EA is bringing back the Medal Of Honor franchise, with some of the original developers and some very advanced looking VR gameplay.
There’s little evidence of it nowadays but back in the early 2000s it felt like every second video game was set during the Second World War – and it was all because of one franchise: Medal Of Honor.
The original Medal Of Honor was created in 1999 for the original PlayStation, partly at the behest of Steve Spielberg as a thematic tie-in to Saving Private Ryan from a year earlier.
It was a huge hit and a few years later many of the developers involved went on to create Call Of Duty, which started as a serious, PC-only historical shooter. And now many of those same people work at Titanfall and Apex Legends creator Respawn Entertainment.
And in the fact that EA bought Respawn a few years ago and it now seems inevitable that they’d end up back on the series, although the VR aspect is a surprise.
The last Medal Of Honor game before this was in 2012, when the series attempted – and failed – to adopt a new modern day setting.
Above And Beyond is back to the Second World War and casts you as an American soldier working at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and will involve a variety of undercover missions helping the French Resistance.
That involves a wide variety of different locations, including towns, villages, palatial residences, snowy mountaintops, and Nazi airbases.
This is the first time EA has showed any interest in VR since the excellent X-Wing Mission in Star Wars: Battlefront II, but it will only be for Oculus Rift headsets on PC – not PlayStation VR.
That means Respawn has been able to go to town in terms of the level of interactivity, making good use of the more advanced Oculus controllers to let you catch grenades in mid-air, swim, and climb.
Above And Beyond was announced at the Oculus Connect 6 conference last night, where it was also revealed that new headsets could perform hand-tracking without any additional hardware – but there’s no indication if that will be used by Respawn.
Although the game is primarily single-player there will also be ‘unique multiplayer modes and features’ that will be detailed later.
Medal Of Honor: Above And Beyond will be released sometime next summer.
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