Review: Medal Of Honor: Warfighter
Medal of Honor: Warfighter aims for the stars, but rather goes into the stratosphere.
- Worth The Time?Surprisingly yes.
- Things LovedThe story did something different and was emotional, some cool locations, solid voice acting, great CGI cutscenes that have intricate detail, the lean function actually works, obligatory vehicle scenes were actually fun to do, multiplayer is expansive and filled with content, soundtrack is nice.
- Things HatedA bit standard, not a lot of variety with regards to guns, aiming is weirdly off and guns feel a bit clunky, some horrible glitches, checkpoint system is a joke, AI team-mates are borderline idiots, AI have unnatural aiming abilities such as shooting you through smoke or far away with only a pistol, multiplayer doesn't feel very engrossing, not everyone will appreciate it for what it is.
- RecommendationIf you like a good military shooter story and don't mind looking past a few faults, then I recommend it. Otherwise, wait until the price drops and pick it up.
- Name: Medal Of Honor: Warfighter
- Genre: First Person Shooter
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: Yes, 20 player multiplayer
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
- Developer: Danger Close Games
- Publisher: EA Games
- Price: R550 (Xbox 360 & PS3), R385 (PC)
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Brown, generic, run-of-the-mill, money whore and various other disdainful words were being used to describe Medal of Honor: Warfighter prior to its release. I know I’m going to be hated for saying this and will probably be tarred-and-feathered into a cauldron of molten brass made from the bullets that killed orphan children, but I actually liked Warfighter. With its ridiculous name and all. See, Warfighter does something that other military shooters shy away from and does things in its own unique way.
In the magically fun land of military FPS, the story is almost an afterthought. It’s just there to connect one shooting gallery to the next and almost never delves into personal relationships. Warfighter does that. You play as Preacher from the first game along with your buddies Mother, Voodoo and Dusty and you also play certain missions as Stump. The first cinematic shows Preacher on the phone with his wife, talking about their relationship and about their child. Right out the gate we get introduced to something truly unique and rather refreshing. Throughout the main story I felt actual personal attachment to these characters and that is something that I have never felt before in a military shooter.
Warfighter introduces you to the more “personal” side of war rather than boring you with endless tactical plans or the overuse of military jargon. It introduces a more emotional aspect when it comes to the story and just to give you an idea of how well that was implemented, I nearly cried at the game’s ending. Something that only a few games have accomplished. It was heartfelt and sincere and not just testosterone fuelled with big men holding big guns and talking funny. There are plenty of moments where your mouth is wide open and you verbally utter the words, “Oh no”. This is a military game that I will actually remember and not just forget mere days after I’ve finished it.
On to the technical side of the game, I have to say that I was a bit underwhelmed. The guns you have available to you are not really that varied and the only way you can get different weapons is if you loot them off your enemies that also don’t have a wide variety of weapons available. If that’s not bad enough the guns feel very clunky and hard to control. You’ll find yourself missing your targets with no good reason at all and that can transpire into a frustrating experience. After a while you do get used to the handling of the weapons, but that shouldn’t be a thing. The combat should be fluid and fast paced and not feel sluggish and exhausting. In one mission where you are required to snipe a bunch of enemies, I would miss an enemy for no reason whatsoever. I accounted for bullet drop just like the game told me, but I still ended up missing my enemies for no good reason. The bullet would literally fly completely off target and I ended up failing a mission because I wasn’t fast enough. That should not happen.
I can say that the lean mechanic works rather well even on a controller. All you do is hold in a button and you can freely look around the cover you are behind and pick off enemies like that. It’s fluid and works like a charm and I ended up using it throughout my playthrough without any issues. Lean generally doesn’t work or is badly implemented, but they did something right with it in Warfighter.
We all despise the obligatory vehicle scenes in military shooters, but Warfighter surprised me by actually making them fun and interesting to do. You control a car like you would in a racing game and I have to say that the handling of the cars is great and can even surpass some racing games. Rather than drive along a scripted path you can drive freely in a large area and, with some chase scenes, you can even use different routes to elude or take down your enemy. It’s a rather refreshing experience and points to the game for pulling it off well.
The graphics are good on console and you can see they did some effort with the detailing. It’s not the best looking shooter out there, but it looks pretty enough to be well above average. You do get to fight in various locations such as a swamp in monsoon and residential areas in Dubai. Even the usual Afghanistan locations are unique in their own way. I was well impressed with the CGI cutscenes and found myself sometimes questioning whether it was done with real life actors. The attention to detail is astounding and it gives a sense of immersion at times. The soundtrack is also spot on most of the time with high rhythm songs playing during action scenes and heart wrenching piano playing during tragic scenes.
Your AI team-mates do have a mild case of Down syndrome and will really only hit enemies if they are right in front of them. This can often become frustrating when you’re the only person shooting people and your numerous team-mates would rather smell their own farts than at least providing suppressing fire. The enemy AI are basically the polar opposite of your team-mates because they have senses that would make Batman shudder in his boots. If the entire visual field is surrounded by smoke, and you know for a fact that you can’t see a damn thing, and your enemy manages to shoot from across the room with only a pistol then you have to realise that something might be a bit off. The enemy has uncanny aiming abilities and it makes it rather frustrating because you are left stuck behind a wall and praying that you can get a few shots in before you are turned into Swiss cheese.
The game is also marred by strange and annoying glitches and I even had a couple of freeze-ups during my playthrough. These glitches will often involve your enemies not spawning or some of them sporadically dying and flying off into space (which is funny to watch, but shouldn’t happen). There are also sections where I couldn’t progress because something didn’t happen like it was supposed to and forced me to reload a checkpoint. That brings me rather nicely to my next point. The checkpoint system is stupid and almost broken. You will fight for an extended period of time and then accidentally die or get shot to shit and you would respawn in an area that you cleared up about 20 minutes ago. It just doesn’t work.
While being overwhelmed with technical faults I still found myself having fun as I went through the game. It never became eye rippingly boring and always interested you in one way or another. Something that I found rather fascinating is that all the game’s locations and battle scenarios were inspired by actual events. It actually tells you that on every mission in the little corner briefing and even provides GPS coordinates so you can see for yourself. I also learned quite a few new and interesting things from the load menu about war and terrorists organisations. It’s a small and almost insignificant thing, but it’s nice.
On to multiplayer. The multiplayer uses the Frostbite 2 engine and works rather well. An added feature that I certainly welcomed is Support Points. Rather than getting overpowered machines of death if you kill a bunch of enemies in a row without dying, you get overpowered machines of death if you are more supportive of your team rather than lone wolfing everywhere. This encourages you to actually do the objectives so that you can achieve bonuses that can change the tide of battle. Those include choppers, radar jammers, mortar strikes, recon planes and much more. Warfighter uses a class system that lets you choose between different battle roles such as recon or demolition. The more you use a certain class, the more weapons and gadgets you unlock.
There is quite a lot of content available and it rewards you generously if you play for an extended period of time. You can customize your guns with various components and upgrades as well as improve certain aspects about your chosen class. It’s certainly worth the time, but it didn’t grab me like it should have. The maps available have a ton of exploits and certain undesirable players always take advantage of that and end up frustrating you. Overall it is fun and if you decide to stick with it for a time then you won’t regret it. It doesn’t contend so well with some of the other offerings out there, but if you’re looking for something different then it will certainly suffice.
Warfighter is a strange game to rate. On the one hand it does things unique to the genre, but on the other hand it’s plagued with stupid and unnecessary faults. It takes itself very seriously and I can see Danger Close really tried their best to make this a great game. It just missed the mark of being great, but I would say it’s at least above average and worth a look. I wouldn’t, however, recommend it at full price. The singleplayer is relatively short, clocking in at about 8 hours (which is a decent time, admittedly) and I reckon the multiplayer won’t be played for very long.
If you have a certain prejudice towards military shooters then by all means, don’t play it. But I implore everyone out there to at least give it a chance to impress you and not just mark it off as yet another generic shooter.