Electronic Arts (EA) and developer Respawn Entertainment have released a new gameplay trailer for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond during Gamescom Opening Night Live.
Playing as an agent of the OSS (the Office of Strategic Services, what would later become the CIA), players are tasked with heading into WW2 Europe, aiding the French resistance, and subverting and sabotaging Nazi plans.
You can find the story trailer below.
You can find the full rundown (via the official website) below.
Medal of Honor™: Above and Beyond is an action-packed, immersive VR experience set in World War II, where you step into the boots of an agent of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in war-torn Europe. A deep single-player campaign takes you through historic events on land, air, and sea, sabotaging Nazi bases, subverting enemy plans, aiding the French Resistance, and much, much more. In this blog series, we’ll take you inside the development process, exploring everything from the lengths the audio team went to get the authentic sounds of a Sherman tank, to the in-depth interviews with WWII veterans featured in the game. In this first installment, we spoke with game director Peter Hirschmann about the development of the narrative campaign for Above and Beyond and got some inside intel on the missions ahead.
THE GOAL IS TO CAPTURE TRUTH
Peter Hirschmann has been telling the Medal of Honor story for twenty years. He wrote and directed the original 1999 Medal of Honor. While the technology has changed drastically, the goal has always remained the same: “to be grounded and emotionally authentic, to be as true as we can to the experiences of people that fought through it and lived through it,” Peter told us. That ethos means paying close attention to details -from unit emblems to weapon sounds- but equally important is the “need to be accurate about the emotional truth of it.” The team spent four years and hundreds of hours interviewing World War II vets about their experiences. “We’ve been able to talk to people that lived through it, from all different walks, French Resistance, on Omaha Beach at D-Day…” Those conversations (along with extensive research) led Peter and the team to “create a story that taps into those truths, inspired by what they went through.” While the campaign narrative isn’t based directly on their accounts, they helped in getting the emotional details right.
So what can players expect from the mission ahead?
AN ADVENTURE LIKE NO OTHER
Above and Beyond is a tale of human experiences, how ordinary people, citizen soldiers, reacted to one of the most significant events in human history. In Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, you’ll be taking on the role of a combat engineer who is recruited to join the OSS (Office of Strategic Services). The OSS, forerunner of the modern CIA, was established to conduct espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines during WWII. It was the perfect vehicle for the kind of story Peter wanted to tell. “The OSS undertook key missions during the war and helped to turn the tide. It allows us to put players in situations where the stakes are very high,” he said. Your missions will take you from Tunisia to across Europe, participating in some of the biggest moments of the war. While many of the details remain top secret, you can expect to storm the beach at Omaha, infiltrate a secret Nazi V-2 Rocket facility on the island of Peenemünde, and use a disguise to sneak onboard a German U-Boat.
By your side for much of the action will be two new characters, a grizzled but thoughtful sergeant who’s seen the terrible toll of combat, and a young British medic eager to fight back against the Nazis. Fans of the franchise will also recognize several returning characters. Manon Batiste, a fiery French Resistance fighter, who has featured in nearly every Medal of Honor game, is back and heavily involved in the story, along with Dr. Gronek, a helpful rocket scientist you may recall from the original 1999 Medal of Honor.
Above and Beyond is filled with references fans of the franchise may recognize, and the team was able to flesh out these characters far more than in the past. The team shot over 120 pages of performance capture for the game. That’s an entire movie’s worth of narrative performance supplementing the gameplay and rounding out the story.
THE STORY SURROUNDS YOU
In Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, the camera never leaves your eyes. Everything is shot around the perspective of the character. “To experience the narrative in VR is wonderful, because they’re talking directly to you,” said Peter. For a franchise that’s always aimed to put players in the boots of a World War II soldier, the Oculus Rift platform is a game changer: “Once you see it in the headset and you’re there, boy, the performances come through beautifully in a way that’s unique to the VR platform.” Stories have a unique power to connect emotionally with audiences, and Peter believes VR has the power to that connection even further. As he likes to say, “Once you put on an Oculus Rift, it’s the closest thing you can get to a time machine.”
We’re excited to share these details and can’t wait for you to experience the story for yourself. While we think we’ve built something fun to play, we’re hoping players get more out of the experience than just that. “If you imagine for a moment what it would’ve been like, to be in these characters’ boots, it gives you a better perspective of what they went through and the world we’re living in today,” Peter told us. Hopefully playing the game gets players to take an interest in World War Two that lasts long after they’ve finished our campaign.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond launches Holiday 2020 for Occulus Rift.