The lights are on
So, we've all read the GameInformer review. But is it really all that fair?
First of all, let's start with Multiplayer. Now, I haven't had a terribly large amount of time in on this, but what I have played, it stands out from Call of Duty and Battlefield. The game allows you to play as several classes, each one with their own role, and each with several fully customisable weapons at their disposal (please pardon any and all grammar and spelling errors, as for some reason I cannot fix them while using the GameInformer.com post-creating system). While none of the Special Forces you can play as have unique weapons, they all have unique sounds, appearances, and let you represent your country with pride. Like Call of Duty, there are no vehicles, but there is a score-chain system that allows you to use one-off items like UAVs, Jammers, and Apache helicopters. Unlike Call of Duty, however, every class has unique score-chain unlocks. Like Battlefield, however, players are focused on teamwork both inside of two-man "fireteams" and the entire group.
The fire-team system is, in of itself, something unique to video games. While Ghost Recon: Future Soldier did have a buddy system, it was poorly implemented and your squadmate was practically useless unless you had VIOP coordination, and even then he couldn't do much without the right equipment. In Warfighter, not only do you have eyes on your partner at all times (unless playing hardcore mode, which disables the HUD and several other things), but you are also able to be healed and resupplied at your partner, while doing the same thing to him. To also encourage teamwork, squadmates instantly respawn (this is a tad bugged at this point) to your side if you kill the one who kills them under a time-limit of about five-ten seconds.
The game-modes are pretty standard fare for a wargame, to be honest. However, where it stands out is its "Combat Mission". Like the 2010 release, the Combat Mission gameplay tells a story-one side is attacking three objectives, and the other is defending. Unlike Rush, however, in the background you can hear radio transmissions and such that detail why you are on the ground, and what the objective is (while also subtly hinting at new routes in or weaknesses in the enemy's defensive line). Here we see the gameplay working about as smoothly as Battlefield 3's. It's crisp, clean, and effective. There is some minor hit-boxing errors, but that is mostly due to server-side or client-side lag, not so much because of errors in programming. Snipers are slightly over-powered at this point of release given their powerful full-automatic side arm (note that all sidearms have infinite reload ammo), a full automatic G18 pistol. Also note the Spec Ops being a tad over-powered as well, given their deadly Remington 870 shotgun backup. Speaking of classes, each one has its own special ability. These are typically balanced and short lived, which will force the player to use them sparingly and wisely, often times to the benefit of the team than of the one.
Now we move on to the beef of the game, the story. Unlike what GameInformer says, I feel that the campaign shines. While the story-line is a tad convulted at the very beginning, it begins to become clear by the end of it. Without as much spoilers as possible, the story-line features the characters from the 2010 reboot back again for another tour. Uncovering a new Jihadist weapon (props to the Danger Close team to actually calling them Jihadists rather than "icky Middle Eastern baddies" or the Russians), the team must hunt down what is going on. However, something goes sour and one of the two main characters, Preacher, is wounded. While the game does go over the effects of war on families, its one weakness is that it doesn't do it strongly enough. It does, if you're the kind of person who gets into the game at an emotional level, do a pretty fair job of making you feel bad for the wives of both Preacher and his SEAL buddy, Mother. The story takes you to several hot spots, allows you to play modified versions of real-life special forces operations, and gives you a solid six-to-eight hours of campaign fun featuring solid game play and incredibly addictive driving levels.
Finally, we hit graphics and bugs. Like GameInformer said, this area is spot on. Frostbite 2 is back, and is even better than it is in Battlefield 3. Bugs, however, are troublesome, but they are fixable and in no-way game-breaking, but rather just annoying. I'd like to remind everyone that is not fair to a game to review it at the beginning of its lifespan and then write it off because they didn't do enough to fix it. For instance, Battlefield 3 was exceptional, but had dozens of glitches and fixes worth working on. Over time, it has become the PC gamer's juggernaut. The same will happen with Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
So, I say give Warfighter a try yourself before damning it. It may turn out to be your shooter of the year. It is for me, and no matter how good Zombies is in Black Ops II, I will not rate it below.
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