A few weeks back, MMGN contributor Nathan Misa and I spent a day with the real Warfighters of Honor. Of the two of us, I elected Nathan to be shouted at by scary-looking men with obscured faces, formerly of the Australian Special Forces, and watched as he ruined his phone, and his face. Meanwhile, I went and played Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s single-player campaign.
I enjoyed the multiplayer at E3, but my tactics were beyond rubbish. My non-English speaking partner (or perhaps he just wasn’t talking to me) looked at me with disgust when I failed to reciprocate the same help he felt compelled to offer me on a recurring basis.
Warfighter’s "based on actual events" single-player campaign, from the brief glimpse we were offered, is less of a drastic step forward. Movement and objectives felt a lot like Battlefield, only under the layer of a seemingly deeper story and a hearty Linkin Park soundtrack. While Call of Duty continues to move forward in time, EA laughs cheerfully, having already tried that in other franchises, and elected to stay in the present with its gritty, more realistic take on the AAA military shooter.
I needed a plan of retreat for when the pounding blood stains encroached dangerously deep into my field of vision. I needed to actually think about what I was doing.
Our demonstration began with a lengthy -- for a preview -- cinematic revolving around the Tier 1 Operators, specifically Preacher, returning from the 2010 game. The preview opens in a hospital, which serves as a vehicle to detail the backstory, and before long, a flashback mission set in the Philippines begins. Searching for a high profile target, everything quickly turns to explosions and gunfire.
Movement throughout the brief level was fairly consistent with 2010’s Medal of Honor. Enemies rush your position, both at ground level and on the balconies of the buildings above the ravished streets. The design encapsulates the atmosphere of a society destroyed by war, and uses such destruction to push you along a fairly narrow path.
Halfway through, I ran forward, blind firing like a man possessed. It did not go well, and within seconds I was back at the last checkpoint. After failing with exactly the same ambitious ploy again, it suddenly dawned on me that I was going to have to pay attention. Much like my previous multiplayer experience, running around semi-aimlessly shooting things is a recipe for disaster in the single-player campaign.
I had to wait and secure a vantage point, or at least a semblance of cover. I needed a plan of retreat for when the pounding blood stains encroached dangerously deep into my field of vision. I needed to actually think about what I was doing.
Once I got my act together, so did my A.I. team mates, who proved considerably more useful when I stopped the flow of irresponsible deaths, prompting an opportunity to take control of a chopper's mini-gun. That made light work of the lowly foot soldiers daring to oppose me, but was nothing out of the ordinary. If you’ve ever manned a helicopter’s gun in the history of video games, you’ll know what to do in Warfighter.
That’s much the same for the controls in general. There are some cool scope options, which you’ll easily be able to equipped if you’ve ever played a console shooter before. Playing on Xbox 360, it employs the standard shooter control scheme -- which shouldn’t be interpreted as a bad thing.
I only had about 15 minutes of actual gameplay. I like the realistic, present day setting and am enthused about the prospect of a story that’s more interesting than what we’ve seen from the primarily multiplayer shooters over the last few years. That’s where the success of Warfighter’s campaign lies. If this is all tied into an engaging storyline, rather than an ambiguous killing spree, it could be a pleasant surprise.
By Ben Salter