PlayBack: Medal Of Honor Warfighter

EA’s 2010 Medal of Honor reboot was far from groundbreaking, yet had enough substance to propel it further than your standard-fare first person shooter. Between Battlefield and Call of Duty, Medal of Honor provided an interesting, albeit flawed alternative that sought to recreate the war in Afghanistan. In this aspect the game succeeded, conjuring up a tightly-knit story, following an elite squad of Tier One operatives behind enemy lines.

Other aspects, such as multiplayer and core gameplay, let it down somewhat though these shortcomings hardly warranted a widespread panning. In short, Medal of Honor was a solid attempt at renovating one of the most idolised shooter series of the past two decades. However, its sequel – Warfighter – didn’t fare as well and instead of being a critical step forward for re-emerging franchise, Danger Close failed to deliver a tantalising follow-up.


Best Bit

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As in the 2010 reboot, Warfighter’s best asset was how it attempted to experiment with genre norms. Obviously, like any well-rounded shooter of the past few years, it stuck to the core, modernised template yet eased in enough nuance to separate it from Battlefield, Call of Duty, and any other main contenders in the FPS genre.

One way it did this was through its clever cover system. Even now, in 2013, we’re used to toggling between three states: standing, crouched, and prone. It’s effective enough yet still seems a bit inorganic and doesn’t sit with developers’ aim to create an authentic combat experience. Warfighter, on the other hand, deploys a leaning cover system. By holding the lean button you can switch to iron sights whilst using the left stick to creep out from behind walls and fences manually. Though tricky to master, it allows for an enhanced sense of accuracy and tactical movement.

Another surprise feature was the inclusion of driving. Where most shooters have you either riding shotgun or in a turret, on more than one occasional Warfighter put a steering wheel in the player’s hands. Though nowhere near as refined as, say, Need For Speed, Dirt, or Grid, the driving felt fine and even allowed for some finesse in areas.

Even the multiplayer brought a couple of fresh ideas to the tablet, the first being international classes. Instead of giving player’s a handful of pre-sets, Warfighter served up a range of customisable soldiers based on real-life operatives like the Swedish SOG, Polish GROM, and British SAS.

Then there was the buddy system. Binding two or more players together within a multiplayer environment is nothing new, yet Danger Close tried a different tack. In Warfighter your buddy wasn’t just a different-coloured spec on the mini-map, they were also a mobile spawn point, health/ammo cache, and a constant source of bonus experience points.


Worst Bit

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What wasn’t executed well was how the whole package came together, or rather didn’t. The campaign, despite its occasional diversions, felt like a series of shooting galleries with nothing really holding it together. Where Medal of Honor created a pared down yet effective narrative, its sequel tried way too hard. Even three or four hours into the campaign I had no real idea of who I was and what exactly I was trying to achieve. This sense of disconnect was made even more apparent by the presence of jarring cutscenes, probing into the personal lives of otherwise faceless soldiers.

Sadly this lack of flavour seemed to spill into other areas. Though interesting at times, gameplay still came down to poking out of cover, letting a few shots loose, then reeling back. The same went for multiplayer too which, not even a year after Warfighter’s release, is almost barren despite offering a slightly different approach.


As far as military shooters go, Medal of Honor has yet to seize its former glory. Though Danger Close has worked hard to differentiate the franchise it still doesn’t stand up to the genre’s heavy hitters. This was reflected in the game’s poor sales and lukewarm reception from the media.

This isn’t necessarily the end for Medal of Honor, however. It will no doubt re-emerge somewhere down the line but, for now, it appears as though EA is trying to push the Battlefield series to the max, to the point where annual instalments are expected.

Again, Warfighter isn’t a poor game but there are certainly better shooters out there.

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5 Comments

  1. Good to hear it isn’t a complete write-off as I picked it up for a few quid. I was going to get into it but then GTA V came along and nothing else is getting a look in.
    I’ll definitely give it a go when I’m done in Los Santos

  2. Another Marmite game.you either love it or hate it… Thought the single player was interesting,but it did have some huge glitches..remember doing the sniping scene and it finished and I couldn’t get up I thought have I missed something.ten minutes passed and I had to restart the whole mission.
    Really didn’t get on with the multiplayer, although the buddy concept was good it didn’t seem to work to its full potential..
    Like Jim said not a bad game not a good one either think it was a missed opportunity sadly!

  3. Played through it a month back after I picked it up for a fiver. Would have preferred 500 penny sweets to be fair.

  4. Utter rubbish. They tried with the MP but it just wasn’t meant to be.

  5. Always been tempted by Warfighter as I thought the initial reboot of Medal of Honor was the best modern military campaign of this generation.

    Unfortunately, from the sounds of Jim’s retrospective, I think Warfighter would only leave me disappointed.

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