EA still defending Taliban controversy as MOH launches

Heavily-promoted COD rival drawing 8/10 review scores so far

EA studio Danger Close has defended its decision to rename a playable multiplayer faction in Medal of Honor from Taliban to Opposing Force.

"We didn't change any pixels in the game at all except for the name," marketing director Craig Owens told Joystiq, "and it only appeared a couple times in multiplayer."

However, he blamed the controversy surrounding the original name on a lack of awareness among non-gamers.

"The objection was, kind of from an older generation that doesn't understand games, that the soundbyte was 'Play as the Taliban and kill US soldiers.'

"Later that soundbyte kind of caught wind and got taken out of context, really."

He claimed that it was " just a misunderstanding... It's just one of those transition points, where people who don't play games still think they're just for 12-year-olds and they're just all fun and games and they could never really tell a story like a movie does."

Owens went on to reiterate EA's claim that the game was highly respectful towards US troops.

The Afghanistan-set shooter launches today in the US, with the first concerted wave of reviews due to arrive this afternoon.

A handful of scores have been released already, with the game so far drawing an average of around 8/10 from the likes of CVG, IncGamers and PlanetXbox360.

EA has claimed that it is the most pre-ordered Medal of Honor title ever, although pre-order culture appears to have experienced phenomenal growth in recent years.

Pre-sales of the PC version have, however, been significant enough to see it reach number four in Steam's current best-sellers chart, behind various versions of Left 4 Dead and Civilization V.

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