The latest and greatest contemporary first person shooter video game hit the store shelves recently and somehow I only realized it this week. Which should tell you something about how popular it is right off the bat. And after playing it all the way through, my official review is this: Meh. Let me explain. . .
I can remember fondly installing Medal of Honor: Allied Assault on my first Dell computer (first DELL, not first COMPUTER). What followed was hours upon hours of the absolute finest video game I had ever played up until that point. The graphics were amazing (for the time), the gameplay was pretty damn good, and above all it was fun.
This was not that game.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is the second installment in the series’ reboot, bringing it from the depths of World War II and updating it for the modern battlefield. I mean, assaulting Omaha beach is fun, but after the sixth video game to do it, it gets a touch stale. Stale, a term which nicely describes this game.
When they brought the series into the same time period as the current Call of Duty and Battlefield series, both had been released two years prior to MoH’s reboot. And the effect on the game is obvious — the thing played like a carbon copy of the other series. “Tier 1 Operators” on secret missions, persistent characters, one character dies, a secretive baddie…. All the elements were the same. The only difference — and the only reason I liked MoH’s single player campaign better — was that the guns had functioning select fire capability. I like the rock n’ roll setting as much as the next guy, but semi-auto is really the way to go.
I was hoping that this game would be a little different from the others. I was hoping that it had learned from the past, broken with tradition and done something — ANYTHING — differently than the rest of the field. But no, it’s all there.
Mission on a boat? Check.
Rail sequence on a boat? Check.
Rail sequence in a helicopter? Check.
Moving through caves? Check.
Obligatory sniper sequence? Check.
It was like they were doing a “Greatest Hits” album of FPS set pieces. Nothing was new. And while the plot may have been “ripped from the headlines” a la Law & Order, it wasn’t engaging. I didn’t understand what was going on. All I knew was that the baddies were shooting at me, and the only direction I could go was down the endless long hallway.
In reality, this isn’t a new game. This is an expansion pack — an additional few missions tacked onto whatever FPS you were last playing. It doesn’t even matter if it was CoD or MoH you last put down, the characters are interchangeable right down to the “operator” beards. The only thing really new and interesting was the ability to switch between a scope and a backup iron sight set, which was nice but not worth $60.
To that end, if all you’re looking for is about 5 hours of shooting computer-generated bad guys, then this game will work perfectly for you. The graphics are pretty nice, the animation is pretty good, and the mechanics are workable. But if you’re looking for something more than just a “hey shoot that NPC!”, invest in the latest Battlefield 2 expansion. Or, better yet, Borderlands 2.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
Overall Rating *
At damn near $60, it’s flirting with “rip-off” territory. However, it’s going for $40 on Origin this weekend which is about what I’d pay for 5 hours of entertainment.