Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a first-person shooter developed by DICE and Danger Close that was published by EA on October 23, 2012. The focus of the game, which is inspired by real-events, is to hunt down a global terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, which Osama Bin Laden was the head of before his assassination.
If you ever played the campaign of the 2010 installment of Medal of Honor, you may have realized that while the campaign was fun, its plot was very linear and basic: get from point A to B. If you analytically look at the Warfighter campaign, you see it’s essentially the same, but you don’t ever really notice it. Why? You get distracted by that fact because there’s so much in between, so much sub-plot, which I felt the previous game lacked.
“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” – John F. Kennedy
The single player campaign of Medal of Honor: Warfighter starts with the eerie quote above. I am a HUGE history geek, and so seeing those quotes always gets me excited, but seeing that quote with a pure black background made me wonder what was in store for me. That quote, I realized while writing this review, set the tone for the entire game, for the entire core message of the campaign, which I will get into a little later.
You immediately start off by emerging from a body of water and sneakily executing a man, then go through a brief mission where you plant a bomb and realize you’re dealing with much more than you had originally anticipated. From there, you promptly move into training, which brings me to my first topic of review.
*First off, this review is hosted on my website (link here) and that’s where I originally had it. I just reopened this blog up to the public today and I figured I’d post something here. If you could go to my website and check it out that’d be great, feedback would be even better.*
In Warfighter, there is really not much different of a feel from any other first-person shooter, so there is basically no learning curve for any person who’s ever played another popular war game. You have your standard left/right triggers for aiming and shooting, bumpers for grenades, ‘Y’ to change weapons, ‘B’ to squat/prone, etc.
The first time I sprinted in the game, I noticed that the screen was tilting with each side of my tilting body as I stomped left-right-left-right across the mud. This is one thing I was not familiar with in a game, as the screen usually stays put and I sprint forward. Along with that, the screen will pull back, making it seem like you’re zoomed in when not sprinting. However, I was used to it almost instantly and don’t even notice it anymore.
The knifing on the game almost remind a bit of Assassin’s Creed in a way, using a hatchet and hitting them repeatedly as you watch blood splatter every which, instead of your usual swipe across the screen and watching them fall to the ground. It was really fun to watch and made me want to knife more, which didn’t always result in my favor as I moved up in difficulties.
One of the greatest things I noticed in this game was that there was an incredibly diverse style of gameplay. One minute you are on the ground fighting enemy troops, the next you’re moving as a robot. I never knew what to expect coming, and that always kept me on the edge of my seat. Due to that, I won’t reveal any more about what you can do, that way you may get the same feeling I did.
If you’ve ever played another EA war game, like Battlefield, you’ll already have an idea of what the graphics look like. If you haven’t, I’ll make a quick comparison. Look at Black Ops (Treyarch) and Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward). You’ll notice that Black Ops has more of an animated, cartoon-like look to everything, while Modern Warfare 3 has very real look. The grains of sand pop-out and you can see each one individually, the characters are more realistic, the weapons are more detailed, etc.. Well take Modern Warfare 3, put it on steroids, and you’ve got Warfighter.
One of the things that surprised me was how life-like the people actually looked. You could get an approximate age on them based on their facial hair, wrinkles, stress lines, and even hair color. The men, I felt, looked a bit more authentic than the women, as their cheekbones seemed a bit less defined resulting in a seemingly flat face. However, one of the only reasons I could notice that was due to the quality of picture. Because everything looked so nice, I caught all the little things.
It should be noted that all this is without the 1.7GB HD graphics download that is offered at the start-up menu every time you launch the game. Every last detail looks flawless, from the typhoon winds against the trees, to the buildings being destroyed, to every last head being blown to pieces by your weapon.
The story is the meat and potatoes to a campaign, if it’s not crisp and logical then it’s not likely that a person will like it. I can honestly say that this game delivers all of what you want. Remember when I said that the opening quote set the tone of the game? Well here’s how. When you think of a war game, you kill enemies, plant bombs, enter stealth mode ever once in a while and that’s about the extent of your imagination. Well the best part of this story is that it shows how it effects the families of men at war, what happens to the loved ones.
The story skips between “8 weeks ago” and “4 weeks ago” rather often, so if you catch yourself not paying attention, you may get a bit confused on where you are and what’s happening around you. This happened to me a few times in the beginning but I became accustomed to it relatively soon so it didn’t become an issue again. On that same token, the weapons training that you go into seemed at an odd place and incredibly random. It was right between an important development in the story, with a guy that you have no idea who he is, but trust me when I say EVERYTHING about that training level comes full circle, causing my friend to have an “Oh shit, no way!?” moment while we were playing it.
One thing I was very happy with was their inclusion of 9/11, to an extent. I prefer ballsy people, organizations, etc., ones that don’t care about if there may be an outcry against what’s happening, they do it because they want to. So in 2010, it annoyed me greatly when he decision was made to change the name of “Taliban” in Medal of Honor to something less offensive to some people.
I was talking with a great friend of mine, Bilal Soorty, and he agreed, saying the public hated the name Taliban, “yet they don’t have a problem when they speak Arabic, have Muslim identifiers and pretty much embody everything the Taliban is.” In Warfighter, in the last mission, you see images on the walls of the World Trade Center towers on fire and collapsing, and I was incredibly happy to see they did something risky in the game.
To no ones surprise, the campaign was short. My first time running through the game on its easiest difficulty, I did it in just over four and a half hours. One thing I will reveal is that there is no Osama mission, which I had been slightly expecting since they named their first map pack after the upcoming Sony Pictures movie, titled Zero Dark Thirty, about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. That part did disappoint me a bit, but the final mission did compensate for that a bit.
The campaign achievements were not something I was used to. In most campaigns I have seen, you get points for finishing a mission on a certain difficulty, but Warfighter only requires to complete the missions. Many of the achievements were based around quirky in-mission objectives, like finding grenades in the laundry room or using melee against 25 enemies.
In general, I play a campaign about 4 times. Once on the easiest difficulty, and since this campaign has three difficulties, I moved to the hardest one. When you finish on Hard, you unlock two more, Tier 1 and Hardcore, so I’ll move into Hardcore and when I complete that, I’ll run through again on easy so I can get the achievements. Right now, I’m on my third time through and even on Hard, it took two days to complete, with moderate time of gaming, about 4 hours each day.
For an overall rating out of ten on the campaign alone, it receives a nine from me.