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Review

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed: October 26, 2012
  • PC

Medal of Honor: Warfighter doesn't merge its cliched parts into a satisfying whole, making it just another middle-of-the-road military shooter.

Upon completing Medal of Honor: Warfighter's campaign, you are met with a heartfelt dedication impressing upon you the heroism of the men in uniform the game depicts. The attempt at sincere emotion is commendable--but it rings hollow, coming as it does at the end of a bog-standard military shooter that celebrates the killing of hundreds. The battlefield fantasy itself offers a few surprises, but they're crowded out of your psyche by the indifferent hours of shooting and military chatter that surround them.

A storm's a-brewin'.

"Linear." The word is commonly used to identify any number of shooters that usher you along a narrow path, interrupting your progress with a bit of sniping, the shooting of a turret, or an explosion-heavy cutscene. Warfighter's issue isn't that it fits this common modern-day shooter template, but that developer Danger Close doesn't use the linearity to the game's benefit. By directing the experience so tightly, a developer can build momentum, giving the action an arc that develops tension and ultimately reaches a zenith. When a game intends to be a playable action film, as so many do, managing that arc is key to delivering a memorable experience.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter doesn't craft such an arc, and thus feels more like a pastiche of shooter tropes than a self-contained experience with its own identity. Yet there's something worthy here--the glimmer of a Medal of Honor that might yet hew its own path if the right elements are cultivated. The basic shooting and movement models are a good start, not because the guns are that remarkable, but because there's a sense of weight to your sprints and your leaps. You're given the ability to take cover and lean or peek before taking aim, lest you get pelted with lead; at times, this encourages you to consider your surroundings and preserve your own well-being rather than rush forward, spraying the room with bullets.

The shooting is occasionally put to good use, too, such as in a noisy showdown during a raging rainstorm, the palm trees waving and bending in response to the heaving winds. Other levels are just as visually impressive, like an on-rails boat shootout during which fires rage and floating debris threatens to ram you. Elsewhere, you use the blazing shine of your enemies' flashlights as beacons for your violence in various locales. The Frostbite 2 engine that gave Battlefield 3 life is used well enough here, occasional visual glitches and distracting screen grime notwithstanding. These visuals are much more effective on the PC than consoles, but on any platform, Medal of Honor: Warfighter isn't always just a sea of brown, though you can still expect plenty of dusty roads and crumbling hovels to fill your field of view.

You only wish you could grow such a stunning beard.

If only the gameplay could consistently uphold the promise of the most atmospheric levels. To Warfighter's benefit, it's not as much of a turkey shoot as its 2010 predecessor, though enemies still pop up in the most predictable places, inviting you to gun them down. The excitement is also undercut by your AI teammates' unlimited supply of ammo; there's never any need to scrounge the ground for enemy weapons, which diminishes the sense that you are in imminent danger. (A little improvisational spirit could have gone a long way.) But it's the moments you most expect to deliver the brightest sparks that are most devoid of them. The aforementioned boat chase requires no skill, neither from a driving nor from a shooting perspective. Ditto for the obligatory helicopter gunner segment, in which you mow down nameless grunts from above. Without challenge, there needs to be something else to keep excitement levels high--but there aren't enough foes to shoot or other sources of thrills to compensate.

Warfighter checks other paradigms off its list, too. There are the parts where you sneak up on enemies from behind and gruesomely stab them, and the parts where you snipe the baddies lurking in distant windows. There are the parts where you call in airstrikes to annihilate entire buildings, and there's the bit where you shoot down a helicopter with a rocket launcher. There are seemingly endless door breaches, in which time slows to a crawl while you and your AI teammates charge into a room and litter the floor with corpses. Things explode real nice, but these sequences are all segmented sharply from the surrounding gameplay. The game signals "hey, here's the part with the sniper rifle," and you dutifully perform the necessary actions so you can continue.

There are several scripted set-piece sections that stand above the rest, however--and in fact, stand above the campaign in general. All of them involve vehicles. Some of these driving sections are ridiculous and entertaining, directing you to incite crashes, and then showcasing the destruction in slow motion, Burnout-style. The camera that so lovingly caresses the chaos flies in the face of Warfighter's meager attempts to identify the drivers as everyday heroes, but the tension of avoiding oncoming traffic and the joy of watching your four-wheeled victims flip with abandon are both guilty pleasures. The game's most surprising turn of events is a vehicular stealth sequence in which you must slip into designated safe spots to avoid prowling enemy drivers. It's a neat idea, executed well, that generates tension and has you fearing your possible discovery. It's not difficult to succeed, but even so, this portion is elegant and imaginative.

Warfighter is on to something with these driving sections: they're better than the shooting ones.

Less elegant are Warfighter's nods to the effects war can have not just on its participants, but on their loved ones. Your role alternates between different operatives, with Preacher (returning from 2010's Medal of Honor) fulfilling the role of main protagonist. The central story comes by way of the jargon-filled military chatter you're used to in such games, in which you know who the bad guy is, not because wrongdoing is demonstrated, but because the characters say he's the bad guy. The globe-hopping narrative, like the gameplay, is chopped into cutscenes and key events without regard for exposition or transition. There's plenty of plot, but little storytelling--and there are important distinctions between the two.

Off the battlefield, you meet Preacher's wife and daughter, who suffer from the effects of the uncanny valley by way of their sort-of-lifelike, sort-of-not character models, but nonetheless deliver some civilian levity between explosions. The gentler side of Warfighter's story is a wasted opportunity, however, since every character is a stand-in for an idea (the neglected but stalwart wife, the loyal and conflicted warrior) rather than a defined individual. Yet while they are simple plot constructs, actors deliver their lines with conviction, and the manipulative soundtrack swells in properly melodramatic ways, softening your heart for a few moments before the ensuing action hardens it once again.

This child is wise beyond her years--and boy, does she look it.

There's a moment near the end of the campaign, however, that has you confronting the consequences of war, allowing you to witness terrible deaths in ways you never can while shooting down combatants. And it's here that Warfighter almost achieves something special. You witness more vulnerability here, and can appreciate the operatives' sacrifices in these final throes. The military fantasy becomes dark reality for a brief moment, and there's no joy in your final shots. Here, you see one more way in which Medal of Honor may yet make its mark, if only this conclusion weren't so removed from the remainder of the game, which otherwise treats levels as interchangeable building blocks that needn't fit into a larger picture.

Of course, if a military shooter is a means for you to shoot fools online and insult their skills (and mothers), the campaign may be a secondary concern, and it's just as well, since the multiplayer is much more satisfying than the campaign, though not without its flaws. Warfighter doesn't have the weight of, say, Killzone 3, but it doesn't shoot for the zippiness of Modern Warfare either, instead finding a more-or-less comfortable place between the two. The leaning mechanic in the campaign finds a place here, and while gameplay doesn't hinge on successfully using it, it's nonetheless a boon, allowing you to quickly establish a line of sight, take some potshots, and lean back into cover.

The fire team mechanic ensures you're rarely a lone wolf.

More important is Warfighter's fire team system, in which you are paired with another team member, and the two of you leech off of each other's successes. Your buddy is both protector and spawn point, and you earn a few experience points for his headshots and kills, presuming you're in close proximity. You earn various bonuses for sticking with your buddy, so you quickly develop a camaraderie of necessity. This isn't a wholly new mechanic in games, but there is a palpable psychological component to it: when your buddy is waiting to spawn, you stay out of harm's way so that your friend might arrive in relative safety, and there's joy in getting revenge on the opponent that gunned down your buddy just moments before. It's a good feeling to know someone's got your back.

A traditional class system glues matches together, though you need to sort through the game's improbably convoluted and busy interface to make sense of it. Everyone starts out as an assaulter, but it isn't long before you've unlocked every class and are well on your way toward earning medals (Congratulations! You've killed 30 players with primary weapons!) and various weapon modifications: barrels, paint jobs, optics, and so on. You also unlock variations of the classes, each associated with a particular nation, and within matches, you can perform offensive or defensive support actions (fly an Apache!) should you string together enough kills. There's a healthy progression system here that keeps the rewards coming.

Exploding barrels are blue rather than red. That's something new, at least.

A metagame goes only so far if the core action and modes don't hold up, but Warfighter is a decent multiplayer shooter with a number of ways to play, held back mainly by its confined maps, some of which are more collections of winding exterior corridors than organic spaces. You never run out of players to kill, at least, within the five modes on offer. The matchmaking options also include playlists that pair up two different modes, and one of these playlists minimizes the interface and turns on friendly fire, inspiring a more cautious experience. On the other end of the spectrum is Home Run mode, a vicious 10-round mode that combines capture the flag with Counter-Strike's tight assault-and-defend dynamic. The maps are small and you don't respawn when you die; all you can do is wait for the next round. Home Run sports a livelier tug-of-war than the other modes, and after the initial learning curve (knowing the map is key), combat can get intense.

Danger Close didn't tie up some necessary loose ends before the game's release: you might spawn outside of the map and into freefall, spawn into some environmental anomaly and struggle to unstick yourself, or even bang into an invisible obstacle. In the single-player campaign, enemies might clip right through walls when they aren't busy being generally dumb. Yet Medal of Honor: Warfighter's greatest handicap isn't bugs, but that its building blocks are snapped together into a shapeless hunk rather than an identifiable monolith with form and purpose. Still, you shouldn't dismiss the game as wholly unworthy: online multiplayer is good fun, and the campaign shows signs of life, occasionally letting you see past the me-too warfare and appreciate a brief flash of imagination. But on the whole, Warfighter leaves you thinking, "Yep, that's a military shooter, all right." Its heroes strive for greatness; the game they star in is merely serviceable.

The Good
Fire team system gives the online multiplayer a sense of camaraderie
Entertaining and inspired vehicular sequences
Some atmospheric levels
The Bad
Ho-hum campaign fails to combine the usual tropes into a greater whole
Disjointed narrative populated by cookie-cutter characters
Set pieces lack the necessary thrills
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Medal of Honor: Warfighter

About the Author

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

Discussion

0 comments
alsheikhuldubai
alsheikhuldubai

this is one of the most rediculous games i have evr played and it is against pakistan and i will kill EA team

firedrakes
firedrakes

online was awful and so many bugs in sp both game breaking and ai wise

Lyon111
Lyon111

This game was one of the most stupid fps games I played in all my life. I enjoyed the last one of their series, even though it was not that great, but this one is just ridiculous at many levels: Guns Shooting engine AI Vilans dialogue Stupid team members that do nothing etc.

mddma
mddma

Last MOH was gold compared to this brown nugget

mddma
mddma

This POS makes me puke

shockersousa
shockersousa

Well I was personally getting this for the multiplayer, he says the multiplayer is good but why does the game have a score of 6.0..... I didnt realize the campaign was bad enough for this game to get a 6. But as per usual any game that isnt CoD is treated like crap 

Killer_73
Killer_73

good campaign but for multiplayer BF3 is the best

LonerCat
LonerCat

Got this for PC. Ran smoothly, only crashed once throughout the whole campaign. And while the story is indeed hard to follow at first, it's not without its thrills. The ship-revenge level was my favorite. Overall, a much better game than what they say around here. But then again, anything that isn't CoD in this site gets bombed ratings anyway...

PC-RUL3S
PC-RUL3S

Well I've played 2 hours of the multiplayer and it's a complete mess, you can't disable other players mics nor can you disable your own. When you unlock some crappy item you have a window that you have to close with details on the crappy item and when your trying to customize your guy you will get pulled out of it and spawned.

duderdave
duderdave

Contrary to Kevin, I personally do NOT like the driving sequence. It feels contrived.

 

Maybe, if I had a driving wheel, it would be more fun, but it just feels out of place the way it is done here.

 

If you want driving sequences, do like other shooters, and give us more action than W, A, S, D'ing through the streets/alleys/trails/donkey paths of Mudtown, Mudinyourfaceistan.

 

Also, everybody I know who got this title for PC is groaning in pain at how tiny and poor the multiplayer is, and that they feel as though they got a teeny tiny console port instead of the real PC game they were expecting - seriously, only 20 players max per game - even BF3 console does better than that.

 

PC players expect to be able to play on 64 player maps if they want to. This game just acts as though the devs of MoHW have been deaf, dumb, and blind to what PC players want and expect.

estalling
estalling

Call of Duty's little brother.  

XSingle
XSingle

Pretty nice graphics!, great gameplay and you can the driving levels are so much fun! besides the campaign isn't shitty as they say! it's just........too short!  i'd give it at least 8.0 not for the pricing though! :P

generalxanos
generalxanos

I spend another 60 freaking dollars on ANOTHER EA beta. I can't get past the first training mission without a hard system lock on win7x64.

Online support suggested I post to the user forum, not help.ea.com, where they actually use foreplay before they %#$! you.

 

Interesting, I've seen posts of problems completing various stages in playstation, xbox, and pc forums.

 

The nice Jose who typed like he was Indian who opened the support case, closed it as resolved, yet a recommendation to upgrade video drivers (already done) and hit the forums was the only fix recommended.

 

I stopped playing EA games years ago, now I remember why.

Extending the EA boycott another decade...

AlisterFlint
AlisterFlint

we're not only beta testers. but we're paying for it. big bucks. what a rip off...

 .

Joido_19
Joido_19

Kinda hoped it had something unique to it besides the whole "Fireteam" aspect( which was cool), but unfortunately a major disappointment.

corteztheg
corteztheg

GS i find your review scores to be inaccurate, are you saying that this game is better than resident evil 6?

smithster77
smithster77

I love the idea of basing the game around the special forces units from around the globe, but this is an insult to those units. If they wanted to go down the whole psychological route with families and emotions and stuff, why have a "run and gun" game where there is very little care factor in whether you die or live.

 

The developers obviously didn't go to a SF unit and experience the true skills and missions these elite soldiers are involved in, because all this game re-enacts is Hollywood action movies.

 

The dev's seem to have been too caught up in the sucess that the Call of Duty series has created instead of making something truly unique. Rainbow Six is a far closer representation of what EA are trying to put across here.

smonacoli
smonacoli

Gamespot score has got NOTHING to do with how good/bad MOH is. I mean Warfighter is a decent game...single player campaign is not bad...it's a not a great game, but it's DEFINITELY better than a 6....I'd give it 7 - 7.5. There is no way it's a 6. Right now, it's all about slamming FPSers. LIke, unless you bash shooters,  you just ain't with it...feel me?  So, that's why Wafighter rec'd a 6,

Meanwhile,  if I see one more dragon RPG I'm going to be sick. 'Cause spending my day "leveling up" up is SOOO MUCH more dope.

alenth
alenth

Anyways is an average game and some people will give it a try, by no means is a terrible game but is not superior either, some people will not try it because of "i hate cod and EA i'm cool" or "my games get bad scores but cod always get a 9" badwagon.

shaka_fo00o
shaka_fo00o

Why is McShea making an article attacking modern shooters in general but tacking it on MOH??  Sorry didn't want  to give his articles more views.  It's sad to see what you guys are letting him do...

shivR
shivR

I knew this wouldn't be great when no one had a release day review out for the game.

gfile
gfile

Played all COD and MOH games and both of them have their pros and cons while i would rather enjoy good old ww2 in MOH, because I think they were a tad better in it then COD which was in other hand better with modern warfare ... but i highly agree with Kevin in this part ..."Warfighter is on to something with these driving sections: they're better than the shooting ones." ...sadly. Would give it at least 7.0 even though level design should have been better.

Gigas_Yuu
Gigas_Yuu

Kevin V is way more talented than that hack job McShea, though. I don't get it.  His review is spot on. 6.0 doesn't mean bad. It just doesn't mean great either.

 

  Do you guys know how many times I fell through the map in multiplayer? The beta build I played in the tournament was more stable

chaos-06
chaos-06

Graphics are amazing. The driving sequences, especially the one where you have to avoid detection were fun. The rest of the game is pretty much your standard CoD wannabe military shooter stuff. I think the review is accurate but the score seems a bit low considering it's not any worse than CoD.

Aleksanian
Aleksanian

The problem with FPS games like this one...and I'm not a hippy I'm just saying...is that it dehumanizes wars.  It makes it "cool" to shoot and kill people just because they are on the other side.  Never do these games explore the psychological damage of all this death and misery on either friendly NPCs or even your own character.  Killing someone is actually a BIG DEAL!! War or not! Most people can't do it just saying.  

I'm just saying it would be nice to have a game where the squad mates actually start to go nuts and you can see their character and personality evolve in front of you.  These games offer uni dimensional characters and its not interesting to me. 

Again, this is just my opinion and i'm trying to make a discussion here.  Let me know what you guys think....

chyng85
chyng85

Anyway I still wanna play it~!

r0y4l
r0y4l

Ah yes, Medal of Honor, the game series that GS loves to hate... No suprises here...

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

the graphic is good. wai no good points bout it?? :c

HybridExtreme
HybridExtreme

Its the same 'age old' story. Boys meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy, girl buys Medal Of Honor Warfighter for boy. Boys loves girl, boy plays game, boy hates game, boy leaves girl. Boy is found dead in a dumpster from a self inflicted gunshot wound wearing an I Love COD T-shirt that he'd made for himself. Yes it's a tragic but otherwise fitting end. lol

Frosty192
Frosty192

Probably won't play this game but I can honestly say that most people compare games to COD or BF and if a new game is nothing like them then they will get shit reviews. Any reviewer can and will try to contradict me on that but they are full of it. Just my two cents.

Lucasdxx
Lucasdxx

An RPG lover should not review FPS shooters...

HybridExtreme
HybridExtreme

I've been playing the multiplayer since day 1 and all I can say is that even with all the server updates etc. the multiplayer is still terrible. shots not registering, shooting through steel/concrete structures with sidearms, multiple direct headshots not killing an enemy, spawning in front of/behind an enemy, enemy spawning directly in front/directly behind me. Other problems too like when I am running down an alley and suddenly my character is stopped by a wall that wasn't there seconds ago, running and being pulled backwards or sideways with lag issues and buddy spawning. The list goes on but sadly, I'm all out of tylenol! 

tehwatever
tehwatever

even the weird over the top antics of the Bad Company gang is more touching and heartfelt than this one.

hey, discussing theology in the calm before storm is a great moment that gets you invested in the character and by proxy, the story.

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

Played MOH 1 and 2 on the PSX. awesome games back in the day!

They Allied Assault on the PC. That was the last great MOH game. After that CoD 1 took over.

 

Now I think both MOH and CoD are being used as milking cows.

MOH still has the same linear gameplay from back then. Used to be awesome but nowadays its just old-fashioned and dull.  Not even going to download it for free.

 

And CoD is simply the same game every year  but in a new jacket.  again, not even downloading it for free.

dv_mrkn
dv_mrkn

Oh, a 6.0! I'm not very surprised. I love the intense atmosphere in shooters today, but every little aspect feels like the same. Also, I'm not a great shooter-player ;) ... Thought, that Warfighter would be better than it's predecessor. (Thought)

REXLAWNMOWER
REXLAWNMOWER

The chase part of the game was great and innovative. 

 

BillBrasky2000
BillBrasky2000

Anyone else find it funny that it took 3 days after the release date to publish this review?  Gamespot's review of Mass Effect 3 (given a 9.0), also an EA game reviewed by Mr. VanOrd was published at 12AM the day of release.  It's pretty clear there was an embargo from EA because of the 6.0 score.  Just goes to show that Gamespot will bow down to the demands of game publishers because they are afraid of losing ad revenue.  You think they would have changed since the Gerstmann incident, but apparently not.

shockersousa
shockersousa

 @duderdave

 Why would you want 64 players on this kind of game. It isnt BF3, but i have to agree that 20 players is rather pathetic, 24 or even 32 would be better

generalxanos
generalxanos

 @smithster77

 But, isn't RB6 like, stable? Compatible? These mean nothing when EA's the distributor, it's not a finished product, and as always, EA's support team's going to just let us whither on the vine. Best example? Saboteur. EA got it after years of development, shoved it out with buildings missing. Blimps tied down to thin air, mooring masts that didn't meet the ground.  There's a fortress in the center of the map that was never developed. You can't get in, no playline involvement. Slap the crap together and get it out the door. We'll fix it post-launch

JTBrian141
JTBrian141

 @Aleksanian The kind of game you are talking about could be like Spec Ops: The Line, that game puts in front of you the psy chological damage the war can cause, try it.

MadamMim
MadamMim

 @Aleksanian Don't count on having a rational and intelligent discussion here. It's hard enough having one when speaking to someone face-to-face. Believe me.

generalxanos
generalxanos

 @r0y4l

 Did you play MOHAA Pacific assault? A marine, riding tail gunner in a navy bomber, pilot bails and you fly a BOMBER to outfight 2 jap zeros? DID YOU?

There's a reason for the seething hatred that is EA, and it's the alpha-production release system, lack of user support, incompatability, and examples of stupid game design dictated by what must be retarded monkeys, or someone in Marketing. Same diff.

 

GS at least addresses *some* of EA's flaws. By NO means, all. Can't annoy the companies advertising on their site, now can they?

BanditBrother
BanditBrother

 @Lucasdxx There is about as much logic in that statement as there is in you giving Kingdoms of Amalur an 8.5.

BanditBrother
BanditBrother

 @2pacalypse-now You agreeing with a review should be the standard that all reviewers should live up to in the future.

joju_australia
joju_australia

 @HybridExtreme well how come i dont have any issues with my experience on line? i have nothing but awesome fun with my VERSION OF THE GAME! geess!

ChristysXmas
ChristysXmas

 @BillBrasky2000 Unlike ME3, EA didn't hand out advanced copies of this game to any of the sites for review (mainly because they know the game will be very buggy without that day-one patch and would result in quite negative reviews. Turns out this doesn't help), so the reviewers have to wait for the release date to get a copy and start reviewing. That's where the delay came.

Lucasdxx
Lucasdxx

 @BanditBrother  @Lucasdxx

Wow, some powerfull argument you got there !

 

Allow me to state there's not much logic behind your observation neither as I have never reviewed KoA here or anywhere else, you must be mistaking me for somebody else. Besides that point, reviews are personal opinions and not calculus to be scrutinized with any type of logic or rules.

 

Furthermore my "flawed" logic is based on the notion that good reviews are mainly about opinion on a genre the reviewer has a relative amount of  PASSION in playing, and Mr. VanOrd clearly states his gaming preference.

 

Anyway I just finished the game and despite some technical issues with mouse control and an extremely short campaign I found it definitely fun to play and deserving a higher rating than a 6.0 based on prior comparisons to similar games reviews.

 

As a last note, I just noticed that it has climbed to number 1 of GS top ten games list, so Mr. VanOrd might have been a little too harsh on his opinion about the game.

HybridExtreme
HybridExtreme

 @joju_australia Um, good for you? So go play it! Look, if you are having fun with it, good for you. But I am not gonna butter it up to make it look like it's a bowl of cherries. Think I am making this stuff up? Go onto the Battlelog website for the MOHW game and take a look at the forums there. if the game has bad aspects to it, wouldn't you want to know, as a gamer? And I don't believe you aren't having 'any' issues. hell, all of us online are having various problems.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • PS3
    • Xbox 360
    Medal of Honor Warfighter is an up close and personal look at today's battlefield and the fight against the ongoing global terror threat.
    6.7
    Average User RatingOut of 1335 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Medal of Honor: Warfighter
    Developed by:
    Danger Close
    Published by:
    Electronic Arts
    Genres:
    Shooter, 3D, First-Person, Team-Based, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language