Medal of Honor: Warfighter – Game Analysis and Review
By Christopher ‘sLapDatSuCKa’ Jester
Developer: Danger Close
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Producer: Greg Goodrich
Engine: Frostbite 2
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Genre: First-person shooter
Mode: Single-player Campaign, multiplayer
Let’s get something out of the way first. Judge this game almost solely on its multiplayer mode; not the games’ campaign mode. The central reason is because the campaign mode is nearly non-existent; at least from the point of view of how Danger Close decided to tell an inconsistent story with a narrative that makes almost no sense. While 2010’s Medal of Honor campaign told a decent story, its sequel – Warfighter – barely makes the story cohesive.
The story follows Preacher (a character from the previous game) and Stump for the most part. However, the meaty portion of the story is supposed to center on Preacher’s emotional personal life. One minute the game may show a cutscene about Preacher going through the ups-and-downs of marriage, while in the next scenario he’s shooting terrorists. The part that makes this difficult to grasp is that the timeline jumps back and forward between present day and months before. The story is already convoluted as it is, so it comes off a bit unneeded when the story attempts to resonate emotions from not only the characters but also from its players. It tries to show that Tier 1 operatives have a life outside of the military but the struggle for the players is that the story is so messy that it takes away from what the single-player mode is really about: the levels that the players play.
When centering only on the moments of gameplay in Medal of Honor Warfighter’s campaign mode, the results are surprisingly shocking – in a good way. There are some great set pieces, and moments where the campaign puts the players in a firefight that they actually may feel like they are in. The gunplay is somewhat typical first-person shooter mechanics. Although this is true, placing a peek from cover control is new and fresh to the shooter genre. When there are ten or more AI shooting at you (which is often), this mechanic works wonders and is one of the few things that keep this shooter interesting.
One place where the campaign succeeds is how it handles its graphics. The Frostbite 2 engine continues to impress. After debuting with Battlefield 3, the engine shines beautifully in this game. From how rain falls to atmospheric lighting or the character models, Medal of Honor Warfighter showcases the Frostbite 2 engine in a demo worthy experience. This is the sort of game a player should want to show their friends. Another portion that cannot be taken away from Medal of Honor is its sound. No game outside of Battlefield 3 sounds this good. If the gamer has a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system, then they will not regret playing this game. Bullets shot from the enemy will move from the front speakers to the rear channels, creating a whizzing sound that is very realistic. Grenades and mortars will make any bass sound like a THX-certified subwoofer. That is just how impressive the sound is in this game.
While praising the campaign mode for its technical prowess, there are numerous gameplay moments that may seem over-the-top in a Call of Duty Modern Warfare sort of way, where the scenes are rather scripted. Too many times, there are levels where the player hardly needs to press anything. They can just move the analog stick forward and the game will literally play itself. This can take away from the experience, leaving the players feeling cheated.
Now onto multiplayer – where the game truly shines. While the gameplay and the modes in multiplayer are not necessarily new, it is how the maps are created that will differentiate this game from other shooters. Danger Close did a great job designing the maps. Players definitely need to check corners, because these maps have plenty of corners where opposing players may camp out. Players should not blame the game, they should blame themselves.
Danger Close created a multiplayer mode where two opposing groups of fireteams (a team of two players) must work together in modes of Team Deathmatch, Hot Spot (Capture the Flag), Real Ops (Hardcore mode), and more. Taking corners slowly and accurately is crucial in this game. Otherwise, the player and his partner will die within seconds. Without a doubt this has to be one of the more technical multiplayer shooters on the market. Players cannot run around on a circular map like Call of Duty or Halo looking for someone to shoot. Often time the maps will have hallways or alleys that lead to killzones for teams waiting for a solo player to fall into their trap. This will happen often if fireteams do not work together.
There are six classes that a player can choose: Sniper, Assaulter, Demolitions, Heavy Gunner, Point Man, and Spec Ops. Each class has a set of weapons they can choose from and customize from muzzle to scope type; each making the gun better or worse based on player preference. Along with that the classes have perks, one offensive perk and the other a defensive perk. This is a rare game where the player will need to change their class. Some classes work better for certain maps. While the sniper and Spec Ops class will likely be obvious choices because of their perks, the first thing that was a noticeable difference from the previous game is that a sniper cannot snipe you from one corner of the map to the other; most of this probably falls on how the maps are designed.
While the campaign’s story is definitely lacking, this game does not deserve the 4s and 5s that it is getting from other reviewers. This is a solid game backed up by an addicting yet challenging multiplayer mode. Take time to enjoy the multiplayer because this is a worthy experience for those who can get past the tough initial entry. Although it does not change up the shooter genre in any way, what other game this year will? First-person shooters are formulaic and Medal of Honor doesn’t separate from that, but it does its best job at being an entertaining experience this holiday season. With a forgettable single-player campaign, Medal of Honor Warfighter shines with its technical approach graphically and audio wise with a multiplayer mode that is consistent and beautifully crafted.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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