A successful first-person shooter must cover three things at the very least. First, solid gameplay basics to give the game a strong core. Second, some originality to set it apart from the other first-person shooters out there, since comparisons will obviously be made. Third, a fun multiplayer that will keep a gamer hooked for days on end. Medal of Honor: Warfighter fails on all these fronts.
The story is what you’ve come to expect: some terrorist and some arms dealer are going to attack the United States. You play mostly as Preacher but will switch to a man named Stump for some missions. Warfighter attempts to make things different by giving a very realistic feel to the story – instead of featuring hardcore soldiers unaffected by the world, Preacher is having family troubles and wants out of all the fighting. However, simply giving a man a wife and daughter doesn’t make you feel for him. The characters are dry and the story is very disconnected. It’s not hard to follow since it’s so simple, but it jumps all over the timeline and map. Some missions are based on real-life operations, and while this is a nice touch, it doesn’t automatically make the story deep or even that interesting.
What Warfighter does exceptionally well are the absolutely incredible graphics. The people look so lifelike that it gets a bit unnerving at times, and the levels are beautiful to look at, from massive explosions to fighting through a flooded city – water and fire are extremely well done. The scenery and atmosphere are amazing, really allowing you to dive into the created world. Sadly, that’s about the only truly good thing in Warfighter. As in most FPS games, the missions are extremely linear, but Warfighter is worse than others. This game doesn’t have as much destructibility as you’d expect, making the Frostbite 2 engine seem wasteful. The developer tries to mix up gameplay with chase scenes and rail-gun shooting (e.g. helicopter gunner or boat gunner), but it all falls short. The only thing that is fairly original (another word for it is random) are the levels where you drive a car. One level even involves hiding in certain locations to avoid patrols, and this was unexpected but pulled off fairly well, considering this is a FPS.
The problems arise in the actual core gameplay. The best way to describe this game is as a mixture of Call of Duty and Battlefield. The comparison has to be made as it’s an extremely obvious mixture of the two games; however, considering the amount of problems, it doesn’t succeed in the least. The biggest problem is the A.I. – enemies show no intelligence, they don’t attempt to flank you, they pop out of cover at timed intervals and will even charge mounted machine guns. This goes for your comrades as well: they don’t do anything. That’s not an exaggeration. Sit back and watch them and you will quickly see that they don’t contribute to any of the fighting. They shoot their guns but don’t hit anything – they just sit in the back of the area being useless. Once, an enemy ran all the way up to them (since the enemies will charge in the middle of a firefight, for whatever reason) and stood only a couple of feet away. He stood with no cover whatsoever, directly in front of a teammate who still didn’t kill him. This means the entire single-player campaign rests on your shoulders, and that’s not a good thing.
Warfighter has some small bits which work well. For example, the different breach styles and the head-shot indicator are nice touches. However, some end up hurting the game, the most prominent being the ability to get ammo from your fellow soldiers. This sounds like a cool idea but it’s essentially infinite ammo, taking away any intensity from the game. This includes grenades, so you can just sit in the back of the level and chuck grenades the entire time if you were so inclined. There’s no ammo conservation, nor is there the panic of scavenging the ground, desperate to find a weapon. Combine this with the idiotic AI and the game is a cake-walk.
Then there is the ridiculous amount of bugs. Hopefully they will be patched soon but currently they are quite bad. Some are merely annoying, like enemies appearing out of nowhere and being able to shoot through their cover. Then there are others that are so preposterous, it’s hilarious. One of the better ones is watching enemies hop from rooftop to rooftop. Somehow they’ve become Supermen, since they can apparently jump across a twenty-foot gap in a single bound. This game was rushed, plain and simple, and it is very obvious.
Now onto what everyone cares about: the multiplayer. It’s confusing at first and requires some time spent weeding through the different classes and gun customization options, but this is a good thing since it means the multiplayer is deep. No need to go into the different classes and game modes as they are exactly what you’d expect: Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, plant a bomb; it’s all there. Each class has perks which are unlocked through level progression, and through kill streaks you also unlock certain potentials mid-match. Each class has something different, which is a nice touch.
The best thing about multiplayer is the Fire-Team system. Other games use parties and squads, but not like Warfighter. At the start of the game you are matched up with one other person and you get bonus points if you play with them. The true genius, however, comes in being able to heal and resupply each other. This is great since there is a major advantage to fighting with your teammate. You can still play by yourself and maybe you’ll still rock the entire round. However, everyone else plays with their buddy, leaving you at a marked disadvantage when you encounter two instead of one. This multiplayer has pushed the personal teamwork notion further than other multiplayers and it really shows; when your partner dies, you feel lost and alone.
That’s about the only advantage this multiplayer has, though. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it. Well, besides the spawn camping problem which other games have managed to fix. There are also frustrating bugs, but those should be patched sooner or later. The levels are small and made like a maze, with very little diversity between them. No matter what, Warfighter’s multiplayer will be compared to CoD and Battlefield, and it doesn’t stand up to either. At best, it’s simply decent.
Final Verdict: Warfighter could have been something amazing, but it simply doesn’t succeed. Aside from the stunning visuals and Fire-Team in multiplayer, nothing stands out. Even worse, the bugs and the gameplay itself drag the game further down. It’s highly suggested that you rent the game first. Honestly, if you already have Modern Warfare or Battlefield, this game isn’t going to draw you away from them.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Medal of Honor: Warfighter developed by Danger Closer and distributed by Electronic Arts.
- Stunning Visuals
- Fire Team is Great in Multiplayer
- Very Buggy
- Blends in With Other Shooters
- Just Doesn't Do Enough