Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault
You've Fought Them on the beaches, poked them with your spearhead and chased Jerry right back into the black heart of Nazi Berlin. The European theatre of operations is pretty much 1 sorted-good show old chap. But before you get any ideas of putting your feet up and retiring with a box of cigars, think again - there's a whole other war to take care of on the other side of the world.
Medal Of Honor: Pacific Assault is the freshly unveiled sequel to the world's favourite WWII shooter, Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault. Once again putting you in the shoes of a plucky (though as yet unnamed) US soldier, the new game will take you from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour through such battles as Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal and the liberation of Manila. This time, the Imperial Japanese war machine is viciously cutting its way through South East Asia, fuelled by a blind fanaticism that turns each and every soldier into a fearless kamikaze death machine. It's going to be a very different war one that'll make conflict in Europe look like a Mediterranean holiday.
PC had exclusive access to the Medal Of Honor team in San Francisco, and took the chance to chat with Matt Powers, senior producer on the title, about what we can expect from this massive sequel. It's still Medal Of Honor but it's going to have a very different feel this time round, says Powers. The sense of being in a jungle battle is very different from battling in a city. We want to give that kind of immersion, give you the feeling that the Japanese soldiers could be anywhere. And the way the Japanese fight, as well, is really different. They'll use more camo, trapdoors, and tunnels. You'll be going into tunnel systems to root them out."
Though the game is still in pre-production. the team has a good grip on where it's headed. The idea seems to be to repeat the formula of Allied Assault, giving fans more of what they want, rather than reinventing the wheel. But at the same time, the Pacific setting can't help but produce up a huge number of new gameplay features, weapons and mission objectives.
We're making sure the player recognises the environment as part of the gameplay. It's a big part of the immersion -it's important for making you feel like you're there, continues Powers. But at the same time Medal Of Honor is about the story, about progressing through the war, completing objectives, shooting guys, blowing big stuff up, using cool vehicles -those are the things people expect more out of Medal Of Honor."
Technology Of War
As with Allied Assault and its PlayStation 2 cousin Frontline, Pacific Assault is mirrored by a console version called Rising Sun, but Matt stresses that they will be very different games. We're sharing Pearl Harbour, which is going to be a huge intense battle like the Normandy landing from Allied Assault and we're sharing some of the other islands and battlegrounds too, but we're writing our own design," says Powers. We're also re-writing all our tech for the PC version. Not only because the technology keeps changing, but with the Pacific environment you've got lots of foliage - grasses and plants and trees."
The dense environment means that players will be able to use cover much better, so if you're hidden in the bushes you'll be harder to see, and enemies will miss you more often when they shoot at you. "We're also doing a lot more with lighting, with night missions and flares and so on. Water is a big part of it, everywhere you go you've got rivers, you've got streams and you've got puddles".
As for the firepower, Pacific Assault will see a whole new set of weaponry in the hands of the Allied forces. There's no end of interesting and funky weapons from the Pacific. We're going to have flamethrowers, and even flamethrower tanks - just big tanks with giant flamethrowers coming out of the end," adds Powers.
Pass The Elastoplast
The Medal Of Honor development team is also working towards a more realistic gaming environment, especially with regards to the player, your fellow troops and being injured during a firefight. What we're looking at is more bandaging of wounds. We're trying to get away from having little bits of health everywhere that break the immersion, so instead you call a medic. You push the medic key and on your compass you have a little medic thing appear where he is. You can go find him, or if you wait long enough he'll get to you."
Powers added that Pacific Assault will allow you to carry your fallen comrades, and rescue injured soldiers and squad mates from the clutches of the enemy. If you can lump them back to a medic, or protect them long enough fa one to reach you, then they'll get patched up and be able to fight once again by your side. Medal Of Honor: Pacific Assault is currently scheduled fa a January 2004 release, so watch this space fa more revelations on one of the biggest games of next year.
Download Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode