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Review: Medal of Honor Warfighter

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Electronic Arts has released their much-awaited follow-up to their recent reboot of Medal of Honor, but how does it stack up against it? While on the surface the title might seem like a good enough game, it suffers from some poor design elements and shoddy AI – all which ultimately causes its downfall.

A screenshot of Medal of Honor Warfighter (image: EA)

While the reboot from a couple of years was as amicable effort, there is something that just doesn’t feel right with Warfighter, and it’s difficult to pin-point. Developer Danger Close could have changed a number of things in order to bolster the title, but it’s not entirely a bad game, as every title has a number of good points as well. But are they enough to save the franchise?

One thing that will immediately pique the interest of gamers, are the cut-scene graphics and the overall presentation style of the game. The imagery and detail is really done well, and resembles the graphics that was present in the PlayStation 3 title Heavy Rain. Only after a second take will players realise that it’s computer-generated graphics instead of live-action acting.

The characters look life-like and the level of detail is amazing, while bringing in a certain level of engagement with great audio. It’s a pity that the whole title could not look like the mentioned cut-scenes, but that would be practically impossible. The title already spans two discs – one for single player, and the other for multiplayer.

In terms of plot, players take on the role of ‘Preacher’ in the first couple of missions, and then swap to another operative called ‘Stump’, and switch between the two during the game. The main plot however revolves around Preacher as he battles his personal demons with his family, and the dangerous missions he gets sent on as a Tier 1 Operator.

Characters Mother and Voodoo are also present from the previous titles, but players will only get to control two characters instead of four. The plot weaves in and out of terrorism, sabotage and deadly games, but as usual the player needs to stop a planned terrorist attack.

The major problem with Warfighter is that the levels feel a bit flat, with nothing encouraging the player to continue with missions. Some cheap deaths will be at the order of the day, and the AI teammates tend to hang back, wait for the player to initiate enemy contact and will only then move forward.

Most of the levels also feel the same. While their design is distinctly different, the title follows a tired formula of moving forward, taking out enemies, moving forward – rise and repeat. On the odd occasion players will be asked to breach a door, and the more headshots they get, better breaching equipment will be unlocked.

Danger Close desperately tried to shake things up a bit by adding non-shooting missions in a sense that involves car chases and the likes. The car chase from the beginning of the game seems exciting at first, but after a while start to drag on for just too long. The driving, while not horrible, also isn’t perfect.

It’s nowhere near comparable to EA’s Need for Speed (although the mission is called Hot Pursuit), but one wrong move or turn from the player will almost certainly end in failure as enemy driver will get too far ahead.

Another mission that can grind a gamer’s goat is a sniper mission where players need to snipe enemies of a roof. By nature sniping is an activity which takes time, precision and patience – none of which the game affords the player.

The mission feels incredibly rushed, as gamers will have to snipe around 10 enemies very quickly while being under fire, and the weapon given isn’t the most accurate in the world. While there is a visible spotter near the player, they will still have to adjust their aim for each enemy accordingly – something which sophisticated snipers scopes can do automatically.

It shouldn’t be that way, as sniping is something done from a distance under the cloak of darkness and in real-life it’s imperative for snipers to select their target, hit it with precision and leave the area undetected – they shouldn’t be called in as the main assault.

While the game isn’t as terrible as most of the media made it out to be, Medal of Honor Warfighter could have been a really good game. But as mentioned earlier the levels feel flat was no substance, and unfortunately the cut-scenes aren’t enough to carry the entire game.

Danger Close should have spent a little more time developing a great game, than rushing through it in order to release before Christmas – which resulted in a mediocre effort. The title does have its good points (such as presentation and storytelling), but sadly they are outweighed by a shoddy HUD, inconsistent AI and somewhat poor level design.

But all bad things aside, it still has a high level of presentation value and a twisting plot. Both elements that are the building blocks of a great title, unfortunately that is where it ends and bottoms out. Warfighter should be known as the game that could have been…

Our score: 5.5/10

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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