Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes. It was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
The soldier’s story: is it the story of battle, or brotherhood? Or, is it the struggle of returning to civilian life, or maybe the loss of life?
Medal of Honor 2010 told the story of Tier-1 operators, a group of specialized military operators who embed themselves deep into enemy territory for extended periods of time. Like the many sets of boots that hit the battlefield, their stories often do not get told and many simply don’t have any idea what those fighting for our country endure.
This is where Danger Close Studios and Electronic Arts decided to take the storyteller reins.
For those who didn’t lay their hands on Medal of Honor 2010, it fell a bit short of where the sights were set. Much like ‘Warfighter, the 2010 rendition followed paralleled stories based on true events and the extreme environments these battles take place. After extensively playing through the multiplayer in a hands-on event, there was no doubt that Medal of Honor: Warfighter was looking to correct issues seen in Medal of Honor 2010.
The campaign of Medal of Honor: Warfighter revisits “Preacher,” “Dusty,” “Voodoo” and “Mother” who are the protagonists from the first title. A new character, “Stump” is also introduced to MAKO Company and follows Voodoo, who is in his new leadership role. The soldiers’ stories are told in a deeper sense, and are far more revealing, gripping and personable this time around. The character Stump is playable aside from Preacher.
I did feel that Stump could have been a more vocal, and less of a all around “meh” character. He is the character playable opposite Preacher. His name and lack of background essentially made me not particularly care for him at all. This is important due to the circumstances of the game’s story.
The chaos of war is juxtaposed with the turmoil that Preacher is experiencing in his home life. His wife Lena and daughter both have been missing Preacher’s affection. The tension arises with him being whisked away for yet another mission where he pays loyalty and patriotism to his country by going deep into terror cells.
The tension furthers when the substance known as P.E.T.N. is discovered, which, according to the information headers in the game, “…is one of the most powerful explosives in the world”.
One of the main goals of the revamp in the franchise was to tell the story in accordance with real-life events. We know this to be true, as EA was sought after for almost revealing too much about the United States and its military endeavors during its consulting. The game takes us to such places as Pakistan, Madrid and Yemen which are hot areas in the current conflict that the United States and other countries are involved in. This is where the Tier-1 Operators from all parts of the world come into contact with each other, leaving allied nations to undergo secretive missions for the safety of others.
With the continuation of the story of the “Tier-1 Operator” many might be wondering just how Medal of Honor: Warfighter differs from its predecessor. Some noticeable improvements can be seen in things like the character dialogue, art style, and a refocused multiplayer.
There were many who complained that the dialogue of the first title was too militarized. This is something that has changed quite a bit in ‘Warfighter, bringing realistic military conversation weaved in with casual banter. This is done without overwhelming us with the smothering film of Hollywood that is seen in other games.
The art style of the game has also changed. In MoH, I hate to say it, but we saw something that lightly resembled the design of Battlefield at its core. It felt like the game was the little brother of the Battlefield series, and not an entity of its own. This time around it is a full-fledged standalone and it shows in its art style. The game has remnants of Medal of Honor titles of the past and still shines through with pristine graphics and physics thanks to the FrostBite 2 engine.
While the graphics and physics make for a realistic approach, there were inconsistencies in some of the structures and demolition. Certain staircases were literally hit and miss when it came to firing though them, and other structures made out of wood were either flimsy, tore away or were pelted with bullets unscathed.
The driving of the game is “different” to say the least. I did think the first chase scene was a bit too long. The others were arcade in style, but the missions with weaponry were well done.
The game does however pick itself right back up again in other areas. The Hard and Tier-1 modes make their respective returns and offer more challenges to players. The multiplayer is yet again one of the most striking and fun to play aspects to this first person shooter.
We spent hands-on time with the shooter quite some time ago. Seeing it grow from the period it was at and finally reaching fruition on launch day is comforting. If you don’t think that developers take into account what gamers say about games, then you would be shockingly wrong. BETAs are there to introduce concepts and tweak them based on player feedback. The end result is what you will be playing come launch day, so dropping that knowledge is key.
The multiplayer of the game has progressed from the prior release. We see some of the same features in game modes such as the traditional Team Deathmatch and Sector Control. Hot Spot and other modes deliver enough go around to keep players entertained.
The challenge to improve the multiplayer aspect of the game seemed to be at the heels of the developers. Classes are no longer limited to three different class types, but have opened up to the Assaulter, SpecOps, Sniper, Demolitions and the Heavy Gunner. Players are also called upon to become a special partner during online matches.
The use of the Fire Team Buddy is one new addition. Players can benefit from things like respawns, resupply and the most important of all—cover fire.
If played well, your Fire Team Buddy provides a unique experience being that you are cooperatively playing while still part of a squad of players. The balancing of classes can be utilized between you and your buddy, but also assist in the squad’s success.
Leveling up your player is similar to other games being that XP points will be gained after matches. Weapons and various accessories open up to assist you in battle. Statistics are listed on the sides of each upgrade, so throwing on that barrel stock or muzzle isn’t just for glamorous looks. Progression will also unlock operators from other countries and allow you to play under each class. This gives players the opportunity to return to the game much like MoH 2010, along with a sustainability factor for those who aren’t just looking for a $50-60 pop and drop.
Modes like Hot Spot, Sector Control and Combat Mission open up their respective maps to give that same type of sandbox style gameplay that Battlefield players are used to. This opens up each map one sector at a time, giving them a more expansive feel.
While the game definitely upped its ante, there were still a few hiccups to be found. During the campaign there were plenty of times where animations were stuck and the missions did not progress. Other times, the sound effects missed their mark, particularly when switching to the pistol. Firing off a couple rounds, regardless of having environment noise or other weaponry, often left the first couple of shots to fall silent.
It is obvious that the game was centered on its PC development. The Xbox 360 version was reviewed and also included an additional 1.7-gigabyte content disc. The two disc set also separates the multiplayer and single player games. While the campaign might not be down the line, it was however rather annoying to switch back and forth between the two early on in the game.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter encompasses the struggles of a soldier in today’s society. Although it may not have the glitz and glam of other FPS war titles, it offers more: an original story (particularly due to its real life scenarios) and art style gives the game its own personality.
After finishing the review, I decided to take a gander at what others out there felt. After looking at the comments and scores I was a bit surprised. This was also following the late release of the game to larger sites as opposed to getting the game weeks before launch in preparation of releasing a review on launch day. To me, it’s like EA had a birthday party, but didn’t invite all of its best friends until the day of. Now, you go to the party—you feel a bit resentful–but still attend.
Yes, the game does suffer from some sound and visual errors, but what game doesn’t on launch? The story provides a bit more background in the life of Preacher and journeys to places other than the typical desert firestorm scene. The multiplayer limits player classes, but does so with the intention of not becoming a watered down shooter in a bro’s only club. Designated servers deliver quite the edge for those looking for true skill in online matches, not to mention the accessorizing in guns and classes.
If anything, Medal of Honor: Warfighter deserves a renting. Get your mitts on the game and then decide whether or not you should drop the bills for this different offering of a war story. If you don’t want to take reviews into consideration, at the least, take my word and try the game before you buy.
+ Art Style
+ / – Storyline
+ / – Sound
– Minor Bugs
– Characters (Stump)
– Second content disc (Xbox 360)