Multiplayer is a different story. While it is more entertaining than the single player, is weighed down by its own set of issues that may cause problems for more experienced FPS fans.

Warfighter’s competitive options come with a set of familiar game types, including hallmarks like Team Deathmatch, a King of the Hill-equivalent mode and others.  The multiplayer starts you out with choosing the assault class from any of several countries and allowing you to unlock and build other classes and weapons from there.  While the options are nice, and each class has enough of a unique feel to make specialization feel warranted, it will take a while to enjoy anything beyond those assault options.  Other classes and their many options will only gradually unlock over time, meaning for those just jumping in it will be difficult to match their foes in strength and tactics.

The gunplay from the campaign is strong enough, however, the actual firefights can still be an enjoyable time.  One of the smarter additions to both facets of the title is the lean mechanic, allowing you to marginally duck out of cover while not exposing your entire body.  In missions where teams are not moving around as frequently, it can be a useful tool, but don’t expect to sit behind cover and pick off foe after foe when they are scouring the battlefield.

Multiplayer modes like Sector Control can be engaging once you learn the rules.

Though it will take time, finding a preferred class and acquiring new support options for it does lend some much-needed personalization to the proceedings.  I enjoyed fleshing out my German KSK heavy gunner to the point that it could call in a Blackhawk helicopter to rain fire down upon the grounds, but reaching that point felt a bit monotonous.  Maps are strangely designed at times, and though I like the idea of using different portions of the same maps for each game type, it may have been better in theory than in practice.

Maps don’t always have the most sensible routes built into them.  While playing a Home Run game, I found myself camping out in the same position to defend a flag, as there was only one path to arrive at the flag.  I could stop nearly every enemy that stumbled into my sights, but when playing more experienced players, they knew where exactly to throw their bombs to ensure my demise.  During a Sector Control scenario, I continually respawned in the same location, but because the map was so small, many of my lives only lasted for a few seconds.

Issues like this pervade nearly every game type, and it disappointing that poor map layout can undercut some of the fun these modes allow.  As mentioned above, the Home Run game type is a true delight.  A one-sided Capture the Flag mode, you only have one life per round, allowing for a rapid pace to which other game types cannot stack up.  Even when awkward maps mire the gameplay, things move at such a fast clip that it likely won’t be a nuisance for long.

Without the buggy AI in the way, multiplayer allows for a far more entertaining experience.

Home Run is definitely a highlight, as building up your own class can be fun. The addition of Fireteam gameplay can change the nature of combat.  By pairing you with another player (friend or random combatant), you can choose to work with your teammate and earn experience bonuses or completely ignore them and remain a lone wolf.

This neat wrinkle to combat is another welcome addition, but it cannot always make up for the design issues apparent in this facet of the game.  Multiplayer menus are a pain to search through for anything other than the immediate choice for a quick match, and with a lack of detailed explanations for modes, newer players may be deterred from the systems to which they are already accustomed.  I wish I could say frequent spawn deaths and unexpected dead ends were anomalies, but they popped up far too frequently to make at least the majority of matches an intermittent challenge.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter strives to be better than it is.  There is an underlying current of respect for the adversity real soldiers face in any combat scenario, but as a game, that message is lost in a muddied mess of bugs, glitches, and uninspired ideas.  The few moments of ingenuity cannot make up for the nuisances and noticeable design issues that threaten the experiences of both singe player and multiplayer.  I am all for honoring the memory and struggle our country’s soldiers face, but in a game that is meant to also be fun, it frequently loses sight of the former while failing at the latter without much new to see.

 

Here’s the Rundown:

+ A clear reverence for the soldier’s plight
+ Interesting driving missions
+ Fun multiplayer modes like Home Run enhanced by the lean mechanic
- AI, both good and evil, frequently behave poorly
- Despite attempts to emotionally connect, the story is a hodgepodge of flashforwards and flashbacks

- Numerous visual and aural bugs
- A lack of innovation in an already crowded genre

 

5 and 5.5 are mediocre. These aren’t necessarily bad games, they just don’t do anything that is worth caring about and not worth the time of most people. 

Medal of Honor: Warfighter was developed by Danger Close and published by EA Games.  It was released on October 23 for the MSRP of $59.99 for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.  A copy was provided by the publisher to RipTen for the purposes of review.