Thursday, November 1, 2012

Medal of Honor: Warfighter, much maligned, everyone is missing the point

Medal of Honor: Warfighter was undoubtedly one of the most hyped and anticipated games of Fall 2012. I personally was a huge fan of the 2010 reboot because of its realism and the fact that it was based on true events from early on in the war in Afghanistan. Something about getting to play as characters based on people that definitely existed in real life just clicked with me, especially since my original career path after high school was to join the Army (I ended up going to college like everyone else). It was much more realistic than the arcadey and increasingly ludicrous Call of Duty, which keeps getting more ridiculous with each installation. I was pumped for Warfighter the minute it got announced shortly before Spring Break.

I picked it up at midnight. The next day, this game actually received scathing reviews, giving it the distinction of being the game with the lowest reviews that I actually went out and spent $60 on. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Warfighter did not deserve the bad reviews at all. Actually, it's more along the lines of this: the reviewers completely missed the point of the game.

Singleplayer: Why yes, it was just another generic shooter campaign that seemed to lack a coherent story line. That's because it was based largely off true events. In that sense, Warfighter in my opinion is the definitive game to play if you really want to come remotely close to what real special forces have to do. The life of a special forces guy probably isn't going to be that spectacular with explosions going off all over the place like in any Hollywood action movie. Then there was the drama between the SEAL Preacher and his family. Yeah it seemed corny to many, but that's because people are used to more extreme examples thanks to Nicholas Sparks movies and Hollywood in general. Once again, this is more realistic. The campaign is linear, but keep in mind it's largely based off things that already happened. The developers knew how these events played out. Of course, to everyone else, it's just more of the same. Warfighter does not deserve to be compared to Call of Duty. That's like comparing Transformers to a video about robotics in real life. Of course the flashier one is going to be better-received among people who just want dumb entertainment.

Multiplayer: Gameplay-wise, just like anything I've experienced with one little exception: the fireteam system. Basically, it pairs you up with a buddy, and you're supposed to work together. It definitely works. Healing each other, resupplying each other and saving each other's asses gives of a surprising sense of camaraderie. Even that corny post-match animation of the 1st place fireteam fistbumping makes me feel happy on the inside. On a more serious note, I personally think that this multiplayer is much more balanced than Call of Duty, which tends to favor campers and other people who just rely on cheaper tactics because they have no skill. I prefer games that actually require skill, and Warfighter is one of them. The graphics are a little rough on the multiplayer, but hey, it has a pretty smooth frame rate for me so i'm not complaining.

Closing comments: People who thought the campaign was too generic completely missed the point. The whole point of Warfighter was to not be another Call of Duty knockoff with the over-the-top spectacle and explosions going off all over the place. The point was to focus more on real life special forces exploits, which from what I understand don't tend to play out like Michael Bay films. Of course, that's why mainstream gamers will always be mainstream. They'll always prefer the Hollywood-style crap to something that's more realistic.

8 out of 10.

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