What was Medal of Honor?
The Historical Context of Medal of Honor 2010
The Hype for Medal of Honor
I think the gaming community knew that the 2010 reboot for the MoH franchise was going to be different than the COD or Battlefield games of the time just by the marketing strategy alone. Unlike those other shooter games, MoH 2010 adverts, trailers, and teasers were all selling the idea of "Tier-One" and how warfare had changed in Afghanistan from conflicts before.Trailers showed us taking control of elite operators, driving ATVs, and piloting Apache attack helicopters; all while hunting down and killing AQ and Taliban shitbags. Win-fucking-win. From all of this, you got the sense that the soldiers in the game were going to be badass bearded warriors of the highest caliber. That was hammered home by an interview video series with members of those same Special Operations community portrayed in the game. Somehow, I knew with MoH 2010 that playtime was over, and it was time to flip the switch.
How Medal of Honor was Different that the Rest of the Pack
You could play as CAG sniper helping support a team of ST6 operators, that you take over in boots of the DEVGRU operator the next chapter. Moreover, the gear, the vehicles, the events, and all of the little details were done as correct as a civilian game developers could get with advisors. It is also helped that Sean Naylor, who penned the best account of Operation: ANACONDA with Not a Good Day to Die was hired by Danger Close Games to pen the script, allowing the connection between those real events from March of 2002 to the 2010 video game.
Based on Real Events: Operation: ANACONDA
When you play MoH 2010, you are somewhat reenacting real events that took place in Afghanistan. In March of 2002, a plan was formulated by the allied forces in Afghanistan to neutralize an massing of AQ/Taliban forces that taken up residence in the Shah-i-Kot Valley, which means "palace of the kings" in Pashto (may have been named for Alexander the Great) as well as the Arma Mountains. In order to locate and get eyes-on hostile forces, AFO teams like MAKO 31, INDIA, and JULIET were deployed into unforgiving territory. Allied Coalition Forces teams were to sweep-and-clear the valley of hostile forces. Not only were Western military coalition forces involved, there were Afghan forces as well. This was one of the largest battles in the War in Afghanistan, and became well known to the general public via the act of heroism during the Battle of Takaur Ghar. While there were issues, compilations, and poor planning/intelligence, the overall goals of the Operation were successful and demonstrated that coalition forces could strongly affect terrorist forces in the brutal conditions of A-Stan. This Operation has also been one of the touchstone Special Operations missions in Afghanistan.
Wasn't There an Tie-In Book?
Why Did Critics and Reviewers Hate MoH?
Did Medal of Honor make an Impact?
The "Playing as a Taliban" Controversy
Just before the game's release in 2010, there was controversy stirred up about the ability to play as a Taliban soldier during multiplayer matches. Given that the game takes place in Afghanistan during 2002, the enemy character models are of AQ/Taliban/Chechen fighters. These character models were naturally reused for the multiplayer. This is nothing new. There have been games were you can play as terrorists (Counterstrike), Nazis, and North Koreans. However, widows and mothers of fallen soldiers, and even the UK defense ministry called the move disrespectfully, and Danger Close/EA bowed to their wishes, removing the Taliban label and re-labeling them "OPFOR". This was little more than a name change, but it seemed to end the issue. However, as a result, the US military and other military organizations did not shelve Medal of Honor in their stores due to the controversy. This idea was not replicate for Warfighter.
The Murderers of MoH: EA and MoH: Warfighter
We should have known...after all, the writing was on the wall several months before the release of Warfighter. EA fired Greg Goodrich, and gagged him from speaking about the upcoming Warfighter. Then the real signs that Warfighter was not going to be the powerhouse we fans imagined: the game was not given to reviewers. Much like shitty movies not screened for critics, EA would not release the game for the reviewing gaming community. This means that the reviews would be a few days after the release of the game. EA was betting to reap their money and take their pound of flesh in the days before the gaming community shit all over this abortion.
What is the Future for Medal Of Honor?
Dim. In summer of 2013, months after the disaster that was the release of Warfighter, Danger Close Games was folded back into EA, and Danger Close head, Greg Goodrich seems to disappear off of the planet. There have been hints that MoH brand will be resurrected with yet another reboot that could, according to rumor, refocus on World War II (don't they remember Airborne?). I think the in-game universe established in the 2010 game is dead as dead can be. With the failure of Warfighter. EA believes that the "modern warfare" experiment has failed along with all of the concepts and characters within that modern warfare reboot. All that was established in those games, the good, the bad, and the ugly, are gone forever.
My Experience with Playing MoH Over The Last Four Years
Playing Medal of Honor (2010) Today
Next Time on FWS...
There is no doubting the power of fire, and it transformed human society forever. But, while it can provide us so much, it can also used to kill. Given the psychological and destructive power of fire, it is an easy weapon, and one of the most destructive. In the next installment of FWS Armory, guest contributor and FWS friend Yoel will be profiling the use of fire by the military in the form of the flamethrower in great detail and showing its iconic use in science fiction. Watch for it on the 22nd of October!