When gamers hear “Medal of Honor,” they think back to the original PlayStation and the game that helped bring first-person shooters to consoles and popularize the World War II setting. In 2010, Electronic Arts handed the series off to Danger Close and Dice studios to work on a modern day reboot of the franchise which, while met with mixed reaction, proved the financial viability of the franchise. Now, Danger Close has released their second entry in the long-running series, “Medal of Honor: Warfighter,” a direct sequel to their 2010 game.
“Medal of Honor: Warfighter” allows players to plays Tier-1 operators Preacher and Stump as they fight across the globe hunting down the origin of a new explosive called P.E.T.N. The missions in the game were actually inspired by real-life events and missions carried out by Tier-1 operators. In between missions, the game sheds light on the character’s lives. It shows how fighting overseas has affected Preacher’s home life, as his military career has distanced him from his wife and daughter. Unfortunately the attempt at creating and connecting this storyline with the main plot fails in its execution. The main narrative is almost as short as “Warfighter’s” predecessor, with missions that don’t feel all that connected to each other. Rather, the story about Preacher seems to serve as an excuse to use these real-world missions in the game and fails to evoke the the intended emotions from the player due to poor writing and cut-scene models that don’t look normal
With games like this, the ultimate goal is to give players a path to follow in the gameplay to make up for the weak story. The execution of “Warfighter’s” mechanics and game play doesn’t manage to accomplish that. It plays it almost too safe, placing players in scenarios that repeat more often than they really should. The game often gave the impression it was just trying to funnel players into the next ambush or door breach with the rest of the squad, rather than letting players run on ahead with full control of the situations presented in the game. The game does have its standout moments, namely a pair of driving sections, one of which involves having to play a cat-and-mouse game as several other cars pursue you. The multiplayer does make up for the problems with single-player somewhat with its fire-team driven system, where two players are randomly paired together for a match and must act as a team while sharing ammo and reviving each other. The catch with this is that it has poor menu design between matches which packs in too much information under too few sections. The game, however, does present the best use of Dice’s FrostBite 2.0 engine yet, with everything in game looking extremely good.
In the end, “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” is a combination of over-cautious design and a weak story. While this does not necessarily make it a bad game, this does not mean that this is a game worth spending your hard-earned money on.