You shouldn’t be playing a game like Medal of Honor Warfighter for the story. But if you’re a single player campaign guy like me that almost never touches the multiplayer, it’s the thing you’ll notice before even the gameplay.
Warfighter continues the storyline from the 2010 reboot Medal of Honor. (Yes, there was a storyline.) Preacher returns home from overseas deployment to see his family tearing apart because of the years of separation. He decides to quit until a J.J. Abrams-like MacGuffin – that is actually a real life thing – explosive chemical called PETN that Preacher had been tracking explodes in a civilian area. Quitting will have to wait—his feels his call of duty. (Sorry.)
You should be feeling something during the incredibly rendered cutscenes, but you likely won’t. We barely know Preacher. Plus, you know, recognize and can even imitate the clichés the game is throwing at you.
Pair the scant storyline with a fairly obvious and typical shooting campaign and does that make Warfighter a bad game? No. Some of the game reviews I’ve seen thus far are acquainting mediocrity with appalling. If nothing else, the game is cynical (or treats its players that way) and strives for realism in a way that lend itself to something that’s not really fun.
Danger Close Games, the developer, worked with real U.S. Tier 1 operators who were deployed overseas to help craft the game situations that are inspired by real world events. (And a number of them are now in trouble.)
You may or may not recognize locations and/or names of locations from real-life events like Abu Sayyaf’s stronghold in Basilan. I only recalled a certain Somali pirate mission which, in theory, should be a holy-moly I can’t believe I actually get to take that shot kind of sequence, but in actuality, is slightly boring. (Since, it IS one mission, one shot.)
It may surprise you—but the best missions in the single player campaign are the car missions. Sure, I personally hate the view the game forces upon you – in the car, seeing your hands on the wheel – but a “stealth” car mission later in the game is one of the most inventive and exciting sequences I’ve seen in a military FPS in years.
You’ll likely finish the single player campaign in about six hours—I almost completed it in one sitting. (I needed a short break after the first 3.5 hours.)
There’s no denying the high production values of Medal of Honor Warfighter. The cutscenes are extraordinarily lifelike and the battlefields are large, without the typical obvious FPS paths you absolutely must trek down in order to survive. My AI was decent and usually hit their targets, even if they did love to run in front of my line or fire and occasionally push me out of cover.
You shouldn’t buy this game for the single player. It’ll come down to the multiplayer. (Which we hope to review on this site sometime soon.) But if you happen to only play the single player as I did, you might be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy the car missions. In fact, that might even be enough for you.
Medal of Honor Warfighter is available now for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. To learn more, visit www.medalofhonor.com.
* Disclosure: A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.*