Medal of Honor: Warfighter ReviewPC
key review info
- Game: Medal of Honor: Warfighter
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Electronic Arts' first-person shooters haven't exactly hit their target in the last few years, as some barely impressed fans of the genre, like Bulletstorm, while others managed to surprise everyone, like Battlefield 3.
Now, another lackluster shooter, Medal of Honor, is getting a new lease on life with a sequel called Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
With the promise of even more realistic experiences, as well as some stunning graphics courtesy of the Frostbite 2 engine, the new game might finally cement the franchise's place in the FPS genre. Does it manage to hit its own targets or is it just shooting blind? Let's find out.
The Medal of Honor reboot from back in 2010 had some pretty interesting story moments, but they suffered due to the less than impressive missions. Warfighter tries to improve upon this area by continuing the story of Preacher, one of the Tier 1 Operators you'll control throughout the game.
The plot is rather simple, terrorists have begun using a deadly explosive called PETN so Preacher and his squad must investigate the threat. Meanwhile, the soldier must handle his own personal crisis, as his time away on missions caused a divide between him and his wife and daughter.
While that story might actually resonate with military personnel and those familiar with the special forces, the game is way too eager to thrust the player into Preacher's drama. Throw in the fact that the game once again jumps through time, presenting missions in a rather disjointed manner, and you'll experience a lot of confusion.
In terms of gameplay, Warfighter continues the hyper-realistic trend set by its predecessor, as you can easily take down enemies, and vice versa, so staying in cover is critical.
Even if your squad should cover your back, they're not that smart and will often stand behind cover, doing nothing but yelling out orders in your general direction. What's more, in scripted encounters, your dear squad mates will simply push you out of cover and into the enemy's line of fire, if they were supposed to sit in behind that specific bit of protection.
In order to emphasize the role of cover in Warfighter, the game even allows players to lean out of it in order to take down enemies in relative safety. While you can still be shot at by your opponents, it does make taking down larger groups of foes a bit easier.
In terms of actual shooting, Warfighter does a pretty good job and manages to make guns feel quite realistic and very deadly. The arsenal is pretty varied but, unfortunately, you won't feel that big of a difference between various weapons. Thankfully, you can still ask for ammo from your squad mates during a mission, so you'll rarely be forced to scavenge for new guns.
There are some areas where realism is thrown out the window, like when you breach closed doors. You can select various options and procedures, from simply kicking down the door, to using different tools like a tomahawk, crowbar, or shotgun. Sadly, all these more complicated manners don't make any sense, as they produce a lot of noise and, ultimately, your squad mates still use their superhuman feet to kick down the doors.
As a welcome change of pace, Warfighter also includes driving sections in which you need to chase down enemies. These are quite intense although they're quite different from an actual racing game, as you're driving heavy SUVs that can barely take a corner through crowded streets and back alleys, so be prepared for a few retries until you get the hang of the vehicle.
Enemies are pretty smart and, thanks to the gritty visuals, you can barely spot them in certain areas so you'll often find yourself guiding your aim based on their gunshots and on your damage indicator. They also take advantage of the environment but, if you try to do the same, like go into a back alley in order to flank a machine gun turret, you quickly encounter a warning message that says you need to rejoin the fight. While that's not so bad, it also displays an extremely short timer that warns you to go back to your comrades and, before you realize what you need to do, you're automatically killed.
Missions are also rather dull and include all sorts of segments already seen in other shooters, from beach landings, to urban assaults and stealthy infiltrations during the nighttime. As such, you'll soon start thinking about other aspects of the game while you're playing it, like the rather ridiculous nicknames of your own characters or those of your squad mates (Preacher, Stub, etc.).
Like any "good" first-person shooter nowadays, Warfighters focuses on its multiplayer mode and features a variety of classic modes, from Deathmatch to Capture the Flag. The game's main claim to fame, however, is the novel Fire Team mechanic.
At the start of each match, two players are linked together and are urged to act as a small team when taking down opponents. There are plenty of perks in the Fire Team mechanic, as one player can use the other as a walking spawn point and they can share ammo between them. What's more, you earn XP points by helping your buddy and it definitely adds a cooperative feel to the competitive experience.
Sadly, besides the Fire Team system, the online mode of Warfighter isn't that impressive. Sure, it may seem like it’s offering a wide variety of options by allowing you to select characters from various Special Forces from all around the world but, when you get down to basics, there aren't that many differences between the various squads. Throw in the complicated user interface and the constant shoving of Battlelog, the online stat tracking service, in your face, and you won't spend that much time with Warfighter's multiplayer.
Graphics and Sound
Warfighter uses the Frostbite 2 engine, which we already admired in Battlefield 3 last year, and this results in a properly stunning visual experience, at least in terms of realism. In terms of variety, however, you're going to be disappointed, as practically each mission has a general color scheme involving grey or brown, so your eyes will certainly get tired of these hues.
In terms of sound, the game once again focuses on realism and delivers a pretty good experience, with different scores making your fights feel way more important than they actually are. Voice acting, however, isn't all that great as you can't really appreciate the performances because you'll most often hear then through your in-game headset, like any proper Special Forces member.
- Impressively realistic graphics
- Novel Fire Team multiplayer mechanic
- Missions aren't that impressive
- Visuals are too gritty and murky
- Story fails to capture the player
Medal of Honor: Warfighter isn't a bad shooter. It's just a pretty predictable one that repeats the moments we already saw in other games in the genre. It does add a few interesting things, from the driving sequences to the multiplayer's Fire Team mechanic, but it's not enough to make it stand out or, as EA no doubt intended, to compete with the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.