Medal of Honor made their return in 2010 and hit the ground running with the other big names in FPS games. Warfighter is the direct sequel to that 2010 game as Danger Close and EA attempt to keep pace with the other big shooters. As ever with this genre at present it can go one of 3 ways; most commonly it is just another fps, it’s fun, it lacks story, but the mechanics and online play bring home the bacon. It could also have blown the roof off and given gamers an fps with some depth for a change, or lastly it could have fallen flat on its face.
The graphics of the game start out looking well, everything is up to date, but when the cinematics start rolling in and we see some “higher quality” animation, we see the devs really have issues with animating females. The two grown women have square jaws and terrible proportions, and worse than that is the little girl who just looks plain strange. It wouldn’t be so bad in a game with a worse average in graphic quality, but the males all look amazing, the renders are smooth and the surface details are sharp, hold that up against their female character models and the stand out like a high school girl’s pimple at prom.
The last Medal of Honor game had great mechanics, so good in fact it even had me playing death matches online, which COD barely manages to do; unfortunately they have altered them. They have introduced a new cover system, which has to be utilised in order to survive. When the player ducks behind cover they have to press a trigger and a direction to lean out. Immediately this results in limited perspective in terms of what is going on outside of cover, and putting one’s head out will get it blown off very quickly. They could chalk this up on the “realism” side of the table which would be fine, they are trying to paint a more accurate picture of war after all, but that isn’t the only problem with it. If the player is trying to snipe from cover, they already have a shoulder button and direction held to lean out, they now have to click in an analogue stick to steady their breathing and reduce sway, and then of course pull the trigger. That’s a lot of buttons just to perform the fundamental action of an fps: shooting. On top of this the lean function itself operates very poorly, frequently I was attempting to lean out and yet found myself still looking at the wall, leaning over cover works fine but trying to lean out sideways or diagonally sticks constantly.
Breaching used to be a good pace changer, but in Warfighter they have introduced a gimmick where for each successful 4 headshots you make in a breach you are rewarded with another type of breach. This starts off kicking the door down and goes through hacking off the knob with an axe, blasting it off with a shotgun and various types of explosives, and ultimately, feels totally unnecessary. You don’t get any bonus effects from using the final charge when compared to kick and flash bang, it is exactly the same. It just feels like the devs were trying to show off how many ways one can open a door.
There are no customisation options on weapons, you get a standard load out and can pick up basic enemy weapons but that is really it, there a handful of sniper sections thrown in but you don’t get to play around with any weapon types.
There are two driving levels thrown in which drag on for far longer than they need to, and which possess just one good quality, in that it gives the player a break from dealing with the cover system for a level. The final part of the second driving level is comparable to pac-man; the player gets a mini map and can coloured dots travelling around it with a field of vision cone and the player has the navigate the grid undetected.
It doesn’t let up. Medal of Honor: Warfighter has an absolutely terrible story. It is completely devoid of interest and as usual with FPS games just feels like the player is being zapped to different parts of the world to kill people. They try to jump around in time, introduce the main protagonists wives as secondary characters and so on, but it totally fails to create empathy, or even interest, and at what should be a crucial emotional point in the story is just empty. Following that point is the one redeemable part of the game, when the player takes control of a captured soldier as he attempts to escape being tortured. Even that is limited however, since though the player does technically have to stealth, the enemies are all conveniently fixed with their backs to you.
So I think it’s safe to say it was the third outcome, Medal of Honor: Warfighter falls flat on its face just one sequel after the reboot. A series that held real promise when it returned may well crash off the radar again after this performance. The highlight of the game for me was the Linkin Park song over the end credits. There are hundreds of other FPS games available, not in the least COD Black Ops 2. Don’t waste your time with this one.