Medal of Honor: Airborne Designer Diary #2 - Ultimate Freedom

Creative director Jon Paquette discusses the unique open-world gameplay in EALA's latest WWII shooter.

It's safe to say that World War II shooters have been in a rut these last few years. Let's face it: Even in that most expansive conflict, there are only so many battles you can re-create in video game form before you start treading the same ground over again. That's why Medal of Honor: Airborne's designers stopped looking for new battles and started looking at the old ones from a new angle--namely, an overhead angle. Airborne will place you in the role of a US Army paratrooper and give you the choice to control where you land on the battlefield, and in what manner you approach your objectives. It's an attempt to remove the stifling linearity of most "cinematic" first-person shooters, and creative director Jon Paquette is here to explain more about the freedom this new system will give you to operate on your own terms.

Fighting Anywhere

By Jon Paquette, Creative Director/Writer

In the last diary, producer Chris Busse explained all of the choices you'll have once you jump out of the plane. Well, the choices don't end there. Once you land, you must decide how to tackle the many objectives you and your fellow paratroopers must complete. In the war, the Airborne usually had a series of "seize, clear, and secure" objectives--sometimes they had to take an enemy strongpoint, sometimes open up a road, sometimes hold a strategic position until armored reinforcements could arrive. When you hit the ground in Medal of Honor: Airborne, you will know exactly what your mission is--usually a collection of four to six primary objectives--but it is up to you to figure out how to attack, and you'll have many different choices.

Your drop zone objectives can be accomplished in any order. Try landing on a high point to survey the battlefield. From the rooftops you'll be able to see where the battles are forming, and you'll be able to develop a plan of attack. Don't just look at the ground, look at the routes above the battle. Yes, you can access the rooftops from the ground, too. Verticality is your best weapon...there's nothing like sneaking onto the roof above an unsuspecting group of enemies then dropping a cooked grenade at their feet. Now that's fun!

If you can't take them on from the front, try dropping in right behind them.

One of the more unique aspects of our design is that you can decide to leave a fight in progress and go to a different part of the map. Let's say you dropped outside the enemy headquarters and tried a frontal assault, only to find that the enemies inside were too tough for you. No problem--just pull back and find an easier battle to join. Since you get weapon upgrades based on your experience, you might earn an upgrade in the smaller battle that will give you just enough of an edge to go back and finish off the HQ fight.

To break it down further, let's take an example from one of the later operations, Market Garden. One of the drop objectives is to clear an enemy machine gun nest. This one is located on the second floor of a bombed-out building overlooking the streets of Nijmegen. Let's say I chose a Springfield sniper rifle and a M12 shotgun as my two weapons for this mission (I chose from a variety of weapons before I entered the mission...different weapons give me different options in the mission, especially if I have earned some upgrades like the grenade launcher).

I could land halfway across the map, on a rooftop, and snipe the enemy gunner from afar. But I better hit him on the first shot, because if I miss, he'll see me and I will become his primary target. I could land on a rooftop right above him, then drop a grenade onto his position. This may clear the objective, but now I'm on a rooftop deep in enemy territory...and they know I'm here. Good luck getting down without getting shot. Alternatively, I could land on the street just below the MG nest and lob a grenade up over the sandbags. But there's a Panzer tank roaming the streets--if it sees me, I'm toast.

It's a big battlefield down there--choose your landing zone wisely.

If I'm a patient player, I will land near the green smoke (this indicates a safe Allied landing zone) and fight with my allies into the building, using peek and lean tactics to clear it room by room. I can come at the MG gunner from behind, or I could let my allies take the rear while I surprise him on his right flank.

If I'm brave, or stupid, or both, I could pull off the ultimate pro move and steer right for this MG nest from above. If I time it right, I can drop-kick this enemy right before I land, effectively clearing the nest without firing a shot; but now I realize there are a dozen other enemies protecting this building, and they're all coming at me. Guess I better get that shotgun out, and quick.

Those are just a few of the different ways to attack this one objective, but I'm sure there are several other options that I have yet to discover. That's the real power of Medal of Honor: Airborne...there are many, many ways to play this game, and it's up to you. There are no limits, except for your own ingenuity and skill.

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Discussion

82 comments
-Wheels-
-Wheels-

Finally. I can let go of Spearhead.

OkibiNoKeiji
OkibiNoKeiji

The demo absolutely amazed me. I loved the motion blur very much and I just might have to buy this game. I mean, it's a good shooter too.

harrygordon1000
harrygordon1000

I was never a big fan of the Medal of Honor games. As the article rightly points out - they've always been very much on the rails (sometimes even more so than most FPS). Call of Duty always mopped the floor with MoH but Airborne looks rather good :-) But am I the only one who's getting tired of slaughtering you-don't-even-have-a-name-tag Nazi's? Nah I'm kidding, that never get's old. :-P Still looking forward to CoD4's modern setting though!

uberping
uberping

if the games as good as the demo this game will be awesome

bently810p
bently810p

I got the demo and I love it. Can hardly wait.

Timothyrs
Timothyrs

Looks better than the last one.

Bass7
Bass7

Meh, IMO Brothers in Arms : Hells Highway looks better, but this still looks good. I'll give it a try when I get the chance :).

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

finaly its gonna release im just can't wait anymore i think that many people waiting for this even more for the CoD4 im hope that EA fixed all problems in the game

Keith4Chelski
Keith4Chelski

Theirs not many games im getting this year but this is deffinetly one of them it is the second most wanted game for me this year first being GTA:IV, WW2 games just dont get old for me people can say what they want but if they dont like them that much why do they buy them in the first place i think COD going Modern is a great thing but the question is will people like it you cant say anything untill you have tried it but with WW2 games ive had so much experiance with the other games that i know this one will be a great COD are trying something they have never done before and most games that try to do the modern thing always fail just look at bad games like Battlefield:2 on the Xbox360 they made an awful game their and the PC's version which is like years older than the Xbox360s version is still better which confuses me.

gtarmanrob
gtarmanrob

i've played almost every WW 2 FPS game made available to PC since god knows when. was total let down that Cod3 wasnt being made for PC. But this, man i cant @$%! wait! looks unreal. no pun intended

LTnyro
LTnyro

yeah i agree this game looks to be even greater than pacific assult. MOH always had the great feel to it when ever i was playing it. and this modernisation is just what this game needs to get it back on the market

pidow
pidow

I believe this one will be the best of all.

metalwarior
metalwarior

Nao vejo a hora de sair esse game...se for que nem os outros vai ser um sucesso!!!

Matt215
Matt215

I only liked one of the MOHs and that was Pacific Assault. I thought that was the most realistic and most fun. The rest of them, ugh, don't get me started. How is it that one man can take out 50 well trained German soldiers and live to take out another 200 something by the end of the game? Also, how come you're never with any friendly forces except for maybe 5 missions when you have 1 or 2 comrades. Finally, it looks like they're gonna make a much much better Medal of Honor than most of the ones I've played before.

macker33
macker33

Will definately be getting this especially as COD decided to do the "hip" thing and become a modern war game.

doysh121
doysh121

call of duty going modern can only help medal of honers sales because there are still people out there who love world war 2 shooters me being one of them

gordonfan2448
gordonfan2448

grope i respect what you say but reading the article it sounds like you got objectives but need to figure otu which way you want to accomplish it. i like the idea. now we wait and see if they pull it of good enough or not. will hlep having options on where to come in at. alhough im guessing there will be some sort of pro and some sort of con with every strategy. if you like to snipe and are really good well you can do that. me i will probably take paths that look like fun and chaotic.

grope2
grope2

Personally i am a little bit curious on how this will work out, having a non-constricting game can be fun but you tend to lose the plot, the lack of guidiance can sometimes mean you spend more time in a guide book than actually buying the game (i pride myself on never buying a guide) or it becomes to eay because you find a way around any situation such as finding a better drop zone, but it is a good concept on how you can complete the game in any way you wish, my personal prefereance would be to land with a sniper rifle on the church roof but the possibilites are endless, hopefully this will turn out as a supurb game and get excellant reviews, i am looking forward to this.

PhilRiker
PhilRiker

Man I luv me some WAR GAMES! It sure looks frickin rad with the UE3! I fear that the missions might end up to be too easy though. Through trial and error you eventually find the easiest drop point and from there... are you really gonna want to replay a mission a different way if you know the BEST/EASIEST solution? Prolly NO. We are lazy. We are human and we wont. Its a nice concept to encourage different ways of attacking a level, but I wonder how it will really play out. Maybe awesome but I cant help but feel a bit reserved about how it will truly play out taking into account how burnout lazy people generally are.

murano28
murano28

Airborne is ready to become the best WWII game!!

barley_mob
barley_mob

ever since playing call of duty (the original) i've been hooked on that series. brothers in arms was okay, but became very repetitive with the flank system. CoD MW looks promising, but not sure about this one. A demo would be nice to look at but im sure they will fall short, REMEMBER THEY ARE EA!!

Mohamed_h
Mohamed_h

Well , the more I read about this game , the more I get interested ! ... and that's something I didn't really expect from it .

zznn
zznn

That looks so aweome!!!!!demo plzz n btw I am a brave and stupid gamer,not the patient gamer.

Romayo83
Romayo83

I wouldn't say forgive and forget thats got tobe the most disrespectful idea i've ever heard! But from a Gaming perspective Its definately time to mix it up and play as the Nazi's for once. Can't wait to try this game out.

mckaine
mckaine

what's the deal? i'm not complaining, but is it just me, or are all of the world war 2 games turning to paratroopers, namely the 101st airbourne division? anyway, this looks pretty tight and i'm definetly getting it

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

This is very cool. I can't wait.

X-7
X-7

I agree it ould be interesting to see the war from the Axis point of view. Help explain some of why they fought for what they did. Give an interesting history lesson.

M4NI4K
M4NI4K

I hear you panzerboy...

pidow
pidow

This and Hell's Highway are the games!.

panzerboy39
panzerboy39

Good lord I'm tired of playing the allies! I want to be a Jap or a Nazi I wish the gaming industry would start being so politically correct (the war was over 60 years ago, time to forgive and forget the evils of that generation) and offer a more balanced gaming experience starting with the ability to stitch sides. I WANT to be a Waffen SS soldier with an MP-40 and an attitude!

ginoon
ginoon

sounds like fun.

wis3boi
wis3boi

w00t time to get my brain pumping out tactics!

taquipariu
taquipariu

Looks like the same game as ever. Just added some motion and graphics... Many games have all those features... I wish they did something really new, because it really looks like the new graphics MoH!

grubster11
grubster11

I WANT THIS GAME SO BADLY!! I ALREADY PRE-OREDERED IT FROM THE EA WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!

airborne_101-82
airborne_101-82

god, i just cant wait. hell's highway and airborne are at the top of my wishlist

rico212
rico212

All you guys who think this is just another MoH crap are wrong. This is a big step for the gaming industry. How many new games have you seen do this? Probably like 5. This is a new MoH.

msmith11
msmith11

Seriously, once a company has come out with their like 10th ww 2 game, pick a different topic. like call of duty.

gamefreakwill
gamefreakwill

Sounds awsome. I hope they release a demo of the game soon on Xbox Live so I can try it out. I do also want to try out though BIA: Hell's Highway, that looks pretty cool too.

Glordit
Glordit

BiA FTW!! ....MoH, same ol' same ol' ;) but will give it a whirl if there is a demo :) mabey I will like it but for me BiA is all I need!!