Features & News

Hands Off: Medal of Honor: Warfighter

April 24, 2012, Author: Diogo Miguel

Medal of Honor started out as a series that focused on World War 2 events. The previous title jumped forward a few decades and efficiently brought the series into the present.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter is not so much of a sequel, as it is a continuation to the story of the previous instalment.

The demo begins with a hostage situation in the Philippines. There’s been another flood and aid workers get dispatched to help. Unfortunately they soon turn into hostages, and the Tier 1 squad goes off to help. They proceed to enter the building with the hostages. The flooded lower ground makes it difficult to get to the other end of the room. The team continues to gain ground and breach the room with the hostages.

It then moves on to a different section where the hostages get taken back to an evacuation point. The whole area is obviously flooded, so everyone gets on a boat. The boat gets lifted up with the help of a rescue helicopter and that’s where the demonstration ends. It might seem straightforward, but there’s a lot more that goes on throughout the whole sequence.

Expect plenty of explosions...

Anyone familiar with shooters will be in their element here. There were plenty of opportunities to make use of those big guns. Teamwork is vital, and it was clear from the demonstration that it’s the way to push enemies back. Each AI teammate had his own role to play during conflicts. Taking cover didn’t seem like an easy task, which makes sense since it’s a realistic shooter. This means that the characters must constantly change cover, so enemies don’t get the upper hand.

It’s all going according to plan, until a set of explosives go off. It’s a good way to keep players focused on what is happening. Doors are not kicked down right away in Warfighter. There’s a few ways to go about it and it’s vital to carefully think about which to choose, since each situation is different. The level design seemed quite linear, but there wasn’t enough play time to confirm it.

It’s quite early to say, but Warfighter already seemed to be making the most of the hardware used during the demonstration. There isn’t a moment that won’t mesmerise anyone just observing what is going on the screen. It’s still likely to change, but there isn’t a single HUD element in sight. This makes for a cinematic experience to the point that it becomes difficult to not think of it as an action film. Yet what makes Medal of Honor: Warfighter so unique isn’t the breathtaking visuals. It’s an important part of the experience, but the attention to detail is what seals the deal.

Developer Danger Close is working closely with a few U.S Tier 1 operators from all over the world during development. This makes it possible to draw inspiration from the various situations that they have experienced, while on missions. It’s literally the case that anything in Warfighter, within reason, will draw inspiration from real life experiences. Certain sections of the demonstration, such as door breaching, are most likely how such situations get handled in real life.

It’s also noticeable in story sequences, such as when a soldier gets shot. Warfighter is not just about mindless killing to survive. Each of the characters has a life and a family that cares. This is perhaps one of the best realisations while observing the demonstration. The story will focus on these characters and hopefully make the player care enough to become emotionally attached.

Those poor aid workers must have felt relieved that they weren't on a Lost episode.

It’s been promised that this Medal of Honor will include Tier 1 teams from ten worldwide locations. This will provide situations where the supposedly good teams might even end up fighting each other. It certainly sets up some potential ideas for online modes, such as one where Tier 1 teams go up against each other. Multiplayer was not touched upon, though; so this is all guesswork at the moment.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter might seem like the typical shooter, but there are a lot of ideas that make it unique. Hopefully Danger Close and EA will continue to make good use of the Tier 1 operatives’ valuable insight, since it could potentially make it possible for players to truly see what real war (or as close as permitted) is like.