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Medal of Honor Airbourne - Q&A - Xbox 360 and PC

by Steven Williamson on 3 November 2006, 09:04

Tags: Medal of Honor: Airborne, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Shoot 'em up

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Medal of Honor Airbourne

1. Your name/role on Medal of Honor: Airborne.
My name is Patrick Gilmore, and I’m the Executive Producer of Medal of Honor Airborne.

2. What is Airborne all about?
The story focus of the game is on the odyssey of the Airborne forces through World War II. There are five historic operations, Husky, Avalanche, Neptune, Market Garden and Varsity. As Private Travers and Pathfinder Eddie La Pointe, you will jump into each one, playing through Italy, France and, finally, Germany following the march to Berlin that effectively ended the European campaign.

• Operation Husky, July 10, 1943, Italy
• Operation Avalanche, September 13 1943, Italy
• Operation Neptune, June 6 1944, France
• Operation Market Garden, September 17, 1944, Holland
• Operation Varsity, March 24, 1945, Germany

Click for larger image

3. What is different about Airborne?
Airborne is fundamentally about freedom and player choice. From the first step out of the plane, the player is in control of how the experience plays out. The player defines their landing spot, angle of approach, tactics and style throughout the game. That's a big difference from the rail-ride shooting galleries we've seen within the genre in the past.

If you can land anywhere in the battle area, even on sniper towers and church steeples, the game cannot be linear.

We are committed to making a more choice-driven game. That has required us to change the way we design levels and the way we craft non-player-character interactions.

The NPCs are largely driven by our new Affordance engine, which makes enemies aware of the value of the terrain around them, and causes them to prioritize high-value resources (like a pillbox) over lower value (a trench) or even lower value (a blasted tree stump) or no value (open ground). This results in lots of cool dynamic offensive and defensive tactics, no matter which direction the player approaches from. Both the Ally and Enemy AI utilise this engine.

Click for larger image

3. Tell me more about the missions?
For each of the five operations, there will be two major missions. You will experience the operation as both the Pathfinder Eddie La Pointe and Private Travers. Pathfinders dropped before the main force to designate drop zones with radio beacons. These missions are focussed on stealth. When you have achieved your objective as Eddie you will then jump in again as Private Travers along with rest of the Airborne troops. Literally hundreds of allies will be jumping in at one time.

4. Explain to me the experience the player will have when parachuting?
We have conducted extensive research to ensure the authenticity of the airdrop experience. Beyond the team members who have actually jumped, we have interviewed many veterans who have been through an authentic Airborne experiences. The MOH team works closely with the lead historian at the National WWII museum, Marty Morgan, who is an authority on the Airborne. He actually bought a C47 that actually flew in Normandy, he restored it to flying condition, and flew it to New Orleans, where he had it installed in the National D-Day Museum.

Marty arranged a flight for some members of the MOH team. The team photographed and measured and took textures off of every corner of the aircraft. Then we mic’ed the entire plane, and so, will be the first game in history to feature the actual sound of an aircraft that participated in one of the world’s largest military operations. When you’re in the C47 in Airborne, you are in a real C47.