It’s always polarizing, yet intriguing when a beloved franchise gets revived from the dead. A good comeback can introduce newer generations to a well-established franchise of the previous decade. On the other hand, it can also lead to a disaster if not done correctly. So imagine my surprised face when I woke up to the news of a new Medal of Honor game. Let’s look at this series once again, and dive deeper into the upcoming release.
The First Victory
World War II has always been a welcome staple in the video game market. Whether you were on the side of the USA or fighting for the Motherland, everybody agreed on one thing – killing Nazis made for an immersive experience. It also gave a more cinematic approach to video games. Being a soldier fighting on the front lines truly felt like you were in a Hollywood blockbuster. Medal of Honor was one of these games and the first one of its kind.
Inspired by major WWII movies at the time, Steven Spielberg decided to write the story for the game. Putting you in the shoes of Lieutenant James Steven Patterson, players embarked on dangerous missions across the enemy line. The premise was simple, yet nothing has been done like that before. The legendary director continued to write for two more sequels, all releasing on the Playstation and PC. The franchise received critical praise and was in the spotlight as the definitive WWII FPS.
A couple of years later, rival developers and publishers hoped on the train, pushing their wartime shooters. The biggest among them was Infinity Ward, who boldly answered to Medal of Honor with Call of Duty. The Call of Duty franchise became the new king of the hill and established a new milestone that future war shooters must follow. A huge shadow was cast over EA and the Medal of Honor franchise needed something new and fresh.
The Rise and Fall
By this point, the video game market was oversaturated with WWII titles, of multiple genres. Despite this, EA didn’t neglect their franchise and pushed it forward into a three-way brawl. The competitors, Battlefield and Call of Duty. Call of Duty went for a more modern setting, with Modern Warfare in 2004. It was the perfect time to release a new entry, one that would be a comeback for the developers.
The series still retained its setting but with newer mechanics. Medal of Honor Frontlines and Airborn received universal praise and put the franchise back on the top spot for a short period. However, with more modern settings introduced, a demand for more innovation was inevitable. The last two outings aimed for a more modern setting, trying to overthrow Infinity Ward’s titan. Medal of Honor (2010) received mix reception, while Warfighter was straight out hated even by die-hard fans. The franchise was purchased by Respawn, and seemingly the doors closed for any potential future outings.
That brings us to the current year. Respawn Entertainment reopened the once buried coffin and decided to resurrect it. Going back to its roots, it will once again go with the WWII theme. The major change this time around is that it will be all in VR. It looks like the Oculus has been used to its fullest potential. The game invokes the same cinematic feeling the old games were known for.
However, the Oculus has been experimented on before, and there have been hits and misses. We hope that is not the case when it comes to this game. We did notice that it’s also going for a more light-hearted approach, and we honestly welcome it. In an industry that is populated by generic shooters, it’s nice to see something familiar yet new. Keep an eye out for Medal of Honor Above and Beyond more in 2020.