Last week was something like a banner week for PC demos. Medal of Honor: Airborne released theirs and I was surprised at how polished it felt. There are still one or two odd things going on, like the enemy standing confused for a moment in the middle of a firefight, or some wonky physics, but it feels as if could be the step up that the franchise needs to compete with Call of Duty. Then again, I felt the same way when I played the Pacific Assault demo years ago, only to play the full game later and realize that the rest of the package wasn’t as fun. One thing that is harder to overlook is the fact that all of the banners in the game have the Iron Cross on them again.
If you’re playing a WW2 game set in Europe against the Wehrmacht or its allies, you’re bound to run into…you guessed it…Nazis. Other titles haven’t shied away from this when it comes to the presentation of their game, such as the shots from Pandemic’s upcoming Saboteur appear to show. Even a “what if” title such as Codemasters’ Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is being historically honest with itself with this one aspect. Treyarch’s take on the Call of Duty franchise with Call of Duty 3 for the 360 used it both in the on and offline portions of the game, and iD’s Castle Wolfenstein and Silas Warners’ original didn’t seem to suffer from this kind of self censoship. I can understand that EA’s possible reasons for doing so, but for the rest of us who are hoping for just a little historical leeway, the kind that films have also enjoyed, you have to wonder if EA is just being a little too PC.
Massive Entertainment has also gone on to release a demo of their upcoming WW3 “what-if” title, World in Conflict which includes one single player campaign mission to defend a small town from the Soviet spearhead. I’m excited for this one, even though I’m not much of an RTS player, if only because of the setting. The demo also comes with one MP map to try out. I participated in the beta for MP and it was pretty impressive stuff, with you being able to hop into an active game at any point without having to wait until the end. The demo also throws in some Tears for Fears at the end during the credits with “Everyone Wants to Rule the World” for more WW3 goodness. Looking at who else is listed music-wise and there’s going to be some eighties goodness in there. There are also ads in there, but not what you might think. For example, Burger King has gotten into the act so you can expect to see a few restaurants pop up on the battlefield. And if you’re not a fan of the King, you can always ‘accidentally’ drop an air fuel bomb nearby and flame broil the Soviets that ‘might’ be there your way. Now I’m all about this kind of ad based stuff, if that’s what it is. A taste of the real world, but done in such a way that it’s actually part of the game instead of feeling tacked on. Especially if you can make it go boom.