Medal of Honor: Warfighter review
Like its greatest rival Call of Duty, Medal of Honor started in the World War II era and has recently stepped into the realm of modern warfare. Rebooted to great hype and fanfare in 2010, EA’s military shooter sadly failed to win over hardened CoD fans, but that hasn’t stopped the publisher from having a second crack. Does Medal of Honor: Warfighter do enough to take the focus off the incoming Black Ops 2, or does it completely miss the target? Get in line, soldier – we’re about to find out.
While Call of Duty has slowly but surely tip-toed into the sphere of futuristic combat, Medal of Honor continues to root itself in reality and even goes as far as feature real-world military experts and actual war-torn locations. This level of authenticity is impressive, and lends the game an immersive feel – there are times when it you can’t help but shake the impression that this is as close to being in battle as you can possibly get, save for signing up with the army and flying over to Afghanistan.
Visually, Medal of Honor: Warfighter does a fine job of harnessing the power of the Frostbite 2 engine to create some truly amazing environments. Granted, they’re mostly portrayed in varying shades of grey and brown, but even the drab colour pallette can’t prevent the game from looking stunning.
Alongside the single-player portion of the game, Medal of Honor: Warfighter comes with a robust online offering, although it’s not coded by Battlefield studio Digital Illusions, as was the case with the online component of the previous title. Even so, it’s an impressively fleshed-out experience, and follows Call of Duty’s example of giving players sizeable solo and multiplayer offerings.
For all of Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s positive elements, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the game is rushed and buggy. The AI of both your enemies and your fellow soldiers is laughably bad and it’s not uncommon to spot characters acting strangely, seemingly detached from the events around them. Your team members are so unpredictable that entering a firefight often feels like a game of chance; more often than not, you’ll be outnumbered while your AI-controlled buddies huddle together in the previous room. Not that it matters all that much – on the whole, your opponents are just as dim-witted.
Poor programming isn’t Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s only failing, however. We’re sorry to say that the storyline and dialogue are terrible, even by the shallow standards of the military first person shooter genre. The characters you fight shoulder-to-shoulder with may be based on real-life individuals, but they’re totally devoid of personality and it’s impossible to feel any comradeship or empathy with them. As a result, the wafer-thin plot carries no weight and quickly descends into a generic mish-mash which has been seen elsewhere a million and one times before.
The bottom line
Medal of Honor: Warfighter may be facing off against Activision’s Call of Duty franchise, but this is a totally unequal contest. EA’s offering feels rushed and half-baked, lacking innovation, style, character and drama. By sticking so closely to real events the developers have effectively robbed themselves of the opportunity to create a fresh and engaging story, and the programming errors which litter the game sap away any potential enjoyment that might otherwise have existed.
Releasing this game so close to the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 might seem like a bold move on EA’s part, but we imagine it will blow up in the company’s face like a badly-timed grenade. It’s a real shame, as the Medal of Honor series was once seen as the yardstick against which all other war shooters were judged – now, it’s just an also-ran release standing in the shadow of its dominant rival.
2 out of 5