While the first Medal of Honor: Heroes was designed specifically for the PSP, Heroes 2 will be hitting both the PSP and Wii. The two will be largely different games, but we got a chance to check out Heroes 2 on the Wii for the first time at EA's Summer Showcase. We were surprised to see the designers are scaling back the series' typically bombastic action and combat elements in favor of a covert mission more in line with those of the first couple of Medal of Honor games. Specifically, you'll play as Lieutenant John Berg, an OSS officer who you'll play as through an eight-level covert mission. Unlike recent MOH games, which sent you all over the European theater, Heroes 2 will take place entirely in one geographical area of the Normandy region, allowing the designers to focus the story more tightly.
There will be three modes in Heroes 2. The campaign mode is a traditional MOH experience, where you'll run house to house through bombed-out streets, completing objectives and competing for the best medals in each stage as you carry out your overarching mission goals. The arcade mode will take you through those same eight levels, but the game will play out here like an arcade light-gun game because your character will move on a rail without your input, and you'll simply have to gun down enemies from place to place as you go. Finally, there's the multiplayer mode, which will support up to 32 players (which is an awful lot for a Wii game). This mode will contain deathmatch, team deathmatch, and a capture-the-flag variant called infiltration. The game will use the EA Nation interface for friends and matchmaking, rather than Nintendo's unwieldy, arcane friend-code system.
We got to check out the campaign mode, which seems like it will do some interesting things with the Wii Remote. You can play with the standard Wii Remote-and-Nunchuk combo or the forthcoming zapper peripheral. In both cases, you'll use the Nunchuk analog for movement and the Wii Remote for aiming as per standard Wii-based first-person shooter controls. The core gameplay here should be familiar to those who played MOH: Vanguard on the Wii (or a number of other Wii-based shooters, for that matter).
Heroes 2 is doing some interesting gesture-based things. For instance, when you fire a pump-action shotgun, you need to pump with the Nunchuk to chamber a new shell. You can opt to have the game automate this one, but others will be required. When you need to fire a bazooka, which is a shoulder-mounted weapon, you'll need to actually raise the Wii Remote (or zapper) over your shoulder to fire; the game will look for input indicating you've got it in the right position. Another section had us using the Wii Remote to wave a mine detector around to get across a mine field; the only feedback we had as to the location of the mines came through the Wii Remote's vibration and some minor aural feedback through the speakers. Lastly, we got to jump on a big German artillery gun, which had its own set of controls. To rotate the gun around, we had to make a cranking motion with the Nunchuk to turn a crank on the weapon. Then to fire it, we had to "pull" the Wii Remote similar to the way we'd pull the firing lever on the gun itself.
EA says it's putting all its effort into making Heroes 2 the best-looking Wii shooter it can and that all the people who are assuming (and posting on forums) that the game is simply ported up from the PSP version are flat-out wrong. Heroes 2 is due out in the first week of November, so we'll bring you additional details before then.