Medal of Honor Warfighter seems to be taking a fair bit of a hammering by a number of reviewers, but I’m not entirely sure why. I throughly enjoyed it, despite a few glitches. I’d go as far as to say it’s my favourite modern military first person shooter since Call of Duty 4, at least as far as the single player story based gameplay is concerned. We’ll talk about the multiplayer later.
The problem with any story based shooter is those awful words that gamers seem to detest: linear gameplay. But lets face facts, if you want open world exploration, you’re not going to buy anything from the Battlefield, Call of Duty or Medal of Honor franchises, so I’m not sure why reviewers are picking on Warfighter becasue it’s too linear. It’s telling a freaken story, so it has to direct you along a pre-determined path.
Now the storyline does jump around a bit, but that’s a common cinematic trick used to divert your attention to make certain scenes more impactful. Some people obviously found it distracting. I found the entire experience engaging. Warfighter is another of a recent number of releases where I found myself watching the cut scenes rather than skipping them, I was interesting in the story, it drew me in and made the game a little more than just shooting the bad guys.
And the cut scenes really do showcase the ability of the Frostbite 2 engine, delivering some of the most visually impressive cut scenes you’re likely to see on this generation of consoles.
Warfighter’s gameplay isn’t anything revolutionary, but it does implement a few things that keep it fresh. From the leaning out of cover to look or shoot, rather having to move out of cover, to the breaching of doors (and the ability to unlock different breaching options), Warfighter has focussed on the little things rather than trying to re-invent the wheel.
The single player campaign is a refreshing mix of missions that utalise different skills and will see you in may different environments, all bought to life with stunning visuals and plenty of atmosphere, allowing you to be drawn into the gamplay, whilst keeping you on you toes, never quite knowing if you’re going to be waiting for the shoot order as you stare down the scope of your sniper rifle, or be racing through the back streets and markets of some African slum.
Yes I did say racing. Warfighter has a number of vehicle based missions, and none are better than the two where you’ll be behind the wheel of a car. I don’t want to ruin anything so I won’t go into detail, but if there is an outstanding and original part of the game, it’s the driving sections. It’s rare to find a game whose main focus is anything but driving, that implements a driving section with the high standard that Warfighter has.
The real beauty is, that these missions don’t seem tacked on, but fit comfortably in the storyline, giving your adrenaline glands a new reason to go into overdrive again.
Now I did mention that the game has a few glitches, and it does. The sound for the most part is pretty damn amazing, but occasionally it just drops out, leaving you with explosions that have no bang. It’s not a biggie, but it does rip you back to the reality that it’s just a game. Another glitch was that after beginning a new mission, and quitting out to go an do something else, on returning and loading up my saved game, I was sent back to finish the last chapter of the previous mission. And then there was the time when the game just locked up between missions.
It’s a pity that games tend to have these glitches, but I guess if developers didn’t push the boundaries, we wouldn’t enjoy the games as much.
And then there is the mutiplayer.
It’s always going to be difficult jumping into a new game’s online component, especially when you’ve invested so much time in another similar game, and gotten used to how that works and feels.
When you take Warfighter online the first thing you’re probably going to feel is lost. But that’s ok, it’s normal. The maps are different, the menus are different. Keep playing and you’ll soon feel at home.
The multiplayer is fast and certainly keeps the adrenaline flowing, but for the most part the games felt one-sided. You’d either be on the winning side or the loosing side. Now this may sound obvious, but usually I play games where the sides and gameplay is fairly balanced, the maps flow well and everyone is having fun. My initial impressions of Warfighter’s online play is that it’s slightly unbalanced, and on some maps, downright unbalanced, where you just can’t move on an objective because it’s too easily defended.
It’s not enough to stop me from playing online yet, but if something isn’t down about it, It’ll make going back to playing Battlefield all the more easier.
That or go back and replay the single player missions.