Should you get the game? We discuss it on our Medal of Honor Warfighter Review
When Warfighter was first announced with that very brief but amazing trailer, I became very excited about it. At the time it looked like the guys at Danger Close had something special in store for us. Then more gameplay trailers showing campaign and multiplayer came along and I got more and more excited and I couldn't wait for the game to release. Finally it came out and to tell the truth I am somehow disappointed.
I started playing the campaign thinking about all the beautiful scenes I've seen in the trailers and waiting impatiently to play and experience all of them, but by the time I completed it, in just under five hours, I realized that all that hype was for nothing.
The plot is simple and nothing new, there are a couple of bad guys who have some explosives and they use them to blow some sh*t up. Been there, done that! This cliché has plagued FPS for a long time now, but somehow some of the recently released FPS include twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting. Warfighter isn't one of these games.
From the start the game tells you, here are the bad guys, here's what they are doing and will do and that it's up to you to stop them. However the game tries to do something different from the competition. It wants to display the life of the soldier when he is not in the battlefield, but somehow it fails to truly deliver it. In the cut-scenes you see Preacher, one of the soldiers you play as, struggling with his life back home. He is married to his job and serving the country comes first. Here's what Danger Close get right. They show what the soldiers have to sacrifice for their country, so we, the people, can sleep safe at night. Imagine the movie, Act of Valor turned video game. Yes they are pretty much the same. However I would liked to see more about this soldier life. Scenes showing PTSD maybe, other details from his life, something to get more attached to him, to connect with him.
The overall character development is poor here. I didn't get attached to anyone. How could I when nobody has a real name, only code names like Voodo, Preacher, Mother, Stump etc. Characters die here, but there's no impact on the player, I didn't feel anything for them. I remember literally crying when Soap died in Modern Warfare 3 or when you left Sandman or when Woods sacrificed himself in Black Ops. That's nowhere to be found here. All these characters have are code names and epic beards and it is very difficult to know who's who. How can you get attached to a character like that? You don't!
Also the way the game try to tell its story is "broken". What I mean is that it is difficult to follow what is happening. In a mission you find yourself as Preacher in the past, then jump to Stump in the present, then jump again to Preacher in the past, but not in the same time and place as before. What is this, flashback-ception?
In terms of gameplay, Warfighter is your standart FPS game where you advance room after room mowing down the enemies. Frostbite 2 really helps in this part. The guns feel amazing and the bullets do what they should do, kill people. And the killing is very satisfying here (that's crazy to say but hey). You carry two weapons, a primary one and a secondary one like a pistol or shotgun with infinite ammo. Say what? I don't know and even understand why this choice, but who am I to argue. You can also pick up guns from the dead enemies, but you are better off with the gun that the mission give you. Meele is very satisfying here. Gone is the standart knife, here you have a Tomahawk. It is as amazing as it sounds. The killing animation is fantastic and very satisfying!
When you are not mowing down terrorists, you either drive a car, drive a boat, control a MARS (robot with machine guns),use a turret or breach doors. Yes the campaign features driving sequences and they are awesome. In the first you chase a taliban through Pakistan driving through narrow streets, markets etc. The second one is a stealth driving sequence where you have to drive and hide from patrolling cars. Both these sequences are amazing and done perfectly. Yes you also drive a boat, briefly, but it is cool. You also control a MARS, a remote controlled robot with machine guns and a M320, cool but very briefly also.Yes there are sequences where you use a turret, but there's nothing special about them. And then there is door breaching. The first time is great, the second good, the third one is OK, but after 30 times it becomes more of a chore than a gameplay element. There are different ways to breach the door like using a shotgun to blow the lock or use explosives etc. We get it, breach the door, throw flashbang, get a few headshots, clear the room. There is no need to do it every five minutes!
The set-pieces are present, but they are not so memorable. I think that the set-pieces are the moments we remember the most. Medal of Honor Warfighter tries to imprint on our memory some moments, but they are not so special except from the moments were toy drive the cars and the boat. Imagine this: You are in a port with lots of containers. Something goes horribly wrong and everything starts to explode. Containers fall from the sky, smoke and fire everywhere, a big crane falls on top of your head and hear me, you are left untouched! What?! I could believe it if I saw it in a Crysis game, but here with real soldiers... This has been a problem with EA's FPS for as long as I remember. There are set-pieces, but they lack the WOOOOW and F**K YEAH that the ones Call of Duty gives us. However Warfighter set-pieces are a great improvement from what we saw in Battlefield 3 and I hope that Danger Close and DICE will bring us true epic moments in the future.
Apart from the campaign there's also the multiplayer which I liked very much. The standart modes are all here, but there are some cool new ones. So there's Team Deathmach, Sector Control, Hotspot, Home Run, Real Ops and Combat Mission. You know what Team Deathmatch is and I think that Sector Control speaks for itself. Hotspot it's a new and very welcomed mode. Two teams are either attacking or defending one of five randomly selected objectives. The goal here is to either plant the bomb and destroy the objective before your tickets run out, or drain the opposing team of tickets while defending. Rinse and repeat up to five times. First to three wins. Combat Mission is like the Rush mode on Battlefield where you as an attacker have to destroy three consecutive targets and the defender must defend them. Home Run is a hardore Capture the Flag mode where if you die you don't respawn till the end of the round. You must take your enemies flag to your base to score points or you can simply wipe out the other team. It is a very cool mode which I enjoyed very much.
A new neat feature in Warfighter multiplayer is the buddy system "Fire Team". Like the squad system in Battlefield, here you are in a squad of two and your buddy serves as a spawn point and ammo cache. Sure you can go lone wolf, but coordinating with your buddy is way more fun. There's also a class system which is way too difficult to understand! There are 6 different classes each with its unique abilit, support actions (or killstreaks) and weapons. There are many nations and for each one of them you unlock new weapons and parts for each class. Yes it's a mess. You can choose and customize only your primary weapon and this customization is also a mess. The UI is difficult to understand and to use. I tried messing around, but in the end I decided to use the weapon as I unlocked it.
Visually the game is great. Frostbite 2 is as awesome as ever. The campaign levels are very detailed with a lot of stuff going on especially the mission set in a flood. The sound design and soundtrack are great too (Linkin Park FTW), the guns sound amazing! I played the game on the PS3 and throughout my entire playthough I didn't experience any frame-rate issue. What I experienced was some sound fading away, some texture pop-in and some acceptable glitches. The game as I said looked beautiful on the PS3, but it looked outstanding on the PC. The multiplayer in the other hand is not that polished. The textures look bad, texture pop-in is a constant problem and the sound fading away becomes a nuisance. Maybe a patch will fix it, but till now I don't know. New maps are coming though, which look very cool by the way!
Overall Medal of Honor Warfighter is a nice package. Sure it has many problems, but also it has some cool neat features. The campaign is worth playing, I found it to be better than that of Battlefield 3. There are set-pieces, but nothing memorable except the driving sequences. The multiplayer is really good, the maps and level design are great and the buddy system creates some cool gameplay sessions. The customization suck, but you can get around it easily. Visually the campaign looks great, the multiplayer not that good. Give Medal of Honor Warfighter a chance. Maybe not on full price, but when it goes on sale definitely buy it, you will enjoy it.