Is Medal of Honor the new Modern Warfare?

It's difficult to talk about the upcoming modern-day Medal of Honor reboot without making comparisons to the Modern Warfare series, so we won't (we don't like difficult things). Modern Warfare 2 is immensely polished and popular, but it does suffer from cheap tricks which unbalance the multiplayer modes, a slew of glitches, and a campaign that's riddled with plot holes and accelerates like a Toyota. Will Medal of Honor restore balance to modern-day combat? Here are a few reasons it might:

It's a more realistic scenario

Rather than taking place in SHIT-THE-WHOLE-WORLD-IS-BLOWING-UP-ISTAN, Medal of Honor is set in present-day Afghanistan, and deals with the current military operations occurring there. But that doesn't mean it's just a bunch of deserty nothing - Afghanistan is a very geographically diverse country, so there's plenty to see.

Above: Plenty to see (image via Google Maps)

We don't know much about the plot, other than that it involves two types of missions, "sledgehammer" assaults and "scalpel" operations. Sledgehammer-style missions are big military operations - the kind used to attack, acquire, and hold ground. Infantry and vehicles are utilized in numbers, and the violence enacted is forceful and wide spread. Attacks with the proverbial scalpel are the opposite - they involve the super-hardcore Tier 1 Operators, who are heavily specialized and precise.

The campaign is being orchestrated by EALA with help from military experts, some of whom are currently deployed overseas. The development team sends gameplay DVDs to these experts, and makes adjustments in accordance with the commentary they receive. They're very serious about keepin' it real.

Above: Real.

It's more thoughtfully paced

It's less "SHIT! DO EVERYTHING RAMIREZ!" and more silence... silence... silence... "Go loud."

The mission we saw was one of the Tier 1 missions, so the action was carefully plotted. The unit's task was to invade a mountainous encampment and disable anti-air weaponry to make way for incoming helicopters. The team darted between cover points and chatted on their radios as situations developed, occasionally making mistakes and correcting themselves, which created a believable ambiance.

But the calculated approach wasn't devoid of big set pieces and surprises. Helicopters blew the crap out of a caravan, an anti-aircraft installment was neutralized with C4, and the operators encountered more than expected when they breached a larger town, resulting in a frantic firefight which broke their Zen-like calm.

And, of course, the "sledgehammer" missions will likely be even more extravagant, as they involve much larger operations, and will incorporate air and land vehicles.

It plays with storytelling mechanics too

Like Modern Warfare, you'll play as multiple characters throughout MoH, and actions you take as one character will affect missions you play later as other characters. For example, in a mission prior to the one we witnessed, the player encountered a convoy, but didn't have the means to destroy it, so all he could do was drop IR beacons on it to mark it as a target. In the mission we saw, that same convoy came around a corner, blinking "kill me, kill me, kill me," and a friendly helicopter turned it into a light show.

We've been informed of three characters - two "sledgehammer" characters, an Army Ranger and an Apache Pilot, and one Tier 1 character, the bearded dude who's on the cover (the beard isn't just for show - he's blending in with the locals to aid infiltration).

The multiplayer is being developed by DICE

EALA knows their strengths - they've got the campaign covered. But to avoid taking developers off the campaign, potentially compromising its quality, and potentially botching the multiplayer aspect, they've handed the entire multiplayer job to the very capable DICE.

Of course, EALA is ensuring that the multiplayer section and campaign fit together coherently, but other than that, DICE is taking charge. They're developing the mode on their own engine (the campaign runs on Unreal tech, but the multiplayer will run on DICE's Frostbite engine - the same engine used in Bad Company 2), and they're building their own maps, so we won't see the typical campaign rehash maps. Possibly big, Modern-Warfare-2-killing things.

Mar 11, 2010


  • 23people - April 2, 2010 3:19 a.m.

    I am not at all worried that DICE is working on multiplayer. I AM worried about their usage of the Frostbite engine. I think it;s cool and all, but I think those guys should put a bit of tweaking into the multiplayer. Destroyable walls: Realistic. Ramming through walls (and people behind them) is not how real war takes place.
  • Octaviux - March 19, 2010 2:30 a.m.

    Mainstream Warfare can chew gorilla gallstones
  • crazybonethrowers - March 17, 2010 9:26 p.m.

    my ps3 tag is crazybonethrower join if you like mw2 and players who get 30 kills a game (me) im grounded for a while so i might not respond right away
  • Xleathery420X - March 14, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    if your looking for a badass wargame go get arma 2 or arma if ur pc isnt that fast. u can play fly planes helos and drive tanks and jeeps and all that is pretty crazy but has some bugs but they have updated most of them its amazing. if u like bad ass war with huge ass explosion and shit check arma or arma 2 out they are fuckin rad
  • Jason.Darksavior - March 14, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    This game looks so sweet, hope the can make the online different from COD, otherwise people will just say it's copying.
  • GODSACE - March 14, 2010 12:39 a.m.

    I LOVE WAR ANY WAY its done ww2,ww1, ww3, veit, korea whatever it be war is awesome so long as its done right
  • aberkromby - March 12, 2010 10:50 p.m.

    @Tochy and whiteknight1981: Operation Flashpoint.... haven't tried that yet. I'll check it out. Thank you.
  • linkganon - March 12, 2010 10:11 p.m.

    Modern Warfare 2 is immensely polished and popular, but it does suffer from cheap tricks which unbalance the multiplayer modes, a slew of glitches, and a campaign that's riddled with plot holes and accelerates like a Toyota loled at that part. using toyota as a comparison to the campaign works well. well, the storyline for MW2 can't be worse than MGS2 SOL's ending. now that is confusing and full of twists and turns. they summed up absolutely everything at the end and everything that was told beforehand was revealed as a half truth. at least they got the characters right so you at least give a shit if one of them dies unless it's an annoying computer hacker or just a lowlife guard.
  • CreeplyTuna - March 12, 2010 9:55 p.m.

    "big modern warfare 2 killing things" ... but the modern warfare 2 maps arent very big.
  • Vitoruss1 - March 12, 2010 8:53 p.m.

    Modern Warefare 2 is to Medal of Honor as God of War 3 is to Dante's Inferno.
  • drunation - March 12, 2010 5:38 a.m.

    love to see the articles from the us staff
  • Cwf2008 - March 12, 2010 3:21 a.m.

    Seeing as MW2 is slowly taking days off my life, i hope this game is good
  • cheezyphil - March 12, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    2 development teams on one game? This could potentially make this game AWESOme or make it totally suck. On one hand, AWEsome: it doesn't stretch the two dev groups thin, meaning they got tie to flesh and make each of their parts awesome. On the other hand, totally suck: They could end up making the game completely clashing and incoherent, resulting in massive bugs and other crap that kills the game. We'll see.
  • whiteknight1981 - March 12, 2010 2:55 a.m.

    Ugh, why can't we talk about a "me-too" game without de-evolving into "Uh, duhhhhhh, me game better than yours" moronic arguments? MW2 had big explosions, easy to pick up gameplay, and a WTF plot. Operation Flashpoint had balls-to-the-wall realism. We can have both games in existance without saying one or the other sucks! Perhaps this new MoH can bridge the gap between realism and "OMG did I just blow up that whole prison?!" gameplay. Personally, my interest is now much more piqued than it was when I saw the ZZ top cover on Game Informer. Thanks Radar writers for helping us get excited over the stuff that's worth getting excited about! Recaptcha: paradox best Now that is a fitting captcha
  • Tochy - March 12, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    eh, ill stick with operation flashpoint @penguinsrule3:MW2 was an EPIC fail
  • aberkromby - March 12, 2010 12:53 a.m.

    @penguinsrule3: Everbody does balls out action better. Have you noticed how cheap all the thrills are in MW2 (snowmobile sequence)? Infinity ward traded basic logic for thrills, and failed. It's a polished game, but the polish is only surface-deep... in fact, I'd go as far as to say it stops at the graphics. That said, I'm REALLY looking forward to a realistic modern combat game. Since the failure of the last socom game, and the disgrace that is the modern warfare series (BBC2 didnt quite nail the realism, either), and also the skepticism surrounding six days in fallujah, I've been waiting game to get it right.
  • RedOutlive10 - March 12, 2010 12:47 a.m.

    Not sure, I don't like how familiar Modern Warfare became, and same with all war based games... It would be nice to have a more original approach, fictional countries, and whatnot, leaves the developers with more options and honestly, there are already 486749067 games about how's war nowadays. I doubt EA can pull something more popular than CoD, maybe if DICE helps, the only devs from EA with any credibility to me are BioWare and DICE.
  • penguinsrule3 - March 12, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    I still don't know. Looks way to much like MW2 from what I've seen, but it's looking better. As for all you MW2 haters, STFU, yeah it can be cheap at times and the story was insane but it was still fun and it's still a great game. No one does balls out action quite Infinity Ward can.
  • mentalityljs - March 12, 2010 12:04 a.m.

    The one thing I always thought MoH lacked was balls-out maturity and immersiveness. I know they focus on realism, but there's gotta be some connection made between the player and the character. If they can nail that, then i'll drop the dough.
  • ZuluSierraPapa - March 11, 2010 11:58 p.m.

    "It's a more realistic scenario" Glad to hear it. I loved MW2, but I was definitely disappointed in how extreme and exaggerated the setting was. I like being an almost nameless soldier doing grunt work at the least and an elite military operator at the most. I felt too much like a super hero in MW2.

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