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Medal of Honor game changers

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The first-person shooter isn’t exactly what you’d describe as a rare breed. A quick glance down the release schedule reveals (at a rough estimate) 324 new titles due before Christmas. Standing out from the “me too” crowd is tough, but Medal Of Honor appears to have cracked it with these innovations…

● Unlike most games, which are based on fictional or long-resolved wars, Medal Of Honor is based on real events from the current conflict in Afghanistan. It’s a risk, but executive producer Greg Goodrich worked closely with the elite Tier One soldiers to guarantee that the game is “authentic and pays tribute to the sacrifices they’ve made”.

● Shooters in the past have varied the single-player campaign with different characters. The idea is nothing new. But rather than just throw up the same basic soldier with a different accent, Medal Of Honor offers the gamer three distinct play styles — the ‘precision instrument’ of the expert Tier One soldiers; the brute, ‘sledgehammer’ force of the US Army rangers, and aerial missions as an Apache pilot.

● To ensure dirt-under-your-fingers realism, the makers pored over hundreds of photographs of the Shahi Kot valley in Afghanistan, the 12km2 area where the game is set. The Taliban enemies also speak in accurate regional accents and use genuine Taliban tactics — like unleashing a fear-inducing scream as they attack.

● Not only do modern games need a lengthy single-player campaign, but addictive online multiplayer is also essential. Instead of stretching resources, and to keep quality high at its Danger Close studio, EA split the work and enlisted multiplayer expert DICE (the team responsible for the Battlefield games) for the online component.

Medal Of Honor is released on 15 October on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC

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