Medal of Honor: Warfighter Review

By SgtDigglesworth, 4 years ago
Day one patch notes. A disappointing beta. A prior game that failed to capture an audience. All of this took place before the release of Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and it begs the question: does this title overcome all of the negativity that surrounded it? Or is it truly just a game that was doomed from the beginning?

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Not without my Wolfpack
The next installment to the franchise finds some of the familiar members from Medal of Honor, minus Deuce, and a new group of soldiers from a Delta squad known as Mako, led by Voodoo.

We take on the role of Preacher who suffers from the dilemma of remaining within the ranks of the special forces and losing an already failing marriage. Warfighter tries to intertwine the serious life of family issues with the stress and intensity of high-velocity rounds zipping by your head. There is, of course, a terrorist plot that involves a new explosive known as P.E.T.N., but this is only part of the dramatic story being told.

The story will find you bouncing between the past and the present. You will be introduced to the events of Warfighter two months before the events of today. Sounds confusing? It really isn't. The story will bounce between Preacher and Mako member Stump as they journey through multiple landscapes from Somalia, to the Philippines, to Yemen and to Bosnia. This is where all of the action takes place and is sometimes broken up with lighter, funny moments.

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Preacher's story, as previously mentioned, will split time between the world’s warzones and his home life as he tries to regain the lifeblood of a failing marriage. This was something I really enjoyed, from the little things like a daughter’s smile to the impact of losing loved ones, showed it is not only a struggle on the battlefield, but a struggle at home. Just because you can plant devices, breach doorways, pop headshots until your heart’s content, does not mean that you can be a soldier of love, and that is where Medal of Honor: Warfighter strays from the norm found in most military FPS. Preacher continually is in conflict and although the story isn't perfect on all fronts, it does a great job of telling a story of conflict, dilemma, hope and family.

It's a cold, cold world out there

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While playing the game it is hard not to see that it is a beautiful and explosion-filled journey that really never stops. From car chases, to buildings collapsing and the excellently detailed cutscenes, the Frostbite 2 Engine has never looked so good. During extreme conflicts, where RPG's are flying at you, sniper bullets graze your earlobe and dust filled buildings share little to no light, the game moves almost flawlessly.

During my time with the game I never faced any pop-ins, screen tearing, or visual hiccups. Surprisingly it also never affected the load times either, as the game seamlessly moves from cutscene to an on-foot chase without taking away from the intensity of the game itself. Every environment from within the Warfighter universe is truly detailed. The markets and the citizens that inhabit these war-torn areas are abundant and well-scripted.

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At times, however, the lighting can seem inconsistent, causing landscapes to go from a pleasurable dark to a "where the hell am I?" moment, and this could turn some gamers around and then quickly into cannon fodder as you unknowingly walked into the line of fire of a mounted MG. Honestly, I did not find this too often and therefore really didn't see it as a problem that ruined my gaming experience; it shouldn’t have been there but it wasn’t game-breaking.

The sound design is where Medal of Honor: Warfighter truly shines. From chickens clucking to the gear-shifting in the vehicle chases and the voice-over dialogue, it’s all near perfect. Some synch issues can be found, but this should not take away from the game as a whole. The guns sound realistic, grenades ring within your ear, and the screams of war are loud and clear.

Both graphically and through sound design, Medal of Honor: Warfighter does an excellent job of relaying the intensity found in the fuel of war and exceeds at the voices used not only in battle, but of the characters we are meant to identify with.

Have gun, will travel

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Any game to come out with a pretty significant day one patch could be considered a misstep and could lead to a lot of disgruntled gamers and reviewers barking at the developers for not having this game in tip-top shape prior to launch. I find Danger Close did a commendable job and relatively daring considering a lot of games would rather be prideful and say their game is perfect, only to find out that the community is incredibly disgruntled, servers don't work, and matchmaking in a multiplayer game doesn't line you up with friends or it kicks you out of every game you play.

This is not the case for Warfighter, the gameplay is excellent. You will do a lot of different events throughout the campaign from your standard sniping scenarios, to foot chases and finally to vehicle chases; where one of them actually has you move your car into certain positions in order to remain stealth-like. Does this mean the game is not a linear and scripted journey? No.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter places you in the role of two protagonists and you live the events that have already been scripted and set in stone. Is this different from any other military FPS? Not a chance. Every modern military shooter will put you in the frame and have you follow a pre-determined story. However, Warfighter has some really strong points, you just have to know where to look.

The enemy AI is not unlike every other shooter but it does do a little more than most, and by that I mean that they do go into cover, pop-up, shoot, duck and so forth, yet they also will run from cover to cover, and roll away from gunfire. Also, they have a keen eye for targeting you and knowing where your cover is, which on higher levels can make them quite deadly. This is not without faults however, as enemies will b-line into your gunfire like a rabid dog and sometimes they won't move out of cover, resulting in you walking up to them and planting a tomahawk to their faces.

Your teammates AI is actually quite responsive, maybe on easy difficulty they aren't, but on higher levels I found that they did quite a lot of work for me and they were always there when I needed some ammo for those stellar killshots. They also call out enemy placement well, throw frags at enemy strongpoints and well, like any other FPS game, they don't die, which makes them valuable assets.

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The gameplay mechanics are on point also, as the gunplay is perfect, movement is excellent from the mantel kicks to the new, what I like to call "pop goes the weasel" move, which allows you to use the LB button and push up on your left thumstick to aim and shoot while in cover. You can pop-up, pop-left, right and lean in and out of that much-needed cover. Surprisingly the driver sequences were done to near perfection. The boat handles well, and the two other vehicles you use are also not frustrating to control. Nothing in Medal of Honor: Warfighter's gameplay struggles or is irritating to deal with. Also, nothing here is new either that hasn't been done in a modern military FPS before.

Your Nation needs you

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A lot of today's modern military shooters will fall short if the multiplayer does, and to my joy, the multiplayer in Medal of Honor: Warfighter was great. Do you run around shooting people and racking up points towards killstreaks and compete to win? Of course, any FPS multiplayer is like that, bar some minor differences, but it all boils down to point, shoot and win. For me however, I like a game's multiplayer to have variety in the maps, modes, excellent hit-detection, a little customisation and a fair share of guns to combat my foes with; Medal of Honor: Warfighter does just that.

You have six classes to choose from that range from Demolitions, Heavy Gunner, Spec Ops, Point Man, and Sniper. All of these classes have specific capabilities and weapons that are only available through them. In order to truly appreciate the multiplayer, gamers will have to experiment with each individual class and apply the weapon customisation and soldier nationalities in order to find the best possible combination for their play style.

There are 71 soldiers to choose from in Warfighter and over 70 guns as well, however some of the guns are just variants of other guns, but change due to the nation that it comes from. You can be a Swedish SOG Spec Ops and choose the Polish GROM MP-7, then take that weapon and add a Navy Seal scope and a Canadian JTF-2 muzzle to it. The combinations are almost limitless and really give the gamer a sense of having an ample amount of control over their play style.

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The maps in Warfighter multiplayer range from the dark of night to bright, lush mountains and they are filled with tight corners, open sniper alleys and ample in-and-out cover that supply a variety of ways to attack or defend. This however does not mean the MP is perfect, although it is incredibly fun and I truly enjoy playing it, there are still faults.

The day one patch addressed many significant issues, but that still doesn't stop the ability of random spawns and the occasional spawn snipe. At points I found myself spawning beside another enemy with both of us staring at one another not knowing what to do, until it turned into a ring-around-the-rosey with both of us hacking away at one another. This can be rectified with the new Fire Teams implemented throughout every game mode. Having the ability to spawn on a buddy and replenish his ammo or health is a great aspect to the game. When you heal your teammate, it heals you as well, so it is always wise to stay in the same vicinity of one another to stay alive.

You have game modes such as Combat Mission, Sector Control, Hot Spot, Team Deathmatch and a new mode known as Home Run. Home Run is ten, three minute rounds which pit you on scaled down maps fighting to either defend or capture a flag, with no respawns. This makes for a search and destroy meets capture the flag type of mode that at first may be frustrating to some, but in the end it should become fun for any fan of a more 'stop and go' approach to the game.

On the downside, the graphics do suffer in the multiplayer portion of the game as characters seem dirty, and rough. The maps and other aesthetics in the multiplayer part are not as clean as they are in the campaign, which for some may turn them off, but truthfully it is not a game-breaker.

There is one issue however that really got in the way of the MP. The gameplay is flawless in regards to gunplay and movement, however, during my tour of duty I came across a lobby on occasion that didn't end. In a game of Home Run the score would go -10 and then +1 for the victor, and if you lost the next round it cycled to the winning team now having a -9 and so forth. In turn this caused the game to never end, and ultimately I had to back out and lose all of my stats for that match.

It has also come to the developers’ attention that there are gamers who are altering their score via unknown means, and even though this does not affect the gameplay in anyway it does however cause an issue when you are able to mod stats for the sake of achievements, and as such are hindering the process of others by generating negativity in the gaming community resulting in servers shutting down for stat maintenance, and like many other games, could lead to random stat resets and penalization.

The multiplayer has enough variety to keep gamers enjoyed for some time, however if you are more of a fan of a fast-paced arcade style shooter, then Warfighter multiplayer may not be what you are looking for. The multiplayer found here is a combination of methodical map movement and posting up to thwart your gung-ho enemies. Keeping your eyes peeled around every turn is what makes up the fun and intensity found in Warfighter's MP.

Achievement Unlocked

The achievements in Medal of Honor: Warfighter are truly straightforward. You have a plethora of story-based achievements, and you also have your fair share of multiplayer achievements. None of the achievements should give you a headache, besides maybe Hardcore.

On the multiplayer side, the majority of the achievements are straightforward, yet there are two that are a grind. Warchief will have you unlocking every soldier in the game, and in order to do so you will have to reach level 71 in multiplayer, and the other, Back in the Fight, will have you complete a tour with each of the six classes. In order to complete a tour you must obtain 50K XP which is not that hard, but will require you to step out of your comfort zone in order to obtain this achievement. If you can't snipe you’d better get used to using your secondary and become familiar with your wire-trap explosives.

What's the word?

To be fair, Medal of Honor: Warfighter is not going to change the face of the modern day military shooters but does that mean that it doesn't exceed its predecessor or excel at its own agenda? No. The game from start to finish was incredibly enjoyable with a good enough story to make you want to play it again and a multiplayer that will supply hours upon hours of excitement and gameplay. If you are not a fan of military shooters then Warfighter probably won't change your perspective on them, but if you are looking for something that is a little different and will supply a new freshness into the already saturated world of shooters, this may do the trick for you.

The reviewer played the campaign on hard (after he found it), racked up an ample amount of achievements and took chaos to the battlefield in about 8 hours of multiplayer, and he was wondering if anyone wanted to join his platoon and be his Fire Team buddy.