‘Medal of Honor: Warfighter’ Review

Published 2 years ago by

Medal of Honor Warfighter Review

Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a game that needs no introduction. Not just because it is a sequel, but because it is a modern military shooter released during a time when the genre has reached its apex.

For those that didn’t play Danger Close Games‘ first Medal of Honor title, the only thing worth knowing is that this revitalization of the franchise falls somewhere in between Call of Duty‘s overreliance on bombastic action sequences and Battlefield‘s attention to detail and realism. It wasn’t an overwhelming success, but apparently it was successful enough that Electronic Arts greenlit a sequel. 

Medal of Honor: Warfighter‘s story, while much more streamlined than some of the military shooters out there, is still relatively haphazard in its construction. At any given moment players can be asked to complete a series of different tasks — storming a freighter, sniping some targets, and then operating a helicopter turret during extraction — but there’s little to no explanation as to the importance of completing each mission or objective. Moreover, an overabundance of flashbacks further complicate the narrative, and keep some of the storytelling’s true accomplishments from shining through.

Contrary to what its explosion-filled marketing will tell gamers, Warfighter is one of the few military shooters that puts a name and a face on its playable soldiers, and shows players the toll this profession can take on a person. As gamers learn more and more about “Preacher,” one of two playable characters in the game, they will come to understand the impact wartime conflicts have – not just on the person but on their family.

Medal of Honor Warfighter Review - Gameplay

There are some moments of genuine emotion in the game, moments that would have struck a near perfect chord had most of those scenes not played out as pre-rendered cutscenes. Instead, some really poor CG, for the female characters especially, make scenes that should have been poignant and heartfelt look goofy. Humanizing Warfighter’s characters, as well as basing its missions on true events, further feeds into the games’s much hyped authenticity, but a lack of moment-to-moment focus keeps the interconnected narratives from coming together in an impactful way.

Gameplay follows in a similar suit: it has some unique touches but is ultimately very forgettable. The presence of DICE’s Frostbite Engine keeps the game looking slick the whole way through, but beneath that glossy veneer is a run-of-the-mill FPS. Medal of Honor does a passable job at mimicking its competition’s sense of place and scale, but uninventive level design and terrible enemy AI turn it into a below-average shooter.

Enemies in Warfighter will typically remain in the same position, react to no amount of cover destruction or explosions, and will pop out every now and again to get a few shots off. As a result, many of Warfighter‘s levels come off as little more than interconnected shooting galleries, broken up only by slow motion breach sequences — of which there are far too many — or stagnant turret sequences. Yes, there are other franchises that deliver a similar experience, but here the scripted nature of the enemy encounters sticks out like a sore thumb.

Medal of Honor Warfighter Review - Driving Sections

Thankfully there are a few missions in the game that provide some much needed variety, and ask the player to do something a little different. Danger Close’s most successful creations are the game’s two vehicle-based missions, which strip the player of any conventional weapons and ask them to simply drive. The second mission in particular is a real standout, as it plays almost like a game of cat-and-mouse with cars. Though the driving missions too have their flaws, Danger Close should be commended for finding a clever way to break up the monotony.

While the 8-hour campaign can only occupy players for so long, Warfighter‘s multiplayer hopes to keep gamers entertained well into next year. All of the usual suspects — a wealth of modes, dozens of unlocks, and a decent selection of levels — are there, as is a clever buddy system that rewards teamwork, but ultimately the multiplayer doesn’t do enough to make itself stand out.

In addition, the multiplayer suffers from some fundamental problems like poor hit detection and an abundance of spawn campers, but those are issues that could presumably be fixed in a patch. It’s not the revelation that Modern Warfare or Battlefield 3 were in terms of multiplayer innovation, but gamers looking for a halfway decent stop gap between the next versions of those aforementioned franchises will find Warfighter fits the bill nicely.

Medal of Honor Warfighter Review - Multiplayer

Some intriguing missions and impressive visuals could have helped Warfighter stake its claim on the modern military shooter market, but instead a very rote core gameplay keeps the title down. In many places the game is a glorified shooting gallery, funneling players from point to point and not challenging them or at the very least providing them with excitement. A worthwhile multiplayer offering could have redeemed a sub-par single player campaign, but unfortunately that too is pretty standard fare.

Overall, Medal of Honor: Warfighter fails on too many fronts to be worth anything above a casual recommendation. Danger Close Games has improved upon the formula they established with the first Medal of Honor, but there are still far too many areas in need of attention.

Have you had a chance to check out Medal of Honor: Warfighter? Feel free to share your thoughts on the game in the comments below.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter is out now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Game Rant played the Xbox 360 version for this review.

Follow me on Twitter @ANTaormina

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

TAGS: Danger Close Games, Electronic Arts, Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor 2, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

  • jwalka

    i find it funny how everyone cries about the sp being to generic and that it doesn’t tdo anything that hasn’t been done before, when CoD, halo and other action titles re-tread over the same bs time and time again without being hated for it.

    i’m not saying the game is good (looks terrible/rushed imo) but i think people should just back the hell up and compare titles within a genre on an equal margin.

    with all that being said, i’n getting pretty tired of seeing all these wanna-be realistic shooters, would be nice if they all disappeared for a few years and allowed for the real creative guys to show off their skills, instead of being forced to release their stuff via XBLX PSN for chicken scratch.

    • DRE

      Totally agree. I have a co-worker who talked me into buying BF3, and then we traded it in for Ghost Recon, and now he wants me to get this…and I pretty much told him, they were all the same game to me. I’d much rather replay Journey or such.

    • Justin Loomis

      Whoa, COD’s single player is always very cinematic and action packed. I dunno how Warfighter’s campaign is, but I remember hearing the first’s was pretty boring.

      I agree with everything else you say though. I’m a strong advocate for Timesplitters 4, or any shooter not so focused on military, cover, etc.

    • Nathan

      I feel this game is alot more realistic than other games like call of duty and battlefield!

  • boogoo

    How are the graphics in multiplayer? I played a little bit of the beta and they were unusually… hideous. 😕

  • http://gamerant.com Rob Keyes

    This game shouldn’t exist. All this development should have been put towards Battlefield 3 and additional content.

    Why would the same publisher build a lesser competitor to its own product with the same engine and same setting?

    • Tim

      1000000% agree, i had been wondering this the whole freaking time myself…

    • jwalka

      the game was made by 2 different teams, and DICE onyl did the mp for the reboot to this. but i do agree, they’re basically competing against themselves with a half baked product that will hurt their rep and wallet, they should just put their best foot forward and focus more on new IPs.

  • handsomereaper

    There’s just no excuse for this game being so buggy. I’m tired of shelling out $60 for an incomplete game. My main issue with this game was the fact that I couldn’t communicate during a match. They’ve released patches that seem to have made the game less enjoyable. I was on another thread bragging about how awesome the hit detection was compared to COD, but since the last patch I’ve emptied out countless magazines into enemies only to end up dead. And what the f@@k is up with the VOIP? When the f@@k are they going to fix it? That bug alone should’ve pushed back the release date. You don’t ship a military shooter to retail that lacks the key ingredient of communicating with your team. Might as well ship the game minus guns then.

  • Jak Frost

    To me 90% fps shooters suck. The only fps ill be buying this year is Far Cry 3

  • Carnievaile

    The games total garbage I’m regretting buying it the interface is clunky, badly set out and a chore to use, the graphics are shocking, hit detections bad at worst, theirs monumental lag that’s random one game you kill people the next you got more chance in finding a needle in a hay stack than killing anyone, theirs sound drops and other issues, you die around corners sometimes (when you can actualy kill people) your point streaks just don’t happen even when it’s popped up telling you that you’ve acquired one. All in all I’m never playing it again and it’s getting traded in the morning

  • levilee207

    I only needed to play the demo to realise this game shouldn’t have been made, or at least should have been worked on. I couldn’t hit a single player, lag was infrequent and there was a lot of it, and it just looked terrible. We need some creative, break away from the norm FPSs, not regurgitative franchises