X360: Why move from WWII to 20thC war now, after 11 years of Medal Of Honor?
GREG GOODRICH: Well, the last eleven years EA has told a lot of stories and we’ve said what we’ve wanted to. So for this new Medal Of Honor we decided to keep those same core tenets of authenticity and respect for the soldier, and reverance for the material. But this reboot is to update and start telling some new stories and it was when we were first introduced to these new operators – the Tier One operators – that we really found the backbone of our game. We had an idea of what we wanted to do and the types of stories we wanted to tell once we met these guys and they started interacting with the studio and individuals on the team. It all just started to gel, though it was a long process of getting them comfortable and on board. It’s telling a story from a soldier’s point of view and if you do that in a way that pays tribute and honours them, everything else comes secondary. This is the story about those guys and the guys on the ground, not a story about war. Not a story about the enemy. It’s a story about them and their community. It’s a fictional story told by a band of fictional characters.
X360: Was it a conscious decision to go for these Tier one operators right from the start?
GREG GOODRICH: We knew we wanted to tell stories of exceptional individuals in extreme situations and these are some exceptional individuals. Clearly they’re genetically different, they’re extremely good at what they do, they’ve spent their entire careers becoming who they are and standing next to men of equal character and ability. But it’s the mind set, I think, that surprised me most of all, in the sense that, the types of things that drives them and their attention to detail, almost an unconscious competence to screen out distraction and let their instinct take over, leave their minds free to do what they want to do.
X360: Sounds very Zen.
GREG GOODRICH: Yeah. They’re highly, highly intelligence guys, not your stereotypical barrel-chested knuckle-dragger, kicking in doors and doing their thing. They’re like modern day Samurai… truly. That’s the kind of state we’re trying to get the gamer into… when the world around them is going to shit their first instinct is “I can fix this.” So there’s a very pivotal moment where the Tier One guys have got the intelligence, they’ve done the insertion and now it’s time for the Rangers to show up, they’re confident. But that changes pretty quickly because they’ve underestimated their enemy. By the next part of the story things have gone clearly wrong, really bad, pretty quickly. You want the gamer to think “I can fix this, if I try hard enough and play good enough,” like a Tier One Operator would think if he was there. So just for a fleeting moment we can get someone in that mindset if he was there and let them experience what it’s like to be around guys that also think this way. Hopefully when players play Medal Of Honor from the beginning they will see how the goals of these individual change when things go horribly wrong and what they need to do to fix it.
Part 2 of xb1.co.uk’s Medal Of Honor interview continues tomorrow, when we discuss beards. Yes, beards.