Question and Answer from John Whitmore
John Whitmore, Director of Development for 2015 took a moment out of his time to answer some questions that the Gamer's Hell staff had for him. The following is what he had to say...
Will the game be voice-enabled for either PC or Xbox?
On the PC the player can use one of the various retail voice over internet products (like Roger Wilco) for in-game voice chat. Of course for Xbox Live, the player can use the voice-chat capabilities of the Xbox communicator. Voice makes it a lot easier to coordinate movements with your teammates, a tactic that is especially effective in Men of Valor.
What new ideas have been introduced to Men of Valor, with some of the team having worked on the Medal of Honor games?
The combat system has received a number of innovations to help represent the deadly, chaotic nature of small arms combat during Vietnam. The player has a Precise Aim ability, which allows him to steady himself and aim carefully, increasing his chances to hit and controlling recoil on automatic weapons. The player can lean around corners and make tactical use of cover to a much greater extent than games in the Medal of Honor series, and this ability is shared by his enemies. Wounds will cause bleeding over time, and the player has to balance his need to bandage himself against the opportunity to press the attack, adding another layer of decision making. Additional health and ammunition is found mainly by searching the bodies of enemies, which can be dangerous in the middle of a firefight.
The player will fight alongside a squad of fellow Marines, each with his own distinct personality and characteristic. The squadmates interact with the player dynamically, following his lead. They will actively search for cover and firing positions from which to engage the enemy, investigate the corpses of fallen Viet Cong, help bandage each other when wounded, and even carry downed comrades back to cover – all without being scripted to do so.
Another major innovation that adds greatly to the player experience is our Dynamic Battle Chatter system – friendlies and enemies will shout out to each other and to the player as a battle unfolds using unscripted dialog, communicating their status to the player and adding a human dimension to the chaotic audio of a firefight. Overall, the biggest difference between Men of Valor and previous cinematic military shooters is in the gameplay -- more intense and action-packed combat, that is at the same time more deliberate and tactical.
Will there be a co-op mode for the Xbox?
The entire single player campaign can be played through cooperatively on the Xbox.
Can you identify any differences in between Men of Valor and DICE's Battlefield Vietnam?
Battlefield is really a multiplayer only affair – Men of Valor presents a 25+ hour long single player experience that unfolds a mature and serious storyline with the high production values and dramatic in-game events gamers have come to expect from 2015. Battlefield is fast paced and a bit “arcadey”, where Men of Valor goes more in the direction of authenticity and rewards use of cover and tactical decision-making. Battlefield combines infantry and vehicle combat in a non-historical manner, where Men of Valor concentrates on small arms combat with more historical orders of battle. Maps in Men of Valor are much more densely foliated than in Battlefield Vietnam, offering a lot more opportunities for cover and concealment, and even the urban maps are far more cluttered and battle-torn, creating a more authentic look and allowing more interesting period combat situations to emerge. Battlefield Vietnam is a lot of fun, and I think player who like the Vietnam milieu but want a more extensive single player experience or want to try more infantry-based multiplayer will really enjoy Men of Valor.
What sort of role(s) will the player fill in the game? Commander? Lowly soldier? A progressive, RPG-style character that builds in ability and rank?
The player begins as a Private and moves up in rank as the war progresses. There is no fanfare or medals associated with his promotions, however – he is far more concerned about keeping his buddies safe and making it home alive than winning glory.