hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Experiencing the Afghan war in Medal of Honor

4:00 AM on 05.14.2010 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

The Medal of Honor series was a pioneer in the FPS genre during the last two console generations. The franchise went on hiatus during this current console war, and IPs such as EA's other war franchise (Battlefield) and Activision's Call of Duty series stepped up to fill the void Medal of Honor left behind. 

The series is now back with a more modern setting, developed by both EA Los Angeles and EA DICE. DICE is working on the multiplayer with their Frostbite engine, and that side of the game is still being kept under wraps. EA did want to show off some more of the single-player though, and EALA Creative Director Richard Farrelly came up to the San Francisco area to show off another side of the campaign.

Hit the break for an early look at Medal of Honor and for my unique thoughts on the game coming from an Afghan perspective.

Medal of Honor (PlayStation 3 [previewed], Xbox 360, PC)
Developer: EA Los Angeles (single-player) / EA DICE (multiplayer)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
To be released: October 12, 2010

The Medal of Honor reboot takes place in early 2002, during the war in Afghanistan, and it sees players controlling characters between Tier 1 Operators and Army Rangers. The Tier 1 guys are the “scalpel” of the military. They go in first, blend in and gather intel that aids the big military. You can read more about the Tier 1 perspective in Samit Sarkar's preview.

My look at the game put us halfway into the story and focused on the “sledgehammer” of the military, the Army Rangers. Whereas the “scalpel” missions are about being clean and quick, the “sledgehammer” missions will feel like large-scale battles. The two groups are nothing alike, but neither can succeed without support from the other.

The particular area Richard was running through saw a squad of four Rangers on a mission to destroy a weapon emplacement. The first thing that stuck out to me as Richard moved through the mountainous terrain of the Shah-i-Kot valley was that there was no HUD on display. Vital information -- such as objectives and your squad's location -- is displayed with the press of a button and then fades away after a few seconds. Information such as your ammo counter will appear only while weapons are being fired.

Hiding the HUD provides a more immersive cinematic experience, and it's greatly appreciated, as it lets the player really take in the level of detail in the environment. Military consultants worked closely with EA, providing all sorts of information about Afghanistan that EA captured with the Unreal engine.

Fans of the Medal of Honor series will be happy to hear that features from previous Medal of Honor titles will remain, like the peek and lean. There will be new additions, too, such as a slide to cover -- also known as the “oh shit button,” as Richard put it. Players can ask for ammo from their squadmates if needed, but it's a limited amount based on the level. Squadmates will also move about accordingly -- they'll cover one direction as you cover the other.

As this was a controlled, hands-off demo, I can't say what the weapons feel like. Richard was plowing through the level with an M249 SAW, a light machine gun that looked pretty powerful but is balanced out by its long reload time. Still, you can't treat Medal of Honor with a one-man-army mindset. You want to move cautiously and hide behind the destructible cover as you engage enemies.

After a few skirmishes, the Rangers reached their target, tossed a smoke grenade marking the gun emplacement and watched as an air strike took out the target. Smoke then filled up the view and dirt rained down as the Rangers moved to the next area. The demo ended with the Rangers about to breach a house right before a bomb went off.

It still remains to be seen just how EA is going to take on the powerhouse that is Modern Warfare 2, but what I saw holds promise. This war is real, and EA is trying to approach the ongoing conflict with sensitivity and respect toward all parties.

Being of Afghan descent, Medal of Honor offers me a kind of nerdy way at revenge. I've never been to Afghanistan, but I do have family there, and I've seen how my family's been affected by the injustices committed by the Taliban. While the country is far from sunshine and rainbows, the American invasion did help make the country better.

Medal of Honor
is an outlet for someone like me. I'll never pick up a gun against someone in real life, but I play shooters like there's no tomorrow. First-person shooters are my favorite genre, and getting to shoot at representations of people who have tormented my home country for decades offers me a way to vent my frustrations. 

Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
I just wanna get drunk and listen to J-pop
extatix avatarextatix
Spiel was mightily expensive. Holy shit... Good thing I didn't bring more money with me, too. Saw enough stuff I'd love to own.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
In memory of Lesser Dog of the snow fields. 1 spaghetti = never forgetty
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Trialling PS Now - review to come later - has reminded me of a piece of little-reported PS3 news. Owners of hacked PS3s could turn any PS2 game into a 'Classics' title and run them on a bog-standard PS3 with few issues.
nanashi avatarnanashi
Wanna ask a question for tomorrow's PStoid? You still have time! While you're at it don't forget to ask one for Riobux too!!
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I caught a reflective mumbling about MGSV's open structure and how it doesn't sit well with me, to be published whenever I litter it with images.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, an article today got me thinking about this so without further ado, whats your favorite pokemon? This is mine:
Clarence Sheridan avatarClarence Sheridan
Winter is Coming and so is the new mobile game: “Frosty The Assassin” New Mobile Game coming soon... [img][/img]
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I cast my little worm in to the pond for a topic to try to make a blog about today. I fish fish fish but nothing bites bites bites.
Perro avatarPerro
I cracked and bought Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android last night. Half off sounded like just the right price, though I wish this came out on 3DS or even the Vita but at least it gives me something to do on the porcelain throne!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Coming soon in Mortal Kombat XXX DLC - HUMILITALITY [youtube][/youtube]
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Those N64-era THQ wrestling games have actually held up really well over the years. Take that, nostalgia!
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -