Medal of Honor – first look

We imagine the people who qualify to be Tier 1 Ops have lots of medals. Enough to use them as shuriken, at least. They’re so skilled and sneaky we’d never heard of them, which just makes Green Berets and Commandos look rubbish.

These guys are the best of the best, the elite storm troopers of freedom, born to be inserted into dangerous locales around the world, kill some goons and be back home for dinner and the odd spot of consultancy on EAs’ game projects, such as the relaunched Medal of Honor. Which is what we’ve finally begun to discuss.

It’s been a long time since we were delighted by Allied Assault. Far too long. Since then, all sorts of pretenders have approached the Medal of Honor throne, to tip the ailing series onto the floor, plump the cushions a bit and so usurp its place at the helm of World War II shooters. We’ve even had people being mown down in an airport with barely even enough grenades to do adequate damage to the civilians. That’s not at all honourable and it’s about time someone did something about it. EA and their Tier 1 Ops buddies are doing that.

The relaunched Medal of Honor is goingto be all about authenticity and respect for the soldier, say EA. So it’s unlikely we’re going to see any bad Americans in this then, especially as it’s set in Afghanistan. So EA are perhaps wise in steering clear of the controversy bandwagon. Making light of business types and holidaymakers being butchered in a fictional airport is one thing, but it’s an entirely different kettle of fish to twang the public’s jangled nerves about the current conflict in the Middle-East.

The real Tier 1 special ops guys, drafted in as consultants, won’t stand for any disrespect of the armed forces. Scenes have apparently already been cut or altered because of this, specifically one referring to the death of a soldier. Also they’re refusing to reveal genuine military tactics (or, at least, some of them) because they refuse to compromise the position of individuals still serving in dangerous areas.

The game itself is, and let’s be frank about this, another Modern Warfare 2. Certainly EA have already spoken about how there are going to be lots of scripted moments, like when your allies stack up around a door and kick it in. That’ll all be scripted, at least until the wooden door splinters open and you get to shoot some terrorist screwballs. We don’t know if the shooty bit will be slow motion like in MW2, though.