Medal of Honor Airborne Interview (con't)
FiringSquad: Much has been made on the game's use of non-linear gameplay. Can you describe how the game will work with this feature and how hard was it to make this work as opposed to the normal linear game play of at WWII shooter?
Rex Dickson: It all starts with the drop. As you enter each mission (and when you re-spawn after death) you will parachute into the map and be able to choose any starting point in the mission space. From there, the player can go in any direction they want. They can leave a fight in progress at any time. They can get on top of buildings or scaffolding, they can get behind enemy lines and they can find flanking routes. While you can be old fashioned and play right down the line, Airborne is at its best when players get creative with their tactics.
Designing for non-linear game play was the biggest challenge the team faced in creating this title. We found out very early on that we would need to throw out almost all of our preconceived notions about how FPS games are traditionally designed. With the player able to come from countless different directions, it would be nearly impossible to script the game with designer placed triggers. We had to establish conditions under which the player could push the fight forward. We had to completely change the way we thought about level layout, cover placement and AI behavior. These things represented major genre innovations and we knew it would be extremely hard. That is part of what made the project so rewarding for everyone who stepped up to the challenge and succeeded in pulling it off.
FiringSquad: What sort of weapons will the game use that haven't been used in WWII shooters before?
Rex Dickson: The key innovation in our weapons system is the ability to customize. While the base weapons may be the same as other WW2 shooters, the customization feature opens up totally new aspects of these weapons never before seen in the genre. The more you use a weapon and the more efficient you are with that weapon will earn you weapon proficiency points. Once you reach a certain level with the weapon, you will earn an upgrade for that weapon. Some of these upgrades improve the weapons base characteristics. Other upgrades completely alter the weapon. For example, the final upgrade for the Garand rifle is a Rifle Grenade launcher. So, while the base weapons may be familiar to WW2 gamers, the customization feature takes them into entirely new territory.
FiringSquad: Will there be any drivable vehicles in the game?
Rex Dickson: Initially we explored larger environments that could support vehicles but we found it created a lot of dead space and pacing issues. As a result, we decided player driven vehicles were not a good fit for Airborne.
FiringSquad: What kinds of enemies will the player encounter in Medal of Honor Airborne?
Rex Dickson: In the first mission, Operation Husky, you will be fighting against the Italian black shirts. From that point on, the player will be engaging a wide variety of the Axis Elite. On reaching operation market garden, the player will face the new challenge of German Falschimajger and the panzershrek wielding Panzergrenadiers. During the final operation, the player will face off against elite Nazi snipers as well as SS elite soldiers who carry MG42ís as their weapon of choice.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us at this time about the game's multiplayer modes?
Rex Dickson: Multiplayer features both death match and objective based modes. The big innovation in multiplayer is the allied air dropping into the maps. This has a huge impact on game play for both attackers and defenders. Some of the maps are based on the single player operations, while others are based on classic Allied Assault maps.