I grew up with Medal of Honor, specifically Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Medal of Honor: Frontline, those games including the original Call of Duty’s, pre-Modern Warfare were my middleschool games and specifically those games embodied what I would later be interested in as the years passed and the generations came and went, those games cemented the idea of Military Shooters and First Person Shooter videogames into my head and hence, the reason why I keep enjoying Military games and First Person Shooters to this day, in 2013, I was shocked to hear that EA had cancelled the Medal of Honor series, the series that I grew up with and the series that would later come to define me in my gaming tastes and habits. I was displeased but not outright anger but displeased. I still want a Medal of Honor game.
Sure, Warfighter was a complete disaster of a game. It was an obvious miss and despite the game not selling enough or people like me not understanding what the fuck the game was about, the game failed because it put “combat authenticity” first was ludicrous, I suspected that Seal Team Six or Delta Force didn’t fight with one man blasting his way through a mission until a scripted event came. I suspect that it wasn’t like that by any stretch of the imagination.
I wasn’t pleased with Warfighter, neither were the critics: The score’s for Warfighter were terrible, they sat at a 4-7 range even IGN gave it a 4/10 and there was no ambiguity over Warfighter being “decent”, it was outright terrible. I wasn’t pleased with the game, I found it to be awful and everything was just outright bad: Warfighter had deep themes, but it failed to resonate and hence the story was outright awful, the script, the dialogue, the missions, everything about it was horrible until the other day, when I sat down and typed “MOH: AA: How it gave Birth to the Modern Military Shooter.” and that’s when I decided to type this article up, I still want a Medal of Honor game.
I would love to play another Medal of Honor game, one that comes back from the ashes and returns to the setting that made Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor and keep it there where it belongs, it never belonged in the present day, it always belonged in World War II. Medal of Honor has potential and it has the potential to return to the era and redeem itself from the modern day installments.
A core element of the older Medal of Honor games and to an extent, the 2010 reboot was that it presented a story with different viewpoints ( in this case of the WW2 era ones, it told the story of different soldiers through different standalone games.), and it’s in this that there’s so much room to ask multiple questions about WW2, to have different viewpoints, to pit thesis against some sort of anti-thesis. Warfighter and the 2010 reboot had a message of “War is Great.” , peppered with some sort of hatred for the enemy side. Imagine a Medal of Honor WW2 reboot that takes the themes and the best parts of Battlefield 1 and incorporate them into WW2: You could have an OSS Agent, A French Resistance Member, a Paratrooper both in the 82nd and 101st Airborne, and a US Marine fighting in the Pacific or you could just have a single playable character fighting in France or in the Pacific with a well-written, emotional, dark, and deep story that takes place during a single battle in a certain year like The Battle for the Philippines in 1942 for example, not only does it build his character but you understand what’s happening and what’s going on. There’s no “correct” perspective or side, a game that sees soldiers or a soldier being challenged to their ideas and there’s no moralizing, no statements, no message that needs to be driven home, instead what you’re presented with is questions, provoking scenes, and incredible doubt similar to the Brothers in Arms franchise by Gearbox or Spec Ops: The Line, just without the anti-war message that it had, or even Battlefield 1’s anthology campaign.
And certainly there would need to be cutscenes involved, but not a heap of them like how they were in Warfighter. Warfighter’s cutscenes were extremely moronic and sycophantic view of a soldier’s family life and what his family goes through everytime he’s away fighting, it made the game more stupid then it already was, it was somewhat too pretentious and too fake . The early Medal of Honor games, especially Allied Assault told it’s story through gameplay instead of having cutscenes. Simply letting you have the imagination with some cutscenes is more then enough then let you feel like you’re going through something, rather then you going with it on a rail.
The original Medal of Honor’s including Frontline and Allied Assault were classic games that didn’t have many cutscenes and didn’t try to tell a “very deep story” that Warfighter did, those games became one of the greatest WW2 games of the past two generations and are still relevant today in the way we play videogames, and to see a game of that nature again instead of seeing whatever Warfighter was would be great again, to see a Medal of Honor return to the roots and become timeless would be great. I think it was a major problem that Warfighter was influenced and revolved around those still serving in active duty and in the end, it didn’t do much and it just came off as pretentious and on the nose a little bit.
In fact, Warfighter should’ve honored the men still in active duty much like the original games that made some sort of homage to those that served in WW2. I liked Warfighter’s tone which was semi-dark and gritty but it didn’t pay off and that became something problematic, it’s a shame that Danger Close had to make a game like that and with nothing being paid off by the end.
It’s a shame that EA decided to shutter the franchise and keep it hiding, even after 4 years after it’s cancellation, I’m still thinking about Medal of Honor. I think EA should at least give it another chance and redeem itself from Warfighter, and have a chance to make it right. Medal of Honor needs a new direction and return itself to that place where we all remembered it from: A place where games like Allied Assault and Frontline pushed the medium forward and became timeless and something quite special.