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Medal of Honor: Warfighter PS3 Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

By

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Cover

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Cover

Image © EA
Have we reached a point where we can't enjoy modern shooter games without comparing them to the best of the best? The first wave of reviews for "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" has been brutal. It's nowhere near the disaster that some critics would have you believe. Perhaps it's because my expectations were so low and because there haven't been many good shooters since "Battlefield 3" and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" last Fall but I found "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" way more effective than I was expecting and it has a deep multiplayer portion that I can already feel getting its addictive hooks into me. Will I spend as much time leveling up as I have in "Battlefield" or "COD"? Probably not. But if we compare every multiplayer shooter game to those remarkable achievements, they will all come up short.

Game Details

  • Publisher: EA
  • Developer: Danger Close
  • ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • Pros: Non-Stop Action, Deep Multiplayer, Stunning Graphics
  • Cons: Lackluster Storytelling, Familiar Gameplay, Inconsistent A.I.

"Battlefield" fans will find many of the elements of "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" very familiar (in fact, the "Limited Edition" includes access to the "Battlefield 4" beta, along with a U.S. SEAL Sniper unlock and the "Zero Dark Thirty" map pack). The game uses the Frostbite 2 engine in a way that makes the campaign look remarkably similar to the one in "Battlefield 3" and the multiplayer offering focuses heavily on teamwork as it divides players into two-person teams and gives points for spawning with your buddy and helping them out. The game has a familiar structure for titles like this one with a relatively short, explosive campaign and a variety of multiplayer offerings.

Gameplay

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Image © EA

The storytelling in the campaign of "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" leaves something to be desired but when was the last time we couldn't say that about a wartime shooter? The fact is that these games as a genre have become more about action and less about character. If you're going to come down hard on the writing in "Warfighter," as some critics have, I dare you to argue that the "CoD" or "Battlefield" games feature a deeper degree of character. Yes, the story of "Warfighter" could have been stronger but the game features the kind of breakneck pace that buyers of a title like this are looking for. And it's remarkably well-designed in terms of mission objectives. You always know where to go and what to do and the action is routinely being intensified to the end of a mission. It's a well-paced campaign with a number of unique set pieces (two stellar driving missions) to distinguish it from other shooters.

How's the action? There are times when the A.I. will baffle you. Whether it's your fellow soldier who instructs you to take a sniper shot and then stands up right in your line of fire or the enemy who watches his buddy's head get blown off in an exposed spot and then runs into the exact same spot, the NPCs here leave a little to be desired. Having said that, "Warfighter" moves so quickly and gets the pulse racing in such a way that the sometimes-awkward mechanics are easier to handle. Should the enemy be smarter? Yes. And so should the good guys. And some of the missions have frustrating objectives that seem based on luck more than skill. However, any problem I had with the campaign of "Warfighter" never lasted long enough to matter.

I think the biggest problem that most people are having with "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" is a sense of "been there, blown that up." Yes, it's an incredibly familiar game (although the driving missions feel unique). We've played games like this one before. It's not breaking any new ground. I think the overall exhaustion with the genre has led some to be harsher on this title than they would otherwise be.

Because the multiplayer portion is fun enough to warrant a passing grade on its own. Once again, it's familiar but effective. Team Deathmatch, Hotspots (which is an objective-based game), tons of unlocks available after in-game accomplishments, and the "Battlefield"-created Battlelog make an appearance. Once again, the multiplayer portion of "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" feels like something you may have played before but with new maps, new mechanics, and new crowded servers of people to play with (at least till "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" comes out.

Graphics & Sound

The campaign of "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" looks stunning with performance-captured cut scenes that people in another room will mistake for feature films. And the lighting effects, particularly how a flashlight makes close-quarter combat difficult, are very impressive. The campaign looks notably better than the multiplayer graphics, although the maps are very well-designed. As for audio, it's what one would expect although the cacophony of noise in the multiplayer makes communicating with your buddy difficult.

Overall

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Image © EA
An engaging campaign, strong graphics, and the best multiplayer offering since "Max Payne 3" and yet so many people want to relegate this game to the bargain bin before Halloween. The sad thing is that "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" will almost certainly do that as the mega-franchise makes this title obsolete. It's too bad so many critics had to pile on before the inevitable because "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" is better than you've been led to believe.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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