It is hard to imagine it today, but there was a time when the military FPS (First Person Shooter) genre was ruled by ‘Medal of Honor’, and not ‘Call of Duty’, like it has been the case for more than a decade now. In fact, by the time ‘Call of Duty’ debuted in 2003, ‘Medal of Honor‘ had enjoyed a head start of four years, during which time the franchise had firmly established itself as the king of world war FPS games.
Of course, that was a long time ago, and the franchise’s fortunes have been decidedly mixed ever since then. After slowly falling behind ‘Call of Duty’ and other competitors throughout the 2000s, the series took a sabbatical of sorts after the failure of 2012’s ‘Medal of Honor: Warfighter’.
Now, nearly eight years after the last game in the franchise, ‘Medal of Honor’ is set to make a comeback with the upcoming ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’. Can the new game awaken the sleeping giant and help it reclaim its place amongst the pantheon of FPS greats? Read on to find out everything we know about ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Plot: What is It About?
First things first, ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ is not a traditional FPS game despite boasting a very traditional lineage. In fact, the new game will be a VR (Virtual Reality) exclusive experience, making it one of the very few truly AAA VR first-person shooters on the market.
The announcement blog post for ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ describes it as follows:
“Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is an action-packed and incredibly immersive VR experience set in World War II, where you step into the boots of an agent of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in war-torn Europe. A deep single-player campaign takes you through historic events on land, air, and sea, sabotaging Nazi bases, subverting enemy plans, aiding the French Resistance, and much, much more.”
The plotline for ‘‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ looks to be centered around World War II, which is a rather familiar setting both for the franchise as well as the genre. More specifically, the game will focus on the Western European theater and will involve various missions across France, Norway, and more iconic WW II fronts. You play as a member of the Allies in the attritional struggle against the Nazis.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Gameplay: What to Expect?
Given that ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ is a VR game, it won’t be using many of the standard FPS mechanics, at least not without heavy modifications. You move your character using the thumbsticks on the VR touch controller, while other movements such as ducking and leaning must be performed physically. You can even knock out enemies with your bare hands, which I imagine could be a rather visceral experience.
The gunplay is aided by tracer rounds to help pinpoint enemies, and you can choose from a variety of different guns including sniper rifles, shotguns, and even the iconic M1 Garand. Each action such as aiming, shooting and reloading takes up an enhanced sense of urgency since you have to perform them physically. For example, reloading must be performed by manually clicking out the old magazine and then physically picking up and slotting a new cartridge into the gun.
Of course, military FPS games these days are just as much about the multiplayer as they are the single players, and the good news is that ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ will feature a competitive multiplayer mode in full VR. There are some games in the market right now that offer a fairly decent competitive military FPS experience in VR such as ‘Pavlov VR’, but this would be the first time a high profile AAA FPS is jumping on the bandwagon.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Developers: Who Are the People Behind the Game?
‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ is being developed by California based American video game development studio Respawn Entertainment. The studio was founded in 2010 by Jason West and Vince Zampella, co-founders and ex-employees of the legendary game studio Infinity Ward (the company which created and continues to develop games for the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise). Respawn Entertainment was acquired by EA (Electronic Arts) in 2017, who is also publishing the game.
Respawn Entertainment is best known for games such as ‘Titanfall 2’, ‘Apex Legends’ and ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Release Date: When and Where Can I Play the It?
Although we do not have a concrete release date for ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ yet, the game has been confirmed to be arriving sometime in 2020. Currently, the game has been announced exclusively for the Oculus Rift platform on PC (Microsoft Windows).
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Trailer:
You can watch the trailer for ‘Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’ right here.
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