Military games are all fairly similar in that you play some dude with a bunch of guns versus a lot of other virtual dudes with guns… you’ve all got infinite lives and a lot of ammo and you shoot each other and it’s fun. But real war isn’t fun, and it has consequences. In the next Medal of Honor game, subtitled “Warfighter”, the emotional impact of war will be a key feature.
Warfighter will offer lots of fun close-quarters combat instead of wide, outdoor battlefield fighting, but the thing that will set it apart is that the game will emphasis the human side of warfare.
The first trailer, below, just shows off the terrorist killing, wall-exploding adrenaline soaked fun of many military FPSs, minus the things like a wife wondering when or if you’re ever coming home:
What I heard was the voice of a woman, itself a rarity in military shooters. This was the voice of the wife of the main character, Preacher, the playable main character in this ripped-from-the-headlines adventure of top-tier military personnel fighting terrorists across the world.
We didn’t see the wife that night, not before the game demo flowed into the standard, hectic, amazingly-well-rendered gun battles you’re used to seeing from big-budget shooters. We just heard her, calling from home, despairing that Preacher was gone so often that he hardly knew their kids. It sounded like the marriage was falling apart.
“I would love to tell you all about the phone call,” the game’s producer Greg Goodrich told me, “That human side is very real, and it’s very prevalent in the game.”
The personal lives of Preacher and his main brothers-in-arms may be part of the game’s story, but the game’s action is what Goodrich and the game’s creators were most prepared to emphasize that day: how the game is based on close-in combat, to distinguish it from the expansive battles of EA’s other big shooter series, Battlefield; how the game’s new graphics engine lets pieces of the rooms you shoot in chip away. The phone call is not featured in the first trailer released for the game.
Why exclude the most famous example of what you’re basing your game on? I didn’t get it. Goodrich: “I really can’t comment on it. It’s one of those areas I’d just rather not comment on right now. I would just say it’s just not our story to tell.”
I didn’t care much about the shooting, even though that is where the game part of this game is at.
I wanted to know more about Preacher and his wife. Goodrich gave me a little more: “Clearly they’ve reached a junction in their relationship where she’s like, you’re gone 300 days out of the year or you’re deployed overseas or in training. She’s saying, ‘I am trying to raise this family and I need help.’ Clearly, there’s struggle there and they have a choice to make. Clearly, Preacher is a fighter. He doesn’t want to give up. That is a whole other layer to this game and a storyline that will become more evident.”