Medal of Honor (1999 video game)

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Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor (1999 video game).png
European cover art
Developer(s)DreamWorks Interactive
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Producer(s)Peter Hirschmann
Designer(s)Christopher Cross
Lynn Henson
Programmer(s)Michael Heilemann
Adrian Jones
Artist(s)Matt Hall
Sunil Thankamushy
Writer(s)Peter Hirschmann
Composer(s)Michael Giacchino
SeriesMedal of Honor
  • NA: October 31, 1999
  • EU: 1999
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Medal of Honor is a 1999 first-person shooter video game, developed by DreamWorks Interactive and published by Electronic Arts for PlayStation. It is the first installment in the Medal of Honor video game series. The story was created by film director and producer Steven Spielberg.[1][failed verification]


In Medal of Honor, the player takes the role of the fictional Lieutenant Jimmy Patterson, a former C-47 Skytrain pilot in the Air Transport Command who was later recruited to the OSS.[2]

The game takes place near the end of World War II (mid 1944-mid 1945). The goal of the game is to complete various Office of Strategic Services (OSS) missions, such as rescuing an American pilot, going undercover to board and destroy a U-boat, recovering stolen art work, and sabotaging the Nazi war effort.[3][4][5]

The game includes a split screen deathmatch mode, pitting two players against each other in various maps. Players can unlock several secret characters after completing the game or through cheat codes, including notable historical figures such as Filipino patriot José Rizal and playwright William Shakespeare, as well as outlandish characters such as a German Shepherd and a dinosaur.[6]


Development of the game started on November 11, 1997. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg held a meeting with DreamWorks Interactive staff, outlining an idea for a video game, a first-person shooter set during World War II. The idea originated from the experience his son Max had from playing the game GoldenEye 007 and Spielberg's deep interest in World War II.[7][8][9][10] The game was written and produced by Peter Hirschmann. Dale Dye served as the game's military advisor. Spielberg had previously worked with Dye on the film Saving Private Ryan.[11]

By March 1998, the game had reached its prototype stage with significant differences from the original version in the works.[12] When the game reached its finishing stage in November 1998, there was an angry letter sent from Medal of Honor recipient Paul Bucha who rejected the release of such a game, claiming it was a dishonorable project. Peter Hirschmann showed Bucha a demonstration and gave a talk, saving the project from cancellation altogether.[11]

Original animation tests for enemies took place around December 1997.[12] Enemies were structured with up to 250 polygons. Blood and gruesome deaths were originally included in the game, but the game developers removed them due to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.[11]

Medal of Honor was released on PlayStation Network as a PS one Classic on June 2, 2009 in North America.[13]


Medal of Honor Original Soundtrack Recording is the soundtrack album for the game and was composed by film composer Michael Giacchino.[14] Giacchino explained that in Medal of Honor, Jimmy Patterson was represented by two different major musical themes - the main Medal of Honor theme, and his own more personal theme which was used during the tougher moments of his journey."[15] The music was recorded by a full orchestra.[16] Most of the tracks were reproduced on a new CD for the 10th anniversary edition box-set, with the exception of the last two tracks.[citation needed]


Jeff Lundrigan reviewed the PlayStation version of the game for Next Generation, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "The best PlayStation first-person shooter in ages, Medal of Honor proves that few things are more satisfying than shooting a Nazi in the face."[26]

Medal of Honor received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[30] indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[31]

The game received "critical acclaim" according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[17] This was due to critics praising its gameplay, graphics, enemy AI, level design and soundtrack. GamePro gave the game high regards saying "This WWII Shooter features some of the most tense first-person action ever delivered on the Playstation".[32] They also said "Without question, [Medal of Honor]'s stellar soldiering makes it one of the year's top titles and must-own game".[32] PSM stated that the game was "An extraordinary game with no equal on the PlayStation".[32]

In the final issue of the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, the game was chosen as the 8th best game of all time.[33] IGN ranked the game #21 on their list of the "Top 25 Games of All Time" for the PlayStation console.[34]


Medal of Honor is the first in the Medal of Honor series and was followed by the direct sequel Medal of Honor: Underground.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2010-09-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Medal of Honor". Metacritic. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  4. ^ Medal of Honor [1999] -, retrieved 2019-01-30
  5. ^ "Medal of Honor Walkthrough". Neoseeker. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  6. ^ "Medal of Honor (1999)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  7. ^ Edge Staff (August 10, 2011). "The making of: Medal Of Honor (Incomplete)". Edge. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "Playing It Old School: How Steven Spielberg created the war-shooter genre". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  9. ^ Campbell, Colin (2012-05-29). "How Steven Spielberg Inspired Today's Top Shooters". IGN. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  10. ^ Hemmings, Jay (2019-01-12). "Medal of Honor: The WW2 Video Game Was Designed by Steven Spielberg". WAR HISTORY ONLINE. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  11. ^ a b c "The Making Of...Medal of Honor". Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Medal of Honor - Beta". Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  13. ^ "Final Fantasy VII rereleased for PS3, PSP". GameSpot. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Music by Michael Giacchino". Michael Giacchino. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  15. ^ As quoted in Gary Huff, "Interview with Michael Giacchino," Soundtrack Review Central.
  16. ^ IGN
  17. ^ a b "Medal of Honor for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  18. ^ Nguyen, Cal. "Medal of Honor (PS) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  19. ^ Edge staff (January 2000). "Medal of Honor". Edge (80).
  20. ^ "Medal of Honor". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1999.
  21. ^ Mears, Rick "The Wanderer" (November 18, 1999). "REVIEW for Medal of Honor". GameFan. Archived from the original on March 3, 2000. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  22. ^ Scary Larry (November 12, 1999). "Medal of Honor Review for PlayStation on". GamePro. Archived from the original on December 16, 2004. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  23. ^ Liu, Johnny (November 1999). "Medal of Honor Review [score mislabeled as "B+"]". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on May 18, 2006. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  24. ^ Fielder, Joe (November 8, 1999). "Medal of Honor Review (PS)". GameSpot. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  25. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (November 18, 1999). "Medal of Honor (PS)". IGN. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  26. ^ a b Lundrigan, Jeff (January 2000). "Finals". Next Generation. Vol. 3 no. 1. Imagine Media. p. 96.
  27. ^ "Medal of Honor". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. 1999.
  28. ^ "Review: Medal of Honor". PSM. December 1999.
  29. ^ Bottorff, James (2000). "Win Medal of Honor as PlayStation hero". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on April 28, 2001. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  30. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Gold". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on March 19, 2009.
  31. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.
  32. ^ a b c "Medal of Honor Official Site - Quotes". DreamWorks Interactive L.L.C. Archived from the original on 2001-04-28. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  33. ^ "Best Games of All Time". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. Future Publishing (108): 28. March 2004.
  34. ^ IGN staff (January 22, 2002). "Top 25 Games of All Time: Complete List". IGN. Retrieved September 19, 2015.

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