Medal of Honor is coming back - but with an unexpected twist.
EA's once behemoth war series will be returning as a virtual reality game for the Oculus Rift - called Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.
Once upon a time, the idea of a VR game would be sniffed at, but as more and more developers finally embrace the technology - most recently Valve with Half Life: Alyx - Above and Beyond could revive the dormant franchise.
Here, we go through everything we know so far, from the release date, trailer, gameplay and, of course, whether there's any chance of Above and Beyond making its way on to PSVR and consoles.
Release date and trailer
Right now, all we know is that it’s due out this year.
ART OF WAR: Respawn are being careful not to make Above and Beyond too realistic
Plot and setting
Above and Beyond will allegedly feature both a story-driven campaign mode and multiplayer - although little is know about the latter.
It will be set in World War 2 in France, at the height of the war - much like the 1999 original.
You once again step into the boots of an Allied forces solider, flown in to Western Europe to do one thing and one thing only... kill Nazis.
Oh, and for you MoH purists, you'll be pleased to know that Respawn confirmed there will be a Normandy beach landing mission.
A GARAND DAY OUT: The M1 makes a welcome return
According to Polygon, there will also be segments on a motorcycle and submarine - as well as climbing and playing a piano (yes, really).
After the misstep that was Medal of Honor: Tier 1, going back to the WW 2 roots seems like the smartest possible play.
Gameplay and weapons
Respawn recently confirmed they were wary of making the experience 'too realistic', which will no doubt relate to both the game's graphics and gameplay.
“As fidelity gets better and VR gets more immersive, you kind of feel like you’re there. That translates to, ‘Am I harming another more realistic-looking human?’ That’s something we’re going to have to be very wary of,” Respawn CEO Vince Zampella says in an interview with the LA Times.
“When you know the setting is life-and-death and it’s a historical thing — while you may be causing harm to virtual humans you’re doing it for the good of other virtual humans — in that simulation it’s something that was valuable to the world.”
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So, how does it play?
As expected, you move around levels - as well as take cover and lean, using the thumbstick on Rift’s Touch controllers.
Both hands are used to operate weapons - single hands can be used but this affects stability and aim. Tracer rounds (allowing you to see the bullet path) are in effect to make locking on to targets easier.
Health syringes are attached to the wrist, for quick access, while if things get too cramped, melee moves can be pulled off as a last resort.
When it comes to weapons, expect WWII staples to feature prominently - these being:
- M1 Garand
- Trench Gun
- sidearm (likely a 1911 pistol)
- Mark II fragmentation grenade
- Model 24 Stielhandgranate
According to Polygon, AI Germans also recognise the sound of an M1 Garand rifle clicking as it runs out of ammo - and will then try to rush you.
BACK WITH A BANG: Weapons are best held with both hands, for maximum aim and stability
Respawn reportedly conducted new interviews with many World War II veterans and partnered with the Honor Flight group - so this sort of detail may have come as a result of that.
PSVR and more
Nothing has been confirmed for PSVR or console for that matter, but there's no doubt a huge appetite there. We'll have to wait and see if Above and Beyond makes the grade - but with Respawn at the helm, we think it's going to be a cut above.