Look at that beard. That beard screams freedom. It also screams “we’re in Afghanistan with zero idea of how to win or how to get out.” The beard is the star of Medal of Honor, EA’s rebooting (please consider “rebooting” to be a noun here) of a franchise that fell off the cliff, oh, after Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. It’s due next year for the usual platforms; more info will be revealed at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, which I wouldn’t watch if my life were on the line. The game, to be set in Afghanistan, is said to be inspired by “real events,” i.e., the sales of Modern Warfare.
It’s a pretty big deal, inasmuch as a video game story can ever be a big deal. The very first Medal of Honor, confusingly also called Medal of Honor, released for the PlayStation in 1998, essentially invented the WWII shooter sub-genre. Call of Duty, I think we can say, was Activision’s attempt to cash in on the success of Medal of Honor. How the tables have turned!
So let’s take a moment to reminisce about playing Operation Market Garden over and over again for the past 11 years.
The question now becomes, how long till we’re tired of the modern setting? I think we’ve all shot our fair share of Nazis in various video games over the years, but how long till we’re bored shooting nondescript “ultra-nationalists,” “separatists,” or any other word but, gasp, “terrorist?”
And does it ever weigh on your conscience as you’re playing these modern games, “Hey, there are guys my age in Afghanistan for real doing this”? It’s one thing to land on the beaches of Normandy over and over again, or recreate some Napoleonic era naval battle, but dodging IEDs from the comfort of your big comfy couch while that same thing is happening for real right at that very moment…
I don’t know, modern war games are just unsettling to me.
But the people have spoken: modern warfare is here to stay. Given EA and Activision’s track records, I fully expect to be see Modern Warfare 7: Waiting Around for Orders All Day Long by 2012.