Electronic Arts has just announced that it is bringing back the Medal of Honor series, which has been laying dormant since the release of the rather good but overlooked Airborne. The new game is set to take the player to the battlefields of Afghanistan and focus on the actions of Tier 1 Operators, the tough guys who are conducting most of the Special Operation missions in the country.
The single player campaign is created by EALA and the multiplayer element is being put together by DICE. The release date will probably be set for sometime late in 2010, putting the game in direct competition with the new Call of Duty videogame, which is set to be created by Treyarch and is rumored to move to a Vietnam or other Cold War setting.
The move was, obviously, a direct result of two things: the incredible popularity of Modern Warfare and its sequel and the financial problems Electronic Arts has been having with its strategy of pushing new intellectual property rather than offering annual installments of established series. But Electronic Arts cannot simply serve gamers a reheated and modernized Medal of Honor and hope to have the same success as Modern Warfare. It needs to create something different, touch on some other need of the modern first person shooter interested gamer.
Modern Warfare 2 was widely panned for the shortness of its single player game and for the lack of sense of the narrative thread. Can EALA and DICE create an experience longer than ten hours and coherent throughout? DICE has some experience with shooters and Electronic Arts can certainly muster the talent required to put together a modern day Afghanistan story that is tough, touching and a bit sour on the military life. It might not be the Citizen Kane of videogames but a new Medal of Honor might hit it big if it manages to be something like The Platoon of gaming.
Weekend Reading: Medal of Honor and Hope
A rival of Modern Warfare
... so hot right now