The next game from Respawn Entertainment is Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a virtual reality shooter that's coming exclusively to Oculus Rift (opens in new tab) (on PC) in 2020. It's also the first new game in the Medal of Honor series since those not-so-great modern versions that came out in 2010 and 2012. Not only does it wisely go back to the World War 2 setting, it even loops in familiar characters from the earliest Medal of Honor games.
That's putting the armored cart before the war horse, though. Mostly, Above and Beyond is about putting you in a room or street or submarine with a few Nazis who very much want you dead. To make them dead first, you'll need to think carefully about your environment as well as your weapons - because there's no reload button. You have to do all the motions yourself using the Rift Touch controllers, all while Nazi jerks are bearing down on your position.
"Medal of Honor is at its best when it's a tactical relationship between you and the bad guy, or you and three bad guys, and you're having to make interesting choices," game director Peter Hirschmann explains in a Q&A session. "It's not about having a thousand guys on screen. We certainly have levels that have spectacle to it, but it's at its best when it's that intimate relationship, when you're very close to bad guys. Especially because you're playing as an OSS [Office of Strategic Services, the WW2-era forerunner of the CIA] operative, you're often going behind enemy lines."
Above and Beyond will stretch across more than 50 levels, from shootouts in occupied villages of France to battles on ships and bombers. Fans of the initial Medal of Honor trilogy - which several members of the Respawn team worked on - will also enjoy the chance to fight alongside the heroes of each game. Military history buffs will be able to get a new perspective on the gravest conflict of human history with new mini-documentaries shot in VR, a followup to the original Medal of Honor's Spielberg-inspired Gallery segments.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is being funded by Oculus (and its parent company Facebook), so don't expect to see it on other VR platforms any time soon. Having played it myself, if any game was going to get me to pick up a Rift next year, this would be a strong contender.
See what else is on the horizon with our list of upcoming games (opens in new tab) for 2019.