A screenshot from "Medal of Honor Warfighter" is seen. (Electronic Arts)
Anyone who's served in uniform knows military life can take its toll on marriage and family.
Now, video-game makers at Electronic Arts are giving a nod to that struggle and strain on the home front with the latest installment in the venerable "Medal of Honor" franchise.
Set for release Oct. 23, "Medal of Honor Warfighter" will put players back in the boots of "Preacher," the special ops run-and-gun character introduced in 2010, when the game jumped from World War II battlefields to modern-day conflict in Afghanistan.
This time, however, the game's plot will focus on the "struggle between balancing family life and doing what's necessary to make sure they have a safe life," says Peter Nguyen, an EA spokesman.
The game opens, for example, with Preacher meeting his wife in Madrid while on leave only to get sidetracked by a train bomber.
"He returns home to find his family torn apart from years of combat deployment. Trying to pick up the pieces and salvage what remains of his marriage, Preacher is reminded of what he's fighting for — family," reads Warfighter's promotional materials.
The game's story is based largely on a narrative written by retired Navy SEALs Nate Brown and Kevin Vance, who penned the script after comparing notes from their own deployments downrange.
Both kept what they called "vent books" to channel the frustrations and challenges of deployment.
"They didn't want to bitch and bring each other down, so they wrote in their vent books and that's what formed the basis of their manuscript," says Nguyen.
But don't expect the touchy-feely game play of, say, "The Sims," he says. This is still a squarely a first-person shooter.
"Most of this family dynamic comes in the cut scenes and story building," Nguyen says.
But you'll notice in other ways, too. Collaborating with the Warfighter game makers, rock band Linkin Park released a music video of its single "Castle of Glass" featuring emotional military themes.