"A Medal to Retire"
Medal of Honor was essentially the Call of Duty on consoles pre-Xbox 360. However, the series has had a hard time getting back to what it once was. Consider the fact that the series initial entry in the 90s had its story written by Steven Spielberg, and how it is now second tier to EA's Battlefield saga, struggling to find its identity while focused on what the series once was. The latest title in the series, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, sequel to the 2010 reboot of the series, works on a functional level, but its textbook "by the numbers" gameplay and many technical glitches in its campaign make it something very difficult to get through.
Directly following the storyline of the 2010 reboot, Medal of Honor: Warfighter slims the number of playable characters from 4 to 2. The story follows Stump, a U.S. Navy SEAL, and Preacher, a character who appeared in the previous game. The campaign takes place in various countries, as players deal with terrorists that have links to Al-Qaeda. Compared to other games of this nature, Warfighter's trump card is that it explores the struggle between a soldier, his war, and his family. Over the course of the campaign, Preacher tries to get his life back after the events of the first game, but the more he attempts to go back to what he once knew, the more the two blend together, and taking down the enemy becomes more personal.
As said earlier, Medal of Honor: Warfighter works on a functional level for the most part, but it just isn't very fun. Out of the campaign that I played, much of it is scripted to the point that it feels as if it's from one of those HD collections of older titles that are so popular these days. During a sniping section, only headshots would kill enemies or even damage them. I spent many a shot trying to kill the enemies, and it was extremely disappointing to just have my shots leave the enemy unscathed until I hit the enemy's head. After killing 5 guys during this sequence, I'm then instructed to pick off any stray enemies I see; the problem is, they're invincible until a helicopter comes by and picks them off. Then I'm put into another short sequence where I have to kill two others before they destroy the helicopter, and if I don't shoot them in the head in a specific sequence, I am greeted with the game over screen. What?
Before even reaching this point in the level, it's easy to see that Medal of Honor: Warfighter is very scripted, and there's only one way to complete objectives. For instance, I'm instructed to destroy a building while enemies are shooting at me, and shooting them instantly spawns another enemy in the exact same location they were before, until I finally pull out the equipment to level the building. Considering how grounded the story portrayed in the cutscenes is or is trying to be, the general gameplay of the campaign doesn't match. Even the scripting isn't tight, as it's easy to die through a 3-second countdown that appears when wandering from the gameplay area or getting stuck in a spot away from the current objective. With events like this, the campaign doesn't give much reason to go back, unless you're a masochist.
As the follow-up to a successful reboot, it's disappointing to see how the ball was dropped with Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The title doesn't do much to stand out from the competition, with levels that push you along and nearly play themselves and weapons that lack a punch. The gameplay is so scripted that it detracts from the story, which explores themes not visited too often in games of this type. FPS fans that are starved for something to play are better off looking elsewhere.
Or perhaps they're interested in the game because of the multiplayer, which runs on the Frostbite 2 engine from DICE. However, something tells me these online battles won't last long... It pales in comparison to what's on the market now.
GameDynamo's Score for Medal of Honor: Warfighter (X360)
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