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Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault Preview
developer: EA LA
P4 1500, 512MB RAM, 3GB HDD, 64MB video card
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Nov 04, 04 (released)
|» All About Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault on ActionTrip|
Time and again developers and publishers have used World War II as an ideal setting for their games. There are only a few titles that separate themselves from the majority of WWII games that continually flood the market nowadays. (Ed. - Hear hear, this is my third WWII review this month!)
Check out this guy's skin. The texture detail is amazing!
This ain't gonna work. Better run for it!
Hm, does Medal of Honor mean anything to you lot? The PC incarnation of the series, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, first saw the light of day back in February 2002, thanks to the efforts of EA Games and the talented developers at 2015 (most of them are now at Infinity Ward, working on Call of Duty - 2Lions). From then on it was pretty much clear that this excellent FPS would get a well-earned expansion pack. So, EA didn't hesitate to release Medal of Honor: Spearhead. The add-on had been launched somewhat hastily, which regrettably lead to several disappointing aspects (read about it here). Soon after that, EA announced another expansion pack, entitled Medal of Honor Allied Assault: Breakthrough. It was only a matter of time until work would start on an entirely new sequel. Hiring their recently formed studio EALA, Electronic Arts finally unveiled a new project called Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault. And so, here we are.
Continuing the brilliant Medal of Honor franchise, Pacific Assault once again lets us experience the intensity and brutality of WWII combat. This time around, however, the game will take us away from the devastated French villages and to the dense and threatening jungles of Asia, where we'll have to fight a grueling battle against the Japanese Imperial Army. The concept of the whole game is not to put players in the role of a great and invincible hero. Rather the idea is to let you experience the horrors of war through the eyes of a simple soldier. In other words, you are put in the boots of Private Tom Conlin, who gets thrown right smack in the middle of the attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. Later on he gets to fight in the Henderson Field on Guadalcanal and participate in the penultimate battle for Tarawa Island. Next to Tom you'll also get to look after other members of your squad. This is an all out war and you must preserve the safety of your comrades and watch your back as you go along. Hopefully, the team AI will be as good as the one in Call of Duty, which is pretty much setting new standards in that field at the moment. We're not sure if Pacific Assault will use nods (points of reference for the AI), or some other system to bring your teammates to life, as those particular details haven't been revealed by EALA just yet.
The first Medal of Honor game, I think you'll agree, had a disappointingly sudden ending sequence for such an epic game. This time around we can expect a more meticulous approach in terms of the story concept as well as the entire length of the game. According to EA, players will be able to enjoy seven extensive missions that spread out through 25 challenging levels. Each mission assignment is often thriving with enemy soldiers. Luckily, gamers will have access to over 21 genuine weapons from the World War II era. These will include M1 Carbines, M1 Flamethrowers, Japanese Arisaka rifles, and the Type 100 submachine gun. Now that's a fine choice.
I should be careful not to lift my head up too high.
Ah, good-old jungle warfare!
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault effectively utilized the good old Quake III Arena engine (it was heavily modified of course - 2Lions), showing off excellent models, beautiful and highly detailed environments, and many other features. The new engine, which is created especially for Pacific Assault, clearly allows for some splendid new features and graphics that surpass those we've seen in Allied Assault. From what we've heard the engine's flexibility will allow for numerous innovative effects, such as grass bending after grenade explosions, advanced water and particle effects evident when you shoot a few rounds into the water (check out the cool ripples in one of the shots - 2Lions), high-res textures and more. In addition to offering a great deal of improvements in the graphics, Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault aims to take full advantage of the Havok physics engine. Still, as the developers revealed, the advantage of powerful technology won't get in the way of the game design. This means many things, such as rag-doll effects, will be exploited to the maximum, but you won't see them obstruct or overburden the gameplay (a symptom commonly present in FPS's these days).
Using the Havok physics the developers also increased the level of interactivity with various objects that are scattered throughout the levels. Next to this, you'll also be able to witness some top-notch character animation and an advanced lip-sync technique, displayed during character dialogue. Throughout the development process EALA had a firm intention of staying true to the quality of the previous game. This is why the same award winning sound design team had been rehired to do the audio for the game. So, you can expect expert voice acting, rich sounds in the background, and, naturally, an epic soundtrack.
To make the game as authentic as possible EALA will once again be working closely with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) "to ensure the Medal of Honor Pacific Assault reflects the ideals and integrity of the prestigious Medal of Honor." Also, Capt. Dale Dye, a highly respected military technical advisor in Hollywood, had once again been consulted to maintain the realism of the game (just so you know, Dye has a history of working as a consultant on projects like Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, and Band of Brothers, as well as all preceding titles in the Medal of Honor franchise).
Not much was revealed regarding the multiplayer at this point. We do know for a fact though, that there will be nine new multiplayer maps that encompass a variety of new locations, new weapons, and new soldiers. Naturally, players can enjoy the Team Deathmatch Mode, Team Objective Mode, or the Free for All Mode. The Free for All mode, for example, puts players in classic head-to-head combat, while the Team Deathmatch offers some objective-based missions that will make things more fun and a bit more challenging.
EALA are obviously taking this one seriously. The Medal of Honor franchise is in the right hands, you can be sure of that. Expect more info on this one in the coming weeks.
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