There were plenty of blockbuster titles on show at this year’s EB Expo, and shooting fans in particular were spoilt for choice. Whether they wanted a shot at the multiplayer in Halo 4 or Call of Duty Black Ops II, there were long lines to join to get in on the action. But also making a prominent appearance at the show was the hotly anticipated Medal of Honor Warfighter. Not only that, but Creative Director of Multiplayer, Kristoffer Bergqvist, from the developers Danger Close, was there to sign autographs and talk with the fans as we near the game’s release. He also had time to chat with Rocket Chainsaw about what we can expect out of life, love and Medal of Honor Warfighter. But mainly the last one.
Rocket Chainsaw: So as Creative Director of Multiplayer on Warfighter, what does your role entail?
Kristoffer Bergqvist: My role is basically working with the team to define the creative overall vision of ‘What is Medal of Honor Warfighter?’ And then, once that is done, kind of steer this awesome ship that the multiplayer development team is and hold us on the same course and make sure we do what we set out to do.
RC: Danger Close was the developer of the single-player section of the original Medal of Honor in 2010, and now you’re taking on the multiplayer aspect as well. Has this affected the development process significantly?
KB: It helped us so much. It’s an awesome experience just finally being in the same team under the same roof. We still have guys there who made the first Medal of Honor 15 years ago. It’s also how we get access to all the special operators who frequent the studio.
RC: The multiplayer has a global focus now, with special forces from ten countries including Australia. How does this effect the gameplay for online players?
KB: Ten countries, twelve different units. So, it started off with us sitting down and talking to the Tier 1 Operators. And, they talk very highly about the international forces, so we felt that this was really cool, that we really wanted to get into the game. So, basically how it works in-game is that – you get your sniper, and he is Korean, which makes a lot of sense since the UDT/SEALs have some of the best sniper training in the world. You unlock your point man, which is like your light infantry, he’s going to be SASR. But, say you want to play SASR a lot, say you want to play SASR as a sniper as well, you can actually unlock the ability to do so later on. It’s just you have to work a little bit for it.
RC: Authenticity seems to be key this time around for Medal of Honor, so much so that you’ve got actual Tier 1 Operators like ‘Dog’ to consult with you. Tell us about working with these guys and how they helped the process?
KB: It’s pretty awesome. Every time they come in, it’s like Batman steps into your office, right? We started off the process of just designing multiplayer that Medal of Honor has always been about telling the story of the soldiers, so we started from the same position of sitting down and talking to them – that’s how we came up with our global focus and our Fireteam feature, which we came up with after seeing how they work together in packs. The Navy SEALS call them swim buddies, where you get one guy and get really well connected to them. We felt like, we wanna emulate that, we wanna get that in our game. So, we started designing features around it, so that all, or most, of our features actually come from discussions with them.
RC: The Frostbite 2 Engine is a big feature in Warfighter, how is the team utilising it and what improvements can players expect over the original Medal of Honor?
KB: Frostbite 2 is amazing. It does a lot of things, I mean it gives us the tools to make the game look fantastic and sound fantastic, you’ve seen and heard that. It also gives us a stable platform to playtest on. Which means, we’ve been playing Medal of Honour Warfighter for the last two years, almost daily, which allowed us to add so many more features on top of the core gaming experience. So now we have six classes, they all have their own unique score streaks and so on. All these things that are, balance-wise, kind of risky, we can do using the Frostbite 2 engine. Also, of course, since Frostbite is being used by more and more studios within EA, it’s easier for us to shift resources back and forth that can help us out. We are showing a driving level now, which of course the Need for Speed guys helped us build. That’s the power of Frostbite, allowing us to have a kick-ass driving level in the middle of a shooting game. It helps a lot. Also, I’m ex-DICE, and I still know all the guys over there. We send playtest builds back and forth, we just talk about our game.
RC: What do you think will attract players to Medal of Honor Warfighter over the multitude of other blockbuster FPS titles out there?
KB: One thing is that this is the big authentic shooter, you get in there, you get to use the real gear that the real guys use. Also, our Fireteam feature, it creates teamwork in a way you haven’t seen before. I see how people react, and how they become friends just by being randomly placed in a Fireteam and just battling it out together. I believe very strongly in that feature, and I’m looking forward to getting it out there.
Medal of Honor Warfighter will be available on PC, PS3 and 360 on 25 October, 2012.