Score: 5 out of 10
The Medal of Honor franchise attempts to break a monopoly created by Battlefield and Call of Duty. These two have ruled the roost for so long. Unfortunately and sadly, this is not the year that Medal of Honor will get the job done. It seems like that war is going to rage on for some time to come.
As we know, playable action movie experiences are very popular. Who doesn’t want to imagine themselves the star of any movie for that matter. With games like Medal of Honor, we can do that. But what happens when the “movie” we’re in is not that good?
In the case of Medal of Honor Warfighter we find a pretty below-average movie with a sprinkling of game dynamics that keep us interested enough to see it out. It quickly becomes clear that the characters within the game are fairly hollow and lack any realism in terms of real character development. I feel like I am seeing a cheesy war movie from the eighties. All action and no acting. Don’t get me wrong, this type of game can certainly find an audience amongst the shrinking number of gamers who just want to pick up a control and start shooting at anything that moves. For the most part though, audiences have matured and expect more.
The really frustrating part about Medal of Honor Warfighter is that it attempts to control your passage through the storyline with a little too much of a heavy hand. In fact there are some scenes within the single player story that you can complete by simply pressing the fire button once or twice. My guess is that anyone spending the money on this title would expect a little more than a simple joy ride through a modern war scenario with targets popping up like targets at a fun fair.
The gameplay mechanics are not all bad though. I like the ability to take cover and peek around corners. In fact, it really appears to be an accurate implementation of a combat situation. One senses the input that was clearly given to Danger Close, the makers of Medal of Honor Warfighter, by real soldiers. The makers have used the Frostbite 2 engine to create some fairly good character physics and the manner in which your character wields his gun also feels appropriately weighty and authentic.
Speaking about the single player campaign is of course only telling half the story. The multiplayer is a little bit of a saviour as far as this release is concerned. The leaning dynamic is a really great thing to use in multiplayer bouts and seriously allows you to feel the tension of combat.
My favourite part of the online play is the fire team system. With fire team you are paired with another team member and the two of you need to fight through it all together. You act as a spawn point for each other which means that in order to keep going ahead you stay low when your teammate is gunned down. Also great is the fact that if you are close enough to your fire team partner, you will earn small points on his kills. Of course this all nicely translates into the two of you fighting back to back, protecting each other, covering each other and pretty much doing what real soldiers do.
In summary, Medal of Honor Warfighter does not appear to be made for your hardened shooter fan. The difficulty (or lack thereof) within the campaign mode will be more suitable for players just getting into this genre. If you’ve just bought an Xbox and are looking for something current that won’t frustrate you with overly difficult scenarios, then this could be your thing. For those used running around a battlefield, going above and beyond the call of duty in times of crisis, you may find this to be a little too lite.