It’s time to grow a beard.
With the Christmas period ahead and the flood of games which it brings, this week here at GGUK we are going to review one of the first games out the gates this year which is none other that EA and Danger Close Games’ Medal of Honor Warfighter. Will it live up to the buzz around it off the back of its big brother Battlefield 3? And will it grab some of the CoD crowd before Black Ops 2 hits the shelves? Find out now as GGUK lock and load for the review.
MoH Warfighter sees you returning to the frontlines as you re-join Tier 1, this time playing as Stump who is a Recon Marine-turned U.S Navy Seal, and fan favourite Preacher from the first game.
The Campaign kicks off with Preacher and his team, made up from returning characters Mother and Voodoo, sabotaging a black market arms deal in a dock in Pakistan. All is going well as the team sneak their way into the dock and have planted a charge on a truck which they intend to destroy. However, unknown to them, the dock is filled with containers full of PETN (a very powerful explosive). When you detonate the charge on the truck, instead of the controlled blast, the resulting explosion nearly destroys the whole dock. Seconds after the huge blast, which sends containers flying in all directions, one of the huge dock cranes is destroyed and the team have to run through the exploding dock and, if that wasn’t bad enough, a huge cargo ship next to them has also began to sink. Frantically the team fight their way to safety avoiding attack choppers and dazed enemy soldiers.
After the mission the team are debriefed by Dusty (the guy with the big beard from the first game) who is now the team’s handler and eye in the sky feeding them intel and orders. Then Dusty splits the team in two, seeing Voodoo and Stump joining Task Force Mako who are tasked with operatives DEVGRU which will see them fighting through Somalia with U.S Marines to find and stop piracy operations. Mother and Preacher have to return to the dock to investigate and determine who was purchasing the PETN.
What follows is around a four to five hour campaign on normal, though if you have played a FPS like this before it’s best to play it on hard as it adds an extra three or four hours to that, seeing it clock in at just under eight hours on the first play through. Plus if you complete it on hard you will also unlock two new difficulties, Tiers 1 and hardcore. One sees you having to play the whole game without a HUD and the other is very much like NY minute mode from Max Payne, where you have to complete the full game without dying in one sitting.
On the whole the campaign side of the game is an enjoyable trip with a good mix of missions and some standout moments. It has an interesting story which will see you fighting in the likes of Bosnia to the Philippines and Dubai.
The game has been built with the DICE Frostbite 2 engine, so expect things like cover to disappear in the heat of a fire fight, as well as great looking backdrops to play in. From being waist deep in water to having a sand storm blasting in your face, the game is a joy to the eye and never misses a beat. As for the Sound, Ramin Djawadi returns to score the music for the game setting the tone and mood very well, especially the scenes with Preacher and his family. Also returning on the music front is Linkin Park who once again have wrote a song for the game. This time around it’s called Castle of Glass.
The Multiplayer side of the game is where you’ll spend most of your time and is based on six different classes which are Assault, Sniper, Demolitions, Point Man, Heavy Gunner and Spec Ops. The focus in the core gameplay is around a fire teams system where two people fight together, so you can spawn on your partner or get health and ammo from them. But, and this is a big but, if the game puts you by yourself or your partner leaves, the whole balance of this doesn’t work and you feel like you’re battling an uphill fight from the get go.
The game has seven different modes ranging from standard team deathmatch, to more objective based modes, where you have to destroy or defend three different targets spread across the map. As for the maps, they are a good mix of locations from abandoned stadiums to flooded villages and jungles. The only thing about the maps is that they are a little on the big side for 8v8 at times.
You can customize a lot of your kit in Warfighter, from your appearance to your weapon which can have different barrels, muzzles, magazines, stocks, optics and paint jobs. So a real wealth of things to get stuck into and no two troopers will be the same.
On top of this, a big part of the multiplayer is that you fight as a nation. There are ten nations to fight for and twelve unit types within that, ranging from GROM and SAS to SEALs and FSK. Not only does this pick the look and weapon you use, but through Battlelog you can fight for that county and earn tokens which can be spent to make that county number one in the world through an online daily leader board. It also bags you some bonus XP along the way.
The only let down about the multiplayer side of the game is the menu system they have used. Okay, it’s built to work on a PC and that’s fine for PC owners. But on the Xbox360, picking guns and moving about is a slow and sometimes painful experience, which is a shock when the likes of the Battlefield’s interface is very streamlined. Plus you can’t swap out kit during the lobby screen between games, which is also a pain in the neck having to leave the game to change something or having to change it when the match has started through the complex menu system.
On the whole MoH Warfighter is an enjoyable game. It doesn’t push the fold on FPS games, but very few do these days. The campaign is a little short, but the story and certain set pieces are worth the price of admission, and the online side makes up for the campaign shortness. So for a weekends fun or a new multiplayer to get lost in, it’s more than worth a look, and for those looking for something different to CoD this may be a refreshing take for them to try.
Now that’s what I call a beard!