that I can think of:

    Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare 2. (parts of both, only). Um. Battlefield: Bad Company, I think? Maybe parts of Battlefield 2.

    WWII shooters:

    Four Call of Duty games. Every single Medal of Honor game and there have been like 8. Every Wolfenstein game and there have been at least three that I can think of (though they mix things up with supernatural bits, admittedly). All three Brothers in Arms games. Battlefield: 1942. Hidden and Dangerous I and II. World War II Online. And another 20 or so no one cares about. (Not kidding. 20 and maybe more.)

    I freely admit that I’ve probably overlooked a few modern Middle East shooters, but I think we’re a LONG way from that particular setting being anywhere near as oversaturated as WWII. And even if we weren’t, I’d much rather play with modern toys in modern settings than in WWII.

  38. negativedge says:

    why do people think that CoD “stole” from MoH, or that this game will be good if it’s “like Allied Assault?”

    I mean, you realize MoH was conceived of and created by the people that are now Infinity Ward, and that Allied Assault was the last title they did before EA gave them the boot? If you want a modern shooter set in modern times that is “like Allied Assault,” I do believe one came out a couple weeks ago that should be to your liking!

  39. EBass says:

    Allied Assault was excellent, since then the MoH series has been acceptable to good, but no more.

    Still anything setting itself up as an alternative to MW2 should be encouraged I guess.

  40. TeeJay says:

    Some very brave people – alongside some unfortunate fuck-ups. Let’s hope the developers show the same kind of respect for the source material and people involved as they did with their earliest games…
    Medals of Honor and Victoria Crosses – Afghanistan
    2005 Lt. Michael Murphy – Navy SEAL (deceased)
    During Operation Red Wing (a mission to kill/capture a top Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah near Asadabad in Kunar province near the Pakistan border, his 4 man reconnaissance team was discovered by local goat herders who possibly alerted 80 to 200 nearby Taliban forces who then surrounded and attacked them. Lt. Murphy exposed himself to enemy fire by knowingly leaving his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. He provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element and then returned to his position to continue fighting until he died from his wounds. 3 of the 4 SEALs were killed along with the entire 16-person Special Forces rescue team whose Chinook was hit by an RPG. The remaining SEAL spent several days wandering the desert and being protected by local villagers who sent an emissary to the closest military base allowing a rescue team to locate him.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_P._Murphy
    2006 Sgt Jared Monti – fire support specialist (deceased)
    While leading a 16 man artillery forward observer team gathering intelligence near Gowardesh, Nuristan Province, and after the main army unit deploment was delayed, their position was given away after a helicopter resupply drop and were attacked by around 50 insurgents. When a soldier was severely wounded and left lying in the open Sgt Monti made three attempts to reach him, being killed by an RPG on the third attempt. Moments later the enemy position was hit by artillery. The wounded soldier that he had been trying to rescue, plus a medic, was killed when a helicopter winch snapped.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_C._Monti
    Victoria Cross:
    (UK) 2006 – Cpl Bryan Budd – 3 Para (deceased)
    The first incident cited was when he led his section into heavy fire against two rooftop gunmen in Sangin allowing a wounded soldier to be evacuated to safety and receive life-saving treatment. A month later he led a flanking manoeuvre against 4 gunmen. After two of his men were wounded he rushed straight at the Taliban position firing in full automatic mode, allowing his section to withdraw back to safety with the casualties. His body was recovered an hour later lying beside three dead Taliban. An inquest later found that Budd’s death was probably the result of friendly fire / from a bullet probably fired from a NATO weapon.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Budd
    VC (New Zealand) 2004 – Cpl Willie Apiata – NZ SAS
    After his SAS troop was attacked by about 20 fighters while laid-up at night he carried a heavily bleeding colleague 70 metres to safety in the face of enemy fire and fire from the main Troop position, before rejoining the counter-attack.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Apiata
    VC (Australia) 2008 – Mark Donaldson – Australian SAS
    After his joint Aus/Afghan/US patrol was ambushed by a larger Taliban force he deliberately exposed himself to draw fire away from casualties. He then ran back 80 metres to rescue a wounded Afghan interpreter who had been ‘forgotten’ and left behind. A year later “Sabi”, an explosives detection dog that was MIA after the ambush, was found ‘alive and well’.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Donaldson

  41. Pantsman says:

    I guessed it’d be something like this when the rumours of a new one started swirling.

  42. crowTrobot says:

    Not much in the teaser but beard!

    I can’t believe I’m getting hyped about this already and I have yet to see what it looks like.

  43. sigma83 says:

    Personally, I just want my Call of Duty: Martian Liberation.

  44. StarDrowned says:

    So many people all over are complaining about having yet another shooter in a modern setting, and I’m getting a serious sense of deja vu. Modern settings will be placed along side the WWII games they evolved from and the brown sci-fi shooters they’ll inevitably become. Only a matter of time before the old west gets tired , and pretty much the only other historical war that sees shooter treatment is ‘nam, and that never goes well…
    FPS developers may have to come up with new things for us to shoot and new places for us to shoot them.
    Personally, if quality can stay up, I’ll shoot zombie nazi aliens in a brown Iraqi spaceship and be completely happy.

    (pre-edit) Now that I re-read that last bit, I give permission to any developers that read this to use that idea above. Sure fire hit, right?

  45. GriddleOctopus says:

    Airborne’s mechanics was fine, though often unduly scripted and channeling for an ostensibly open-world game – however it was ridiculously short. I think I ran through the console version, on the hardest difficulty, in about four hours.

  46. CMaster says:

    Those people saying they are tried of WWII and Desert settings:
    How about Korea? Weaponry and tactics are similar to WWII, but a different setting and different protagonists. Sure, there is some moral ambiguity (unlike the general assumption that the Allies were the good guys in WWII) and the ultimate finale is a stalemate, but hey.

    Or maybe some non-US wars. We could have various african or asian nations fighting either each other or european imperialists. Or like somebody says, how about two modern day hi-tech nations fighting each other, rathern than US stomps someone. Japan vs France or something whacky.

  47. Ado says:

    @westyfield Totally agreed. You can bin the single player for me. These all just end up being on the rails corridor shooters anyway, otherwise they can’t get their lovely scripted set-pieces in. But multiplay from DICE could be something special, until BF3 of course :)

  48. StalinsGhost says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    Or maybe some non-US wars. We could have various african or asian nations fighting either each other or european imperialists. Or like somebody says, how about two modern day hi-tech nations fighting each other, rathern than US stomps someone. Japan vs France or something whacky.

    You can’t give a non-US Soldier a US Medal (of Honor) >_>