EA are looking to once again thwart COD's attempts of domination in the shooter genre of gaming. Having already tried and partially succeeded with Battlefield 3, EA have had a second stab at the throne with the latest Medal of Honor title, Warfighter. Warfighter is not only locking horns with Black Ops II but also 343 Industries masterpiece Halo 4. In a nutshell how you'll feel when you walk away from playing the latest Medal of Honor game is nothing more than claustrophobic.
The games plot is disjointed at best, confusing to boot. Within the first four missions you feel like you're going from two weeks in the future, to the present, to four weeks back, to two weeks back ... already you're starting to wonder what in the hell is going on. When you're not saving the world from terrorists, bombs and guys with mobile phones you're also left trying to save your marriage. Not exactly what you want to be thinking about when you've got the world’s most powerful Sheik in your sights. The marriage plot is dull and you care little for it so you have to wonder why it was ever included.
It's not entirely bad news; a lot of levels are based on real events which is always a nice touch. I fear though that they have focused too much on this aspect, hence why the plot’s general layout is a little nonsensical. You do get to feature in a car chase through Yemen early on in the game; it doesn't sound overly exciting but in fairness you'll find yourself focused on the wheel and gripped to the edge of your virtual driver’s seat as you squirm through small alleys and side streets, even if your reward of a mobile phone is a little disappointing.
Warfighter does start to improve a little once you start throwing grenades and shooting rifles although the improvement is nothing special. Using Battlefield’s Frostbite 2 engine also makes the game feel very Battlefield-esque, just on a smaller scale. You also have unlimited ammunition which destroys the realism factor of the game, something it really needed if it wanted to get a leg up on Black Ops.
What's worse is a horrible feeling of claustrophobia you feel when navigating through the game’s levels. You have no free roam at all within the game, your pre-destined path is already mapped out (shown in all its glory on the car chase in Yemen which should be completely random and yet you have a map in the corner of your screen, how does that work?) and what's worse is that your 'alleyway' of travel for the most part is minute.
The game does improve a great deal when you take it online. You've got a plethora of classes which have unlockable weapons from ten countries across twelve different units. You'll quickly settle into your favourite class be it Recon, which gets a massive speed boost and are experts with tomahawks, or camping snipers who have a massive choice of long-barrelled beauts to choose from once they’re all unlocked. They also all have their own set of kill streak options which may force you to change your choice from time-to-time. You get the chance to use guided missiles, drones, Blackhawk transporters and much more.
The general layout online also makes for an enjoyable experience. You are thrown into a ‘fire-team’ essentially forced into a two man pairing whereby you can use your pal as a re-supplier and re-spawner and of course a general spotter and tactical compadre. You also earn points from helping each other out or completing objectives and of course killing. For the most part, unless playing with a mate, your colleague will do little to help you out and you will no doubt return the favour in kind. Despite this when it does all come together it works really well.
The battle log much like in Battlefield is also nice to view, keeping track of your kill count, accuracy, even your groupings makes each objective worth completing. Your little spawn cards are also a nice touch, granted nothing new, but it gives you the gamer even more to play for online.
If you start online this game looks like it has got just enough to at least stay on par with Black Ops II, what with its multiple unlocks and neat take on co-op play. Sadly once you step out of the game’s multiplayer and start on the campaign you soon realise that this is a poor attempt at challenging COD and Halo for the top spot of the charts. There are small moments when it does shine and you can see the potential that the game has, sadly these are few in number and short lived. It’s far to linear to the point that you feel like the walls are closing in on your character as you navigate the game’s levels and the addition of the ‘failing marriage’ storyline does little to keep your eyes from straying onto other titles.
The game brings nothing new to the shooting genre; it’s predictable and seems to be nothing more than a stop-gap before EA’s behemoth Battlefield 4 is eventually released. Warfighter could have been so much more, but alas it wasn’t.