Medal of Honor: Warfighter
After the 2010 reboot of the classic Medal of Honor series, there were some high expectations being laid down for the next game in the modernized franchise. The first game felt like a proof of concept, with an underdeveloped, but fun, multiplayer mode, and a campaign that was hard hitting, but too short and too easy for its own good. Warfighter capitalizes on many of the good ideas laid out in the first game, all the while looking as good as any other game that I have seen, courtesy of Frostbite 2.
Medal of Honor 2010 did have a fantastic story and an actually fun campaign, despite the sub five hour length and a difficulty level that would allow you to run most levels with only melee attacks and your pistol. And Warfighter attempts to follow in its footsteps, but it doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. It attempts to make the story a bit more diverse and varied in location, but at a loss of some story.
Because of this, you get to fight in the streets of Dubai, a flooded city amidst a storm in the Philippines, and in the mountains of Afghanistan. This thankfully allows you to experience some other environments than just sand in rock in your journey to take down a large terrorist cell, from the lowliest peon to the head honcho of the group. You do this from within the ranks of Task Force Mako, a group of some of the most badass soldiers to ever walk the planet.
Several characters return from the first, heavy hitters like Voodoo and Mother (coincidentally the most badass call sign for a soldier of all time) accompanied by a few new faces. But the development of the new characters is lacking, relying more on the characters already established in the first game.
The interesting thing that they have done to this game though is to try and focus on something other than the battlefield occasionally. In between missions, you get the chance to experience the interactions between several soldiers and their families on the home front. It gives the soldiers a more personal feeling, and makes the story all the more powerful.
The characters both look and sound fantastic, fitting in with the rest of the game, where the sound design is fantastic, deep, guttural gunshots, and bone shaking explosions rock your living room as you watch some of the best looking cutscenes in recent memory. Granted, they are pre rendered, but they are still fantastic, giving us a glimpse at the true power of Frostbite 2.0.
The story sacrifice made to get to the more expansive, globe trotting epic is unfortunate. You don't get the emotional impact form the first game out of the story, but they tried to balance on a fine line between gameplay and story. Ultimately, it falls a little more on one side than the other.
The multiplayer does not pull any pouches, introducing the new fire team mechanic, which should improve team work, and make games a little more coordinated and hectic once it becomes more popular. The maps are great, and so are the game modes. And there are dozens of weapons, attachments, camos, and ribbons to earn and unlock to keep you playing for a while.
I can see myself dumping countless numbers of hours into this game over the next couple of months. But I can also see how if you don't jump onto the bandwagon early, it might be a little difficult to do so later. It is kind of like Battlefield 3 in that respect, as the more you play, the easier it is to dominate new players.
Warfighter is one of the better first person shooters of recent memories, with tight controls, great multiplayer, and an exploration of something outside of combat for once. But the story doesn't reach the high promises that were laid down by the first game, and character development is still lacking. It’s a fun shooter offline, and a fantastic one online.