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Making  Medal of Honor  multiplayer a sport, not a war
Making Medal of Honor multiplayer a sport, not a war Exclusive
October 24, 2012 | By Christian Nutt

October 24, 2012 | By Christian Nutt
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Design, Exclusive

Medal of Honor came under fire in the past for its questionable representation of geopolitical realities -- in the prior iteration of the franchise, players could play as the Taliban, though the name was dropped from the final game amid controversy.

Avoiding real-world geopolitical situations is one factor that has shaped how the latest game's multiplayer is presented and designed, multiplayer creative director and DICE veteran Kristoffer Bergqvist tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview.

"It's more about the units, what they do, their training, their equipment, and them battling it out to see which is the stronger one," he tells Gamasutra.

Bergqvist also thinks that trying to make it about the realities of battle is, in the end, futile. "Our take on the multiplayer is [that it] turns into a sport really fast. Immersion, in a big way, kinda goes away after an hour or so of multiplayer gaming."

This time, the team drew inspiration from its military consultants, and their rivalries.

"When we heard our Operators talk about [Special Forces], there was a lot sense of pride of them. They were very honored by being close to them; they did a great job. But every single Operator we talked about was assured that 'my unit is the best one.'"

This gave the team an idea -- to run with the rivalry. "So we decided to take a page out of the FIFA and EA Sports book and let you represent your nation in a more red versus blue scenario. So I can have my Swedish clan and I can go out and compete with a Navy Seal clan to show who's best."

The goal, he says, is to "stay out of the politics" and create a compelling mulitplayer experience. It is, at least, more intellectually honest than the company's last go-round.

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Nick Harris
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They could have kept the Taliban in multiplayer if everyone on the battlefield had the same hit-boxes, jump height, movement speed and weapon loadouts. Maybe this wasn't possible because the enemy used AK47s and RPGs against differently equipped Marines. I think this was probably the reason, but if you have a game like Halo 3 you could have a Red versus Blue match of Team Slayer and provided that no one chose to play as Elites both sides could be Red as far as they were concerned. Objectively you would have Team 'X' and Team 'Y', with someone on Team 'X' seeing the enemy as Blue whilst someone on Team 'Y' also saw their enemy as Blue in a kind of subjective delusion. Therefore, no one need play as terrorists yet the other team can appear to dress as Taliban even though as far as they are concerned their self-image and subjective impressions of their team mates shows them to be the good guys in Marine uniform.

I doubt I have managed to explain this concept hampered as I was by the lack of diagrams... Heigh ho...

Dragos Inoan
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Basically what you're saying is America's Army :P