In 2010, Electronic Arts released the modern era Medal of Honor, a reboot of franchise that dominated the World War II shooter genre until passing the torch to the original Call of Duty titles. Just like EA’s Battlefield series and Activision’s Call of DutyMedal of Honor traded in its historical setting for characters, weapons and stories grounded in modern day reality. More than the competition however, Medal of Honor aimed to offer the most “authentic” shooter experience for gamers, basing its campaign on the experiences of real-life Tier 1 operators.

On the multiplayer side of things, Medal of Honor wasn’t serviced as well. Danger Close Games (formally EA Los Angeles  (formally DreamWorks Interactive LLC)) – developerception – developed the core game but DICE (Battlefield) was brought in to work on the felt-too-separate multiplayer component. For Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Danger Close is doing it all themselves and you’ll be able to try it before the game releases in the multiplayer beta. That is, if you’re an Xbox 360 owner.

The multiplayer component of Warfighter is being advertised around the “innovative” idea that players can chose from teams of Tier 1 operators from 10 different nations around the world for multiplayer. Outside of the uniform and team name, we’re still unsure how this affects gameplay, but there is a mode that pits the international teams against each other, letting players fight for a little national pride. It’s one of the ways – along with a push towards eSports competitive modes – that Danger Close is attempting to differentiate MOH from Battlefield 3, that other modern shooter using the same Frostbite 2 game engine from the same publisher that still is launching new DLC content.

Like Battlefield 3’s multiplayer beta last year, Medal of Honor: Warfighter is receiving its own multiplayer beta just a few weeks before launch. The game hits shelves October 23rd and in early October, the beta releases exclusively for the Xbox 360 – odd considering EA has a time exclusivity deal with Sony for BF3 DLC on the PS3. The unspecified dates of the beta will not give Danger Close any time to make significant changes to multiplayer and balancing (Battlefield 3 desperately needed that) but it does let the developers stress test the servers and match-making.

What is available in the beta?
Answer: The Medal of Honor Warfighter beta will feature multiplayer action with all 12 units and 6 classes available. Full weapon unlocks will be available for the Assaulter class.

If a lot of players to jump in, at least 3 million, then the Linkin Park “Castle of Glass” music video for MOH: Warfighter will release a few days earlier. If that’s not enough of a buzz-generating incentive, than maybe the 60 minutes of double XP you get from downloading the beta may be. Or not. These promotions aren’t going to do much to combat the apparent “disinterest” in the Medal of Honor franchise that’s resulted in reduced sales estimates for the followup, but despite our thoughts on what “authentic” means in a game with floating cross-hairs, ammo indicators and instant-aiming we are very interested in the campaign and seeing how the new multiplayer modes play out.

Some questions for you: Will the campaign of Warfighter let it compete against Battlefield 3Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2 and will its multiplayer modes offer an experience greater than what’s already on the market and releasing this fall? Watch the following gameplay videos and share your thoughts in the comments.

Step into the boots of Tier 1 Operators in this Single Player trailer as they infiltrate an Abu Sayyaf terrorist stronghold to rescue hostages from the capitol building of Basilan, Philippines.

The SEAL Sniper

The SEAL Point Man

The Fireteam

The Assaulter

Medal of Honor: Warfighter releases October 23, 2012 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

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