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July 17, 2003
Medal of Honor: Rising Sun - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
7/11/2003EA GamesEA Games1-4 $99.95

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Action at Pear Harbour.
EA's Medal of Honor series has earned itself a reputation of polished, but not quite revolutionary first person shooter status. The PSOne games were applauded due to their realistic re-creation of World War II battles and atmosphere. The first game in the series to hit Playstation 2 was last years Medal of Honor: Frontline. This game grabbed people attention by the stunning opening sequence which was the landing on Omaha Beach. This was possibly the most exciting opening to a game ever, but upon playing the final version was a little too short-lived for my - and many other peoples - liking. Still, Medal of Honor: Frontline was an impressive game overall, and one that sold by the truckload. A year on and Electronic Arts are Working on the next game in the series, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun.

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In the jungles.
As the subtitle suggests Rising Sun is set in the Pacific theatre of war, with the Japanese as the enemies rather then the Germans. The war has shifted to the Pacific Theatre, and its outcome depends on you, Marine Corporal Joseph Griffin. As Japanese forces seek to expand their dominion over the Pacific, you must use stealth, commando tactics, and sabotage to turn the tide in your favor. Of course by moving the game to the Pacific has meant all new battles to be fought with EA Games including historical battles such as Pearl Harbor, the bridge on the River Kwai and Guadalcanal.

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In the jungles of Asia.
One of the major questions was exactly how Electronic Arts were going to top the beach landing opening from the previous game. As some of you may have seen in the surrounding screenshots the answer to that is the attack on Pearl Harbor. Fortunately there isn't any sighting of Ben Affleck or Josh Hartnett, meaning this game should have some realism to it. The screenshots and movies looks absolutely stunning with planes flying overhead, bombs exploding and ships sinking. At this early stage it certainly looks set to surpass the beach landing.

Medal of Honor: Rising Sun includes ten gameplay levels spread across five major missions set between 1941 and 1945. Your goal (unsurprisingly) is to stop Japanese forces from achieving control of the Pacific Theatre. During the game you'll have the use of over 20 authentic weapons including pistols, rifles and machine guns. Also promised during the game are multiple paths to destroy the enemies and complete the missions. Some missions will be solo commando styled efforts while others will see you acting as a par of a military squad.

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Explosions immenent.
The game will also feature an all-new reward system, unlockable extras, realistic environment rendering (including foliage, water, and weather effects), unparalleled sound design, and an authentic WWII look and feel with the assistance of renowned military technical advisor Capt. Dale Dye who also lends his knowledge to many memorable movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Casualties of War, Thin Red Line and most recently the Band of Brothers mini-series. Another of the new features is the 2-player co-op play through the ten multi-player missions. The developers have also included 10 maps for 4-player death matches. It would have been nice to see online gameplay included but the split screen mode is more then welcome.

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Watch out for the elephants!
As pointed out by Capt. Dale Dye the biggest change from the European to Pacific theatre of war is that the Pacific region had a lot more areas of dense shrub where solders couldn't be spotted until virtually right in front of you. This is something that EA are keen to emphasise so you can expect plenty of surprises during the levels. The graphics and sound once again should be top notch and the Pear Harbor opening looks sensational.

One of the more interesting aspects of this title is that Electronic Arts are going to tie this game into a sequel/side story to be released in 2004. During early missions of this game Joe (that's your character) fights alongside his brother Donny. Rather early on in the game the two brothers become separated. While you continue playing as Joe, Donny's story won't be told until the next game in the series. Medal of Honor: Rising Sun is currently scheduled for release in Australia in early November 2003.