Check out these 10 commandments out Epic win.

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Check out these 10 commandments out Epic win.

Post by S7 Smack on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:32 pm

Well I know I'm looking forward to this game but here are the 10 commandments of MOH and I got to say #6 and #10 are my favorites, post your opinions.


The Ten Commandments of Medal of Honor
The core tenets behind the series reboot.
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It's going to be a battle royale later this year in the first person shooter space. The Call of Duty series will continue its move away from World War II with the Cold War setting of Black Ops, while Medal of Honor is getting a reboot and moving into modern day, with Afghanistan its one and only setting. Both games cast the player as members of highly trained, top level special forces squads, with Call of Duty making players a Black Ops soldier, and Medal of Honor giving players a window into the world of Tier 1 operators and U.S. Rangers.

Both games are looking great, and you can read IGN's recent Call of Duty: Black Ops preview here, while this article will focus on Medal of Honor. What do you need to know? We were recently shown a couple of levels from the game and sat in on a roundtable with EA LA's Greg Goodrich, the game's Executive Producer.

We've put it all together to create The Ten Commandments of Medal of Honor for the single player portion of the game.




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#1.Thou Shalt Honour The Soldier

"Medal of Honor has always been about the soldier," Goodrich says. "It's told the soldier's story, and it's not a game about a war; the war is just a backdrop of telling these guys' story." To that end, players won't have the politics of the situation rammed down their throats. Instead, the game is designed to be a high octane insight into what the operatives involved in these missions might go through.

The team at EA LA has been involved with the real-life soldiers at quite an intimate level, to the point where the soldiers are giving the team notes on what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong. As you might imagine, it's a delicate balance to make the experience feel authentic at the same time as serving the gameplay. One example of this was the Tier 1 mission we were shown, which the team recorded to DVD and sent to the Tier 1 guys to ask if they were getting the dialogue between the soldiers right. The reply was that "in that mission we wouldn't say a thing. We wouldn't say a word to each other. We know exactly what we're doing, we would know, it would have been rehearsed". That, naturally, isn't an option. As Greg put it "I've got to say something in a game [or] people are going to think it's a bug, right?", so the solution was to ask the soldiers what they were thinking while walking through the hills, and that's what inspired the dialogue during the sequence.


He's not dead, just catching a little shut eye. Right?

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#2.Tier 1 Shall Kick Ass

Players will assume the role of several characters in several units across the course of Medal of Honor, but a fair chunk of the game will be played as Tier 1 operators. These guys are "the more deliberate, more aggressive, precision instrument of war... it's essentially the highest level a special forces operator can get to," according to Goodrich.

As mentioned above, the team has been working with real Tier 1 soldiers, and have had an unprecedented level of access. Gaining their trust took time, however. "It was a long process," Greg says, "because you can't just go and knock on their door and say 'hi, we want to tell your story!' because their natural instinct is just to walk the other way from any media. No one's ever embedded with them when they're deployed; they're just doing their thing, so it was a long process to gain their trust. We brought them out, showed them what we were doing, got them slowly interested. It took, probably about three or four months."

What was the turning point? "There was a moment that we had in the game that was touching a little too close to home for them... like I said we do a lot of research and we hear a lot of stories, and it didn't really sit well, and so we pulled it. We cut it from the game. And that showed how we were willing to work with them, and honour their community without betraying their community, and so at that point they really got involved with the team."

What does this mean in gameplay terms? The Tier 1 guys are the soldiers who "go in in indigenous clothing, learn the terrain, vet the locals, get the intel and do their thing. Tier 1 guys aren't noticed." The mission we were shown had the squad operating under cover of darkness, moving through the mountains hunting Al Qaeda, clearing enemy gun emplacements (with a little help from an AC-130) and taking out a convoy of trucks to clear the way forward for the U.S. Rangers. It's tense cat and mouse stuff that periodically explodes into precision violence. That said, the Tier 1 operatives aren't always about what EA LA calls "quiet action", but we'll have to wait until we've seen more to find out what other Tier 1 mission briefs will be included in the game.


Robots in disguise. Sorry, I meant, Tier 1 in disguise.

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#3.The U.S. Army Rangers Shall Also Kick Ass

The U.S. Army Rangers are known as "the Sledgehammer"; they're the overwhelming force that goes in with a show of military might to clear out entrenched enemy positions. The mission we were shown actually followed directly on from the Tier 1 mission above, and saw the squad working its way through crumbling mud-brick houses and ramshackle villages, then along a path at the base of a narrow rocky ridge, where enemies could be lurking in any number of positions overlooking the trail. You really get a sense of just why it's so hard to fight insurgents in this country – the terrain is rocky and treacherous, and full of potential ambush points, while the enemies themselves practically melt into the environment.

Mind you, the Rangers do have a few tricks up their sleeve. The squad sees a gun emplacement up ahead which starts firing on their position, so the player character provides covering fire while his squad move in closer, marking the target with a red flare. The next moment a jet streaks across the sky and blows the position to kingdom come. The explosion rocks the earth and bits of debris start falling all around, while a wave of dust sweeps across the landscape, leaving the squad peering into a murky orange haze. It gradually clears, with one of the player's squad-mates commenting that they should check their guns, as the dust will gunk them up. This sequence in particular really highlighted that the game will have plenty of marquee moments to punctuate the involving gunplay.


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#4.Thou Shalt Be Realistic, But Not Too Realistic

As mentioned earlier, the team is trying to find a delicate balance between authenticity and gameplay, but there's another thing they have to keep in mind, and that's ensuring they're not portraying certain things too accurately. The Tier 1 soldiers aren't just giving them notes about how to make the game more believable, but also on what not to include. After all, they have to assume that their enemies are going to be checking out this game, so for – say – a breach and clear move, EA LA can't show exactly how a Tier 1 squad would do it – who would be standing where and so forth. It's an interesting situation – realistic, but not too realistic, spectacular, but within the realms of plausibility, authentic, but playable.

Mind you, while the team can't be too exact in showing some things, there are other areas where they can go to town. The Tier 1 mission we were shown, for instance "is based on something that actually had happened, or very similar to it, and built using hundreds and hundreds of photographs that were given to us of that very mountain."


A pretty realistic rendition of an AC-130 mowing down enemy gun emplacements.

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#5.Thou Shalt Have Incredible Sound Design

One of the things that really leapt out at us during the demo levels was just how much the sound design brings to the game. Sure, we're all used to positional audio paired with gut-wrenching explosions and crisp gunfire, but Medal of Honor's audio does a great job reinforcing the character of the landscape. Most of the sequences we saw were in rocky, desolate environments, and the audio really helped bring that to life - every sound pinged off the rocks around and felt as though it was bouncing through the ravines and across the valleys. While the gunfights sounded great, however, it was the big explosions and jets blazing across the sky that had the greatest impact, with the sound seemingly reverberating through the landscape for seconds in their wake. No wonder it's so good really, as one of the senior audio directors has worked on every single Medal of Honor to date



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#6.Thy Graphics Shall Make Thine Eyes Bleed

Medal of Honor runs on a highly modified version of Unreal Engine 3, with EA LA's own lighting model and an updated renderer. The result is impressive, with great range. From traversing a mountain trail with a gorgeous mountain vista in the background, to fighting tooth and nail in a village, dust kicked up by shells and explosions filling the air. From the moody light cast by flickering fires at night to a hazy morning sky, the sun rising on the horizon, a glaring ball. Special mention must also go to the character models, which are richly detailed and believable, with self shadowing adding an extra layer of realism. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the lead development platform is PS3, and from what we've seen, the team are making it sing.


Who'd have thought dust-filled, craggy rock terrain could look this appealing?

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#7.Thy Shall Reboot the Series While Staying True To It

What does this mean? It means you'll be able to do cool things like slide to cover, and you'll have modern shooter supports like aim assist, but at the same time some of the gameplay staples return, like peek and lean and going prone. It's Medal of Honor, but for the modern age, in other words. There'll also be nods to previous titles in the series. "We're doing some very cool things with Jimmy Patterson's grandson," says Greg.

Another gameplay element is that you'll be able to get ammo from squad mates if you're running low (although each soldier carries a finite amount), and to help make the experience more immersive the HUD will disappear when not necessary. If you want to bring it back up, just hit down on the D-pad and everything will pop back up – objective markers, ammo count, etc.


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#8.Thy Story Shall Weave Together Multiple Perspectives

While the nominal lead character will be Rabbit, a Tier 1 operative, Medal of Honor will focus on quite a few characters, whose tales interweave. "It is a single story, it's a story about Rabbit, and everybody else is supporting," says Greg. "It's like a relay race –when runners do a relay race, they hand off the baton, and so that's how it happens in our game. Every mission leads to the next, every player that you play leads to the next one, and they hand it off. So we're not jumping around all over the place. You are in Afghanistan, in a single 12 mile radius... the main thread is Rabbit, but every playable character has a big role to play and is a big part of that storyline."

So far the team has spoken about three of the playable characters - Rabbit (Tier 1 – AFO Neptune), Dante Adams (first Ranger battalion) and an Apache pilot, but there will be others. Watch this space. And in the meantime, why not check out the latest trailer?


Dust brothers.

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#9.Afghanistan Is More Varied Than You Might Think

A game set entirely in one 12 mile radius in Afghanistan? "The cool thing about that," comments Greg, "is that I think people expect Afghanistan to be a dry, arid, colourless desert terrain, and those places do exist... but Afghanistan is a very diverse place, so there are lush green river valleys, snowy mountain peaks, squalid city slums – we have all of that right there." We've only seen a small slice so far, so we'll have to take his word for it at this moment.

The team isn't just working to deliver variety in environments, but in gameplay as well. "Right when the player says 'gee, I've seen this before' and are about to put down the controller," Greg says, "you throw them something new. You differ up the environment, you differ up terrain, the lighting, the time of day, the mission set, the pacing... we have different characters with different types of mission profiles, so when you get inside the Apache it's really different... we mix it up."


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#10.Practice Makes Perfect

The team at EA LA have taken a great approach to ensuring Medal of Honor is as polished as it can be. Essentially, they worked to get the game "stood up" as early as possible, so they could view it as a whole, instead of a number of connecting parts. This meant that they had the entire game playable from start to finish last December, giving them time to "find the fun" and "the things that were broke and fix them, and then find the things that were working really really well and exploit the heck out of them."

Greg and the team are very aware how much this series means to gamers, and how stiff the competition is. "In this genre, you've got to show up with quality," he says, "...if you don't, especially during a reboot on a major franchise... there's no point showing up at all. So we decided that we were going to double down, make the investment. That's why DICE is also involved on the multiplayer side of things. We have two fully staffed teams focusing on either half of what they do best... it's the right way to reboot a franchise. It's the right way to get to quality. It's certainly not the most economical way of doing it, but it shows that there's a commitment on the side of Electronic Arts, that they care about this franchise."


By the time Medal of Honor ships in October, EA LA will have the single player game exactly where they want it.

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Re: Check out these 10 commandments out Epic win.

Post by S7 Coolhand on Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:14 pm

I'd like to know what exactly the Tier 1 guys had issues with on number 2. Must have been some gruesome soldier's death, or maybe cowardice or something. Would be interesting to know.

Good read.

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Re: Check out these 10 commandments out Epic win.

Post by S7 Smack on Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:45 pm

I was wondering the same thing I wish they told us but left it out had to be something our armed forces would not have been to pleased about lol. But honestly the attention this game is getting is unheard of for a MOH. I truly believe they're trying to go all out with this reboot of the franchise, I've never seen EA go hard on a MOH game like they are now. I hope we are not disappointed with end results cause it totally sound like a great experience

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Re: Check out these 10 commandments out Epic win.

Post by S7 K1ll3rKlown on Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:03 pm

There are somethings that happen within a fire team, squad, platoon, company, battalion...that are simply not meant to be in the public eye. But anytime you invite outsiders into your circle of trust they see things that they want to immediately "share with the world" and say I bet you didn't know they do this? Good or bad, ugly or tragic it's something that should only be known to the few within that circle.

Case in point, there was a company in Vietnam known for cutting off and collecting the ears and eyeballs of their victims. That story wasn't known to the public until certain people became aware and made the US view the troops as animals. Then you get the "baby killer" chants going. Spitting on them when they return etc. That US Marine Corps unit was stripped of it's colors and to this day wear all black.

.....I'll say no more.

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What no 11th

Post by S7 Bullet on Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Thou shall be a 360 BETA

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Re: Check out these 10 commandments out Epic win.

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