Gaming

First details of Medal Of Honor: Warfighter

Isabela City, the capital of Philippines island province Basilan, lies flooded and in ruins after a devastating typhoon struck the area. In the aftermath, separatist militia group Abu Sayyaf used the confusion to seize control of the city. People have died. Hostages have been taken.

But all is not lost. A unit of the US Navy Seals’ elite Tier 1 soldiers have been deployed to infiltrate the capital building and rescue them. Then something goes wrong…

This, thankfully, is not us reporting on real events. Instead (if the picture failed to give it away), it’s the first footage we were shown from Medal Of Honor: Warfighter. In fact, it’s the first footage anyone’s been shown.

The game is immediately impressive. Improving on the technology developed for Battlefield 3, wood splinters when shot, water moves realistically and fire looks burn-yourself authentic. The fight through the flooded capital building is as much about tactics and teamwork as it is about reaction-based shooting. The squad can breach hidden rooms to outflank enemy soldiers, and as you do so you’ve got a decision to make: can you simply wipe out all life with grenades or do you need to use a flash bang, keeping the hostages alive, but with the added risk of a gun fight to follow?

On rescuing them, the next stage is reaching the extraction point. This is done using speedboats to navigate the submerged city’s streets, with enemies firing and buildings collapsing around you. It’s an on-rails section that takes you from the capital building, through the devastated residential areas and out to the open ocean where choppers are waiting.

In all, we saw 15 minutes of footage, but we were told much more. Previous Medal Of Honor games were set in identifiable historical battles — from the D-Day assault of MOH: Allied Assault to the recreation of Operation Anaconda in 2010’s reboot — so this is the first time the events are fictionalised. However, they remain based on real-life threats — specifically the use of tough-to-detect explosive PETN by terrorist organisations around the world.

There’s also a hint of what’s to come in multiplayer. Instead of only being able to play as two nationalities (ostensibly the good guys or the bad guys), there will be 12 units to choose from, including the SAS, German KSK and Australian SASR.

So, if you feel the Polish GROM hasn’t been given its due in video games, you can rectify that. And not before time.

Medal Of Honor: Warfighter will be released in late 2012

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