By Nicholas Simonovski
GAME NAME: Medal of Honor: Warfighter
DEVELOPER(S): Danger Close
PLATFORM(S): PC, Xbox 360, Wii U, PS Vita, PS3
RELEASE DATE(S): 25 October 2012
Last week we were invited to EA Australia HQ to sit down and chat with Multiplayer Lead Producer at Danger Close, Kristoffer "Hoffe" Bergqvist. We discussed everything from working with real-life special ops soldiers, weapons, the inspiration behind the storyline and new and exciting features for multiplayer.
Stevivor: Realism is a big aspect behind Medal of Honor Warfighter. What was the biggest challenge in making this game as real-to-life as possible?
Kristoffer: Making multiplayer was a new experience for the studio. Single-player has always been based on the stories about the real guys. We figured that we needed to start from the same base. We did the same thing where we sat for hours and hours talking to the special operators and its cool how authenticity and gameplay came together hand-in-hand. We were expecting a more fun vs. real outcome but a lot of the features such as the Global Tier One feature where you can play as twelve different units came from discussion with the operators as they were talking about what it was like to be on the field. Fire-teams are a two-man fighting unit also came from there too, where they would work in pairs. It really worked a lot more smoother than we could have hoped for.
Stevivor: Any new features in multiplayer that we can expect in this game?
Kristoffer: Our big one is ‘Fire-Teams’. Basically a fire-team is a two-man fighting unit which is us [Danger Close] trying to bring co-op into multiplayer. It involves you and a friend work together, you share intel (you can tell when your partner is taking fire or is low on ammo/health), you can see where they are and its us trying to show that sixth-sense that these guys [real-world operators] work off. It’s also about respawning, where if one of the guys falls, he can spawn in on the first player as long as the first player is out of combat. You’ll need to be extremely explosive and take ground while you’re both still alive, but when someone dies you’ll need to stay safe and let the other guy spawn in. If your partner is the more aggressive type of player, he can hunt down and kill the killer of his friend and this would allow you to respawn instantly. Its more about what kind of player you are.
Stevivor: What was it like working with the Tier One operators on the development of the game? Was there anything you learnt in the process?
Kristoffer: It’s an honour - they are all really clever guys with extraordinary jobs. Sitting down and talking with them is a lot of things, it’s a never-ending source of inspiration and so many things have come from that. For example, big things like Tier One Global but also small things like gadgets we didn’t even know existed! It’s also important for us to make a game that they feel represents them in a good way and that they feel treats the subject matter with the respect it deserves. I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a lot of fun.
Stevivor: Are there any features for both single player and multiplayer to increase the longevity of the game and keep players coming back for more?
Kristoffer: There are a bunch of in-game features – especially in multiplayer. I think we’ve added a lot of features to the core gameplay that gives it a lot of depth and allows you to explore there as well. There are 30 different abilities ranging from grenade launchers to trip-wires, to Apache helicopters in multiplayer. We also have in-game features such as platoon versus platoon gaming (which is our version of clans), we are all big fans of competitive gaming (I used to play Counterstrike pretty seriously) and we are trying to give players that kind of experience in a really accessible way.
Stevivor: What’s your favourite weapon in the game and why?
Kristoffer: I think it’s the German G3, modified to work as a Swedish AK-47 (which is a licensed build). It’s my favourite because it’s the gun I had while I was in the Air Force and it’s a beautiful 762 assault rifle.
Stevivor: What environments and locations can we expect to see in this game?
Kristoffer: We are all over the world; it’s a global threat this time. You will see levels in Somalia, also in Europe (Bosnia), in the Philippines and you’ll also see maps in and surrounding Pakistan.
Stevivor: You mentioned during the presentation earlier that the storyline for single player was taken from what two Special Forces soldiers wrote while they deployed. Was there much that Danger Close has changed, or has it stayed pretty much true to what they wrote?
Kristoffer: It has changed, it has evolved, but those two guys have been with us all the time so it’s not like we bought their story and ran with it – they’ve been part of the daily process. It was important for us to stay true to that story as well because of where it came from and it’s also a really great story.
Stevivor: There was a mode in one of the previous MoH games where if you died it would spell the end of the campaign and where headshots awarded the player more time. Can we expect something similar in Warfighter?
Kristoffer: The headshot mechanic is transferred into the regular multiplayer campaign and is part of the ‘Drawbridge’ mechanic now, where you kick down the door and get in the right shots and this awards you more time in the Drawbridge mode. I do not know if they have talked about a hardcore mode for single player where if you die you start over or if that’s in the shipped product.
Stevivor: Finally, of all the real-world teams which are represented in the game, which is your favourite and why?
Kristoffer: Swedish. *laughs* Of course, I play the Swedish a lot. I love having them in there – it’s the gear I used to use when I was in the Air Force. Also I love the variation, I’ve played with the British guys a lot and they’ve used the most hilarious voice actor. I switch a lot, it just adds a lot of variety to the game. We have our six classes and our twelve units, so there’s a total of 72 soldiers you get to pick from, so whenever I get bored of one I just switch to another one.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is shaping up to be a solid shooter, and while I can’t comment much on multiplayer at this point, the single player campaign is certainly one which I found is rewarding and engaging to play -- look for my impressions soon! A special thanks to Electronic Arts Australia and Kristoffer Bergqvist for their time and giving us an insight into the new features and aspects of Medal of Honor: Warfighter, as well as some hands-on with the game itself