Interviews

Medal of Honor

Danger Close's Greg Goodrich talks about story-telling and controversy

The Medal of Honor reboot has had quite a journey already and we're still some way off release.

With the controversy surrounding the game's playable Taliban soldiers resulting in calls for a banning of the game from certain voices, you could say the FPS had gotten off to a rocky start.

EA's MoH development boss Greg Goodrich was keen to discuss the matter when we sat down one-on-one to talk about the game - both in terms of the controversy and the real message of Medal of Honor.

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The three levels we played feel quite different, is that something that you guys were aiming for specifically?

That particular part of the story is sort of the centre of our game, it's a real turning point in the narrative in the sense that when the guys show up they have a certain mission, objective and confidence level. That plays out in gathering intelligence, finding where the enemy is, working with the locals and all that stuff that goes with being Tier 1, setting up a base of operations and then boom - big military arrives, in come the Rangers.

Even at that moment - the opening - they're very confident, very 'hooah', getting everyone up, then that ramp goes down and things happen, that's the moment of the game that it starts to turn to 'gee maybe we've underestimated these individuals, this enemy'.

In that section there we also show how the entire game is connected, almost like a relay race where someone is handing off the baton to the next person in the race, how the Apaches save the Rangers and the Snipers save the Apache, then you assume that character that just saved you.

We do that throughout the narrative and in the last part at the end, which I won't give a way, but there's an event that happens and it's an unfortunate event and things go terribly wrong, we show how different the goals and objectives are of every single person involved in this story, it changes from the beginning to what happens towards the end, everything changes.

Have you felt a responsibility to present more of a complicated look at war? Considering it is present day Afghanistan, it's still a current complicated situation, did you feel a responsibility to portray that in the game?

I think we felt a responsibility to live up the core tenants of the franchise; Medal of Honor has always been about the soldier. This is not a game about Afghanistan; this is not a game about Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Chechens, Uzbeks or any of the other fighters that are in the game. This is a game about a group of individuals, soldiers that are doing their thing, getting through this and coming home.

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Responsibility to do it authentically, do it honourably, do it truthfully and to show how the guys on the ground need to develop a situation as it unfolds and do their best for each other, and go to great lengths for one another and get through it. We don't really discuss why they're there but they are there, they have a job so let's get behind them and support them.

When these Tier 1 operator guys got involved, that was another responsibility because we had unprecedented access to these guys and it's just unheard of - the amount of support and openness they gave to us, that is a community that usually just keeps to itself, the quiet professional, and reputation is everything with these individuals.

At times it was a heavy burden because they gave us so much and our intent was to honour them and their community so we did our best to try and show them in a light that was representative of who they are and what they go through.

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