One of this year's best first-person shooters is getting an expansion pack. We've got details and hands-on impressions inside.
Though its existence hasn't been exactly a secret these last few months, the expansion pack to Medal of Honor: Allied Assault made its first public appearance at the annual Camp EA press event. Tentatively called Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Expansion Pack, this add-on is being developed at EALA, and not Oklahoma-based 2015, the developers of Allied Assault. The expansion pack will let players fight through nine new single-player levels in Northern Europe during World War II, where they'll come across new enemies, new squad mates, and will be able to use approximately 20 new British and Russian weapons.
Players will assume the role of a new character, Sgt. Jack Barns, who's an OSS operative sent into Normandy with the 101st Airborne on the night before the D-Day invasion. The game will start with Barns parachuting from the back of a C-47 under the cover of darkness. Once--if--he lands safely, he'll rendezvous with a group of British commandos, and they'll team up to fight through the European countryside, eventually participating in the Battle of the Bulge, and finally assisting in the siege of Berlin. The intense sorts of battles from the original Allied Assault are still intact in the expansion pack. One of the mission objectives of the Battle of the Bulge, for example, is simply to survive a nonstop barrage of German artillery. Huge plumes of snow and dirt will fly up into the air, and trees will get snapped in half as the powerful onslaught of shells pounds Barns' position. Players will have to frantically run from foxhole to foxhole in order to seek shelther while avoiding the death from above.
Even with all of its intensity, the expansion promises to not be as frustrating as Allied Assault. The all-too-deadly sniper AI from the original game has been reworked considerably, according to producer Lincoln Hershberger. Specifically, their line of sight has been decreased, and their reaction time has been reduced, which should alleviate some of the unfair advantages that players were forced to deal with in Allied Assault's Snipertown level.
The expansion pack will also include around 15 new multiplayer maps. Ten of these are being created by the EALA team, while the other five will be top user-created maps submitted by members of the community. While most of these new maps will take place in the theaters of war covered by Allied Assault--North Africa, Europe, and the Eastern Front--the game's multiplayer component is getting a new mode called tug of war. This team-based mode pits two sides against each other, with one team tasked with taking four objectives, which the other team has to defend. Once an objective--like freeing a POW or securing a bunker--has been completed, the game will load the next map, which has the second objective. If the attacking team successfully completes their objective, the third map will load, and so on. If the attacking team is pushed back and fails to complete its objective, the preceding map will load, and that team will have to defend the objective it previously secured.
The rumored cooperative single-player mode will not be included in this expansion pack. Instead, Electronic Arts is toying with the idea of adding that mode to a future add-on, though those details are still far from final. It should also be noted that Medal of Honor: Allied Assault Expansion Pack isn't this add-on's final name. Currently, Electronic Arts is tossing around names like "Medal of Honor: Team Assault" and "Medal of Honor: Reload" for this game, though those two might not be the company's final choices, either. Whatever it's going to be called, you can expect to find this expansion pack to Allied Assault on store shelves in late fall.
- Release Date: Nov 11, 2002 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.
- Release Date: 2003 (US)