Opinion: Medal of Honor – Now would be the perfect time to come back?

Medal of Honor: Frontline was released about 20 years ago: Isn’t it time for the World War II shooter to return? We explain why 2023 at the latest would be a good time for a new “Medal of Honor”.

It is hard to believe, but for a long time “Medal of Honor” was one of the really big brands of shooters alongside “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield”. However, the move to Electronic Arts and the associated cannibalization of the brand at the expense of gameplay and innovation resulted in the failure of the Medal of Honor. After years of making a name for himself as a WWII shooter, the soulless reboot of Medal of Honor (2010) and Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) crashed the series.

After that, the brand was suspended for eight years. Until the VR adventure “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond” (2020) developed by Respawn Entertainment, which also did not make a big breakthrough. And yet the voices are getting louder that the reinterpretation and even reboot of the well-known “Medal of Honor” license is now happening in the gaming world more than ever. But is it really true?

There would be room on the market

A look at first person shooters shows that the market has changed and there is room again for the Medal of Honor. In the final parts of the series in 2010 and 2012, “Battlefield” and “Call of Duty” still had the upper hand.

In the meantime, the market has expanded and especially narrative shooters like “Wolfenstein” have clearly relegated to the background. In “Battlefield 2042” DICE completely abandoned the campaign in favor of the multiplayer mode. Call of Duty: Vanguard features a nine-mission campaign, but has been criticized for its jagged narrative style.

Both titles also struggled with the challenges of the global Covid pandemic: program bugs, missing content at launch, and other issues saw previous top shooting dogs lose out on sales.

The Medal of Honor would have to reinvent itself

But what could the new part of the Medal of Honor series look like? Former chief designer Chris Cross said at the 20th anniversary of Medal of Honor: Frontline that he would be delighted to re-imagine a potential remake as an open world game. He emphasized that he treats the series primarily as a spy adventure and less as a shooter.

As such, it would also reduce the action component and instead focus more on stealth and exploration. As in later branches, it would only reveal one mission objective to players, they would have to unlock other quests themselves. He named Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed” as a possible inspiration.

In short: unlike “Medal of Honor” and “Medal of Honor: Warfighter”, it sees a possible remake more like a game like “Sniper Elite 5”. This niche change, if done well, can be successful. Even if many today still have in mind bomb missions like the storming of Normandy in the first place, the series has long been characterized by a clever mix of different genres.

Of course, earlier titles in particular were strictly technically limited, but it was the interaction with the NPCs and the clever behavior of the soldiers that made them stand out from the crowd. This is exactly where the potential reboot of the brand should begin, not trying to run around the appropriate action coats in terms of staging.

Contemporary campaign and more

But apart from the gameplay itself, the setting and its implementation should play a decisive role. In today’s world, realistic-looking action games are undoubtedly more difficult because of world politics. Anyone who is bombarded with images from war zones on a daily basis often does not want to get involved in a global conflict.

Nevertheless, the series just needs to be restarted in Europe during the Second World War. This reference to the start of the series is absolutely necessary not only to preserve the series’ identity, but also to pick up old fans again. However, the return to the former “Medal of Honor” salon would have to be accompanied by a contemporary, and therefore modern, history.

Films such as “Inglourious Basterds” have proven how this scenario can be made. There is no such, perhaps even virulently cynical, depiction of a World War scenario that could arouse great interest: colorful, charismatic characters, bizarre villains, and tough agent action.

Even if the Medal of Honor was often decidedly historic, this twist – without drifting to Wolfenstein – could also recruit a new player base. Other options, such as an extensive multiplayer mode, would of course also be good form in the current branch: however, since the “Medal of Honor” license is still available from Electronic Arts, and you have online and technology experts in your ranks thanks to DICE and Respawn, this should be a problem to be solved.

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The overriding discipline would be to revive the old values ​​of the Medal of Honor series in a contemporary disguise and thus rebuild trust in the brand. We would certainly be very interested in reinterpreting the “Medal of Honor”. What about you? What are your wishes regarding a possible reboot of the series? Write your opinion in the comments!

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