Medal of Honor: Warfighter Review
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Shooting in Warfighter is excellent, and the presentation is great, but it doesn't stop the game from being broken literally, and thematically.
- Lighting and detailed textures breathe life into the game's environments
- Guns feel realistic and satisfying
- Glitchy gameplay becomes annoying and repetitive
- The game's story is told poorly, and directly conflicts with gameplay
- There's nothing new here; even the game's most exciting moments are outdated, forgettable and lazy
The modern Medal of Honor games are often compared to the Call of Duty series. We find that the newest MOH game is best compared to most reality television stars: easy on the eyes with a complete lack of substance. Medal of Honor: Warfighter has beautiful lighting, bombastic sound, gorgeous cutscenes, and the same tired set-pieces and gameplay we've experienced in every military game in the past five years with some immersion-breaking glitches thrown in for good measure. The game is just as disjointed thematically. Warfighter tries to add depth to the soldiers you control through emotional cutscenes that depict them interacting with friends and family. The cutscenes are shown in between segments of gameplay where your entire objective is to put a bullet through the skull of every 'bad guy' the game throws at you. Warfighter is a generic experience, made even more disappointing by the fact that the presentation is excellent.
Warfighter is quite possibly the best looking game to run on the Frostbite 2 Engine yet. Lighting is incredible, and is best displayed during the many explosions that break away pieces of the environment. Textures are satisfyingly detailed, and aid to create a realistic battlefield. The cutscenes providing exposition for the missions you will take part in are very well done, for the most part. Character models during these scenes, though beautiful, are often very stiff, and their expressions cause them to appear more like robots than humans. Excellent sound aids the visuals in crafting the game's scenes. The gunfire is loud, explosions are appropriately filled with bass, and though the script isn't anything you haven't heard mumbled over radio communications in any other war title, all of it is delivered well and won't serve to annoy you. The game's guns are the true example of all aspects of the presentation coming together well. The muzzle flare combined with the realistic sound, vibration of the controller, and weapon appropriate recoil makes every shot feel great.
I won't even begin to elaborate on Medal of Honor's story for a variety of reasons. The number one, and most important reason, is that it really doesn't matter. Though Warfighter's story is meant to be gripping and important, the constant switching of missions, characters, and countries ensures that you're never too engaged into one soldier's struggle and that you never become interested. The story's only purpose becomes giving you a reason as to why you're in the location you are and why you're blowing up everything in your path. The second reason is its confusing contrast with gameplay. As much as Warfighter tries to craft a moving, believable tale, it does a lousy job telling it and directly conflicts gameplay, as well as the game's macho tone. You'll take on the role of many different soldiers, each with their own ridiculous code name. Though the cutscenes will attempt to make you believe 'Stump' and 'Preacher' are men struggling with the horrific things they've seen on the field, there are several ways the game completely fails in portraying the characters this way.
There are several mission types that begin with a scenario where the game locks your movement and camera control and forces you to kill the person in front of you. The only buttons that you are allowed to use are the trigger for your firearm, or the melee button to use your hatchet. During the second one of these instances, you're on a stealth mission. We're not allowed to tranquilize or knock the enemy unconscious? The worst of the contrasting gameplay comes in the form of 'breaching'. Your comrades will gather around a door, and you are presented with a wheel of choices that determine how you will take down the door. Upon picking one, the door is breached and the game enters slow motion to assist your aim. Players are rewarded for how many cinematic head-shots they can score while the enemies scramble to pick themselves off of the floor. What's the reward for these head-shots? Players are given more choices in how to knock down breach-able doors.
The gameplay in Warfighter is archaic. Besides the occasional vehicle segment, or set piece, players are tasked with taking down every enemy firing at them. Enemies are brain-dead and seem to come from nowhere. Once they ... (continued on next page)