Medal of Honor, was no doubt the king of historic first person shooters that made its mark on WW2, before moving to a much more modern setting, uncharted waters for the Medal of Honor games. The brand has a long history of making excellent games. The very first in the series, was written and created by Steven Spielberg, some of you may know him as the director behind the war epic Saving Private Ryan, and his involvement with the Band of Brothers miniseries, all focused on the European theatre of WW2. The games were aiming for authenticity and storytelling, and for the most part they did it successfully.
The series went on an excellent run for around a decade, with Allied Assault receiving universal acclaim to the excellent Frontline on the consoles. To date, the series has a staggering 12 WW2-focused games to its name. Things went to a slowdown as later installments proved.
The developers behind the brilliant games would move on to form another team to create a particular game you might know as Call of Duty, also focused on the war in Europe. This game would go on to be part of the biggest franchise in gaming history. Years later, Call of Duty 4 redefined shooters that rings the start of the move into the modern era of warfare.
In an attempt to get a slice of the pie, an entirely rebranded studio Danger Close Games (previously known as EA LA), stepped up to bring MoH into the present. Of course, none of the original developers was part of it.
It didn’t do very well, nor did the follow up Warfighter. The reboot games weren’t bad in my opinion, as it tried to tell a much more emotional side to a soldier’s story. Either it was bad writing that failed to capture the gamer’s emotions, or more audiences prefer mindless killing and megaton explosions with debris flying everywhere for adrenaline rushes, as opposed to a more emotionally focused shooter. You couldn’t fault the gamers though; Battlefield 3 simply had the larger presence, and Medal of Honor wasn’t sure which audience to cater to and even splitting the online community in the process. Ultimately DICE’s highly anticipated sequel proved much more popular amongst gamers.
EA has both MOH and Battlefield, making two similar games release next to each other concurrently and trying to squeeze in the already crowded market. As of now, Medal of Honor is on a hiatus following the poor performance of both reboot games. Only the Battlefield games offer the serious alternative to Call of Duty. Ironically, modern-era shooters are now getting as stale as back when the WW2 frenzy was. Maybe it’s time for EA to freshen up by going back to the WWII Pacific and European theatres, rendered in the stunning Frostbite engine complete with immersive graphics and sound. Activision has the modern shooter market held firmly as their biggest share, and it’s a wise move for EA to find a place elsewhere special for MoH.
It’s time for EA to decide if the developers should go back and revisit historical warfare or try something refreshing, or just shelve away Medal of Honor permanently before the name gets tarnished even further.
What do you think? Should EA bring the series back in rotation, or should it be kept away as a part of gaming history? I’d like to hear your comments!