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Game Review: Medal of Honour: Warfighter

Posted November 12, 2012 by Paul Hickey in Shooter
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Ramp Rating


Platform: , ,
PEGI Rating:
Release Date: 26th October 2012


Tight and refined gameplay; Fire Team multiplayer makes for some exciting moments; fun driving sequences; score by Ramin Djawadi.


Short, linear campaign; frequent visual hiccups and bugs; lifeless characters and derivative plot.

While not a terrible shooter by any means, Medal of Honour: Warfighter struggles to justify its existence in an already crowded market.

by Paul Hickey
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It’s hard to deny that the video game industry is an industry of trends. Today, the modern military shooter has become the go-to genre for developers looking to cash in and hopefully follow in the footsteps of Call of Duty. Medal of Honour: Warfighter is the latest instalment in the long-running FPS series developed by Danger Close and promises an experience with a difference: a grounded, personal and unflinching look at life on the battlefield and the effects it has on the brave soldiers who fight this war. Does the game deliver on its pitch or is it all smoke and mirrors?

Set in the modern day and in real locations, Warfighter‘s single-player campaign puts you in the shoes of a number of soldiers around the world as you take the fight to a global network of terrorists. You primarily play as Preacher, a burned-out black-ops specialist who is torn between his sense of duty towards his country and his efforts to maintain his family life. While the bulk of the five-to-six-hour campaign will see you undertaking operations in the likes of Somalia, Pakistan, Dubai and the Philippines, the game will intermittently switch to FMV sequences which tell the humanised story of Preacher. These elements are the backbone of the Warfighter story and although the tale itself is derivative and lifeless, it’s easy to understand what the developers were trying to achieve.

The action is straightforward and in line with what you would expect from a military shooter. You progress through a number of objective-based, linear levels. You will aim down sights, take cover, breach rooms in slow-mo, snipe targets, mark targets for artillery etc. If all of these gameplay mechanics sound familiar, that’s because they are; they’re so familiar, in fact, that it can be easy to autopilot your way through, hugging to cover and patiently waiting to headshot the next guy you see. With the exception of a few heavily-scripted set-piece moments and some driving sequences, the game feels like one stale hallway crawl after another. You never move any direction but forward and the action never feels as compelling as it should. All of the staples of a modern action campaign are here but the end result is an experience that is both short-lived and forgettable.

For most players the draw of Warfighter will be its online component, which offers many of the features you would hope to find in a military shooter. For the most part, you will work as part of a fire team (two people) and battle it out in a number of maps across of a variety of deathmatch and objective-based game modes.  The game also boasts a robust upgrade system for weapons; you can customize load-outs for different class types and if you put the time into the game, building your perfect arsenal has never been easier. The action is refined but is neither as fluid as Call of Duty nor as grand as Battlefield 3. The maps are well designed but don’t have the size or scale to allow for as tactical an experience as seasoned players might like.

Running on EA’s Frostbite 2 engine, Warfighter has some fleeting moments of beauty. It’s a shame that most of the time players will be surrounded by barren, lifeless environments, awash with brown colours, grey skies and by-the-numbers level design. I also encountered a number of hiccups such as colour saturation, screen tearing, enemies floating through the air and a game-ending bug on the last level which corrupted my save file and forced me to start from scratch.

With the highly polished alternatives of Battlefield 3 and annual iterations of Call of Duty, it’s hard to see where Medal of Honour: Warfighter fits into the picture. The game tries to sell itself as a shooter for our times but amidst the contrived storyline, in-your-face patriotism and excessive military vernacular, the message has gotten lost along the way. While not a terrible shooter by any means, Warfighter struggles to justify its existence in an already crowded market.

About the Author

Paul Hickey

  • http://twitter.com/Fearganainim Fearganainim

    Good review. It’s almost like the countless reiterations of those Rocky movies. They just went from bad to worse to parody.

    These games are an insult to the gaming community, who are expected to shell out € 60 for every new version released on a six month basis! Its a bad joke.

    Interesting to see that The US Navy Seals who were consultants for the game were reprimanded publicly for divulging secrets of the trade to EA, and a week later, David Petraeus resigns. Coincidence much?

    • http://www.emesq.com/ Colm

      What! That’s mental about the consultants. Surely that kind of thing is ridiculously heavily regulated. Unless they just happened to meet some Seals in the pub or something? Textbook error.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarklor Ciaran O’Brien

    Another gritty army shooter? I’ll bet there’s a load of brown, regenerating health and tutorials. Maybe even an unavoidable and poorly implemented stealth section! I’m awfully tired of this genre. The only reason I bought Arma 2 was to play Day Z, the wonderful zombie apocalypse survival mod.

    Serious Sam 3 is probably still the best FPS I’ve played in recent years. And it’s precisely because it doesn’t go near the modern military shooter thing. It’s all lasers and rocket launchers and giant friggin’ demon things and waves of exploding zombies and deliberately bad one-liners that’d feel at home in Arnie’s Commando. And it’s just so much fun because it doesn’t give a shit about gritty realism or complex deep plot hooks.

    • http://twitter.com/Fearganainim Fearganainim

      I was playing Day Z last night and a sniper opened up on me as I was leaving a crashed chopper, across an open field. I ran for my life zig zagging to avoid been hit. The bullets were whipcracking over my head and ricocheting everywhere. No idea where shots were originating, got hit eventually and went down with a broken leg. Then got attacked by zombies. Fought ‘em off with my Bizon SD and got behind a hay stack. Repaired my broken leg and stopped the bleeding. Bang ! Dead ! Guy flanked me : (
      My heart was beating so fast I thought it was gonna quit on me.
      No other game gives you that kind of Experience…

      • http://twitter.com/Sarklor Ciaran O’Brien

        I finally got DayZ working again last night after months of inactivity thanks to busted PC and then Steam doing something weird with the files. Imagine my joy when I discovered that I still had a bunch of food, water, an assault rifle and all the generic equipment I could fit into the biggest backpack after something like 60-70 days offline! Then some newbie shot me in the head with a pistol and I lost everything :(

        • http://twitter.com/Fearganainim Fearganainim

          The hacking has gotten so much out of hand, that the game is not worth playing on the hive servers. There is a good private hive community at the minute, and hackers are being kept at bay with whitelisting. UK#10 Zombie World is a good server with excellent admins and fair gameplay.

  • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

    Gamebreaking bugs are completely unforgivable To find one in the last level is… yeah, twice as unforgivable, if that’s a thing.

    I came across a gamebreaker in the tutorial level of Fable II and I still haven’t gotten over it, and all I lost there was 20 minutes of play.

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