MoH: Warfighter Got Right
- + Characters you’ll actually care about
- + Car chases are full of excitement
MoH: Warfighter Got Wrong
- - Campaign can be finished in less than five hours
- - Story is disoriented and hard to follow at times
- - Doesn’t distinguish itself from other shooters on the market
Since it’s release just over a week ago, Medal of Honor: Warfighter has been the target of intense criticism, receiving scores as low as 3/10 and 4/10 from various reputable gaming websites. I’m here to tell you that it’s really not that bad – no, it doesn’t bring anything new to the proverbial table and yes, this is one of those titles only worth picking up from the bargain bin – but MoH:Warfighter provides entertainment for what it’s worth, and that’s all it needs to do.
Warfighter’s campaign doesn’t offer anything you haven’t seen from your generic FPS before - you’ll follow your squad mates around various linear environments, shoot bad guy after bad guy and encounter the odd cinematic set piece. The only problem with this, however, is that the game becomes complacent. Aside from chasing and escaping from enemies in occasional intense vehicular sequences (I’ll get to that), the game literally consists of moving forward, shooting an absurd amount of enemies (who feel like they’ve just been put there for the sake of it) and saving the day.
The aforementioned car scenes, though, are a lot of fun and provide a genuine feel of excitement that the game sorely lacks. Whether it’s chasing down an enemy to recover intel or escaping through a Dubai sandstorm, the car chases are some of the best fun you’ll have playing MoH: Warfighter. Developers Danger Close even implemented Burnout-esque features to the sequences, slowing down time and showing the full impact of a crash upon smashing into another vehicle.
The game runs on DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine, and looks especially pretty during cutscenes, as you’d expect. Warfighter’s story allows you to assume the roles of U.S Navy SEALs Preacher and Stump, who embark on a manhunt spanning various continents after a siege at the docks goes wrong. You’ll traverse through numerous environments in the game and assume different roles – one mission may see the player infiltrating a terrorist base in the Middle East, another a frantic getaway by boat or escape from the clutches of the enemy. The game has been canned for its generic approach (a little too harshly, though), and rightly so - Warfighter had plenty of opportunity to bring a unique campaign to the table – but ultimately its diverse scenarios play out in ways we’ve seen a hundred times before.
In saying that, the single-player does provide a look at the lives of soldiers beyond the battlefront, and its refreshing to see the story of Preacher (as well as Mother, to an extent) fleshed out and portrayed as a human, with the same problems normal people would encounter. Disappointingly though, the campaign can be completed in less than five hours, and in my case (someone with far too much spare time on their hands), I finished it in one sitting.
Whilst the short storyline will still allow you to form a connection with the characters, it would have greatly benefitted from an increased amount of fresh, unique gameplay, as well as further exploring the lives of soldiers behind the front lines. On top of this, the story is perplexing at the best of times and it’s extremely easy to lose sight of where you’re up to, between the constant flashbacks and switching between characters. Heck, if you’re not following closely, you’re probably not going to be able to distinguish who’s who between certain key characters.
Onto the multiplayer side of things, it’s a solid experience, but it doesn’t know whether it wants to be CoD, Battlefield or even Ghost Recon to an extent, and it’s not worth laying down $70-odd when chances are you already own a multiplayer experience just like it. The gameplay won’t take much getting used to and game modes such as the classic Team Deathmatch are pretty smooth experiences overall, and actually prove to be a bit of fun (when you’re not getting slaughtered, of course).
Aside from the obvious CoD/Battlefield-esque gameplay similarities, you’re able to customise each individual part of your guns, such as the optics or barrel, a la Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. You can choose from a variety of different factions/countries who each entail different weapon sets, be it a Sniper, Assaulter, Demolitions, Heavy Gunner, Point Man, or Spec Ops. Fireteams are also a nifty addition to the game, with each team of eight players split individually into teams of two who fight for the top spot as best team on the battleground. All in all, there’s actually a wealth of content embedded in the game’s multiplayer, but it’s simply not unique enough to warrant a purchase.
The Final Verdict
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is entertaining, yet unfortunately lacks any real substance or uniqueness to separate itself from the saturated FPS market of today. The game ultimately feels rushed, and has certainly been hindered by its October 23 release date, which should have been pushed back into the early months of 2013 to allow for Danger Close to continue adding to the game, and to avoid the rush that will inevitably follow titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Halo 4. Come next week, amidst the Halo 4 frenzy, Medal of Honor: Warfighter will be forgotten, a tragedy considering the series’ dominance during the earlier part of the decade.
It really should have been a $25-30 digital-only downloadable title, for the amount of content it provides isn’t worth a full purchase. If you’re still interested, give it a rent or pick it up for cheap in a few months time.
By Jake Galouzis