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Interview- Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Interview- Medal of Honor: Warfighter
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DEVELOPER: Danger Close Games
COMPANY: EA
PLATFORM: Xbox PlayStation PC / Mac
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We speak to Richard Farrelly about the upcoming Medal of Honor game.

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So how will Medal of Honor differ from every other first person shooter out there?

So you know at their core every first person shooter is the same concept, somebody with a gun, moving through an environment, eliminating threats to get to the end of the level, we feel that it's a very important part of making a great shooter and we're very serious about polishing that second and second experience. But as a franchise we need to concentrate on ways of setting ourselves apart in sea of shooters that you're talking about. MOH we have kind of rediscovered our roots in the last when you talk about the reboot, MOH has always been about three things in my head - commitment to authenticity, respect for the soldier and telling the soldiers story from the soldiers point of view and the authenticity thing we have got it in spades now with the unprecidented support that we have got front the operations community globally, we have talked to people all over the world to the point now where we actually hired a former special operator from the US special forces as a full time consultant. But the part that really does separate us from everybody and i don't think that anybody is doing is the third one - telling the soldiers story from the soldiers point of view and i mean that more in the stance of the personal experience, the human experience these guys go through, the last medal of honour we depicted the brotherhood of what these guys do for each other how these guys react to like at the end when rabbit dies, the charge of emotion, the anger the frustration, the will - like this is not finished lets go and make this right, this is how these guys react in that kind of situation when one of their brothers has fallen. This time around we wanted to hit a different angle, some of these guys are older to be at that level in the special forces community you have to have been in for quite a while, these guys have families, wives, kids, they're deployed 300 days out of the year or more. And often times they have to leave at the drop of a hat to leave to god knows where and they can't even tell their spouse where they're going because it's so secret so you can imagine what kind of stress that puts on a wife, husband or family. So we have taken one character from the game preacher who you remember from the last game, he was the quiet one and we wanted to follow that thread throughout the course of the story and see how that resolves at the end.

You were talking about the soldiers and about the stories. My personal opinion - following the story there were times where everything was happening - its more quieter more stealth and a lot more focused - are there more action packed moments in the game where the pace is a little bit faster throughout the game?

Yes and yes - first take a step back the way we approached this overall design of the story of the game and the design of the flow of the game, every previous MOH game has been focused around a single historical event or conflict, the island hopping in the pacific, Afghanistan. This time around we wanted to kind of reflect the changing battle field of you know how we are combating terror in the world today, how the steer one operators have to work, you know after Afghanistan and after Iraq those concentrations of those groups dispersed to the four winds and had nowhere to hide so they went to other countries who are friendly to their cause and operate out of those countries and doing the same thing, and you hear all the time on the recent news over the last couple of years you know of toner cartridges coming out of yemen, navy seals rescuing aid workers in somalia, Abu Saif taking hostages in the Phillipines or blowing up soldiers with explosives, so we wanted to kind of create this game story line based around multiple events that are tied together by a single threat.

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The first trailer you released is in arabic and obviously we are an arabic audience which is quite important, there is a lot of stuff obviously in that region which is controversial, you have done something very interesting in following that story and that threat. Was it a conscious decision to move out of that region completely or was it purely that you wanted to follow the story of all the special forces.

I think it's a little bit of both, obviously we're in a very very concentrated location in the last game and we kind of wanted to offer gamers more of a variety in terms of invionrment but we didn't want to do that for the sake of doing that we wanted it to make sense in the context, you know like i said we are in the business in making historical fiction so to speak and i think that we are changing the concept a little bit now in making in what we are calling plausible fiction where it's like we know where all the data is and we know from just watching the global news and all the news and seeing where all the hotspots in the world are and seeing who all the players are in those conflicts.

Doesn't that leave room from propaganda? I mean one could argue that a game like this taking information from news that works globally could be propaganda driven in the game and isn't there a fear that maybe the line between reality and fiction is so thin that inadvertently you might be giving a political message through the game?

That's certainly not our intention, you know we in fact we strive to do the opposite and we try to take just the facts and we use multiple news sources and we also get data back from our guys, multiple nations and we craft an entertaining game out of it and there it is. This is not a propaganda game, it's nothing like that, you know we use multiple news sources that spend multiple points of view, we have over 2 dozen special operators who have been to these places and done this job and we try to have a fair and balanced approach to that as possible.

It's becoming more and more important to reach audiences that you wouldn't necessarily reach, where does that sit where local globalisation is concerned, will we expect to see the normal kind of western languages of localisation?

I don't think i can even answer that question, I am not keyed into that. it's more of a marketing question. I'm sorry.

Ok. Whats your favourite thing about MOH in this particular instalment of the game, what is your proudest achievement in this game?

I think my favourite thing really is how we are approaching the story and we are really trying to differentiate ourselves from the go out there and shoot the bad guy point of view and trying to make this a human story and try to appeal to gamers on a different level.

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And why did you chose to have the different top tier operatives on the game?

Oh so basically we just wanted to recognise that there are other tier one operatives that operate out of a lot of different countries around the world and yo know we felt that the multiplayer arena was the best place to kind of highlight that, so we made it possible to play 12 special forces operators from 12 different units rather from 10 different nations and we wanted to kinda take it a step further and kind of give gamers the chance to have kind of national pride thing where you can play as your favourite special operator and pit it against whoever your nemeses might be, you know is norway better than sweden, i don't know lets find out and blue on blue game play will allow players to do that in a highly competitive atmosphere, that was kind of inspired by the nature of how tier one operators are and these guys are the top of the top and you know there is probably very few hundred of them in the entire world and they are always striving to be better and they are always being pushed to be better by the guy thats next to them. This guy is trying to shave off a tenth of a second off how long it takes to draw his pistol and then his mate just bests him…well i'm gonna do better than that, so we wanted to kind of bring that mind set into the multiplayer game.

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