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MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER: A Story Worth Experiencing

 

First and foremost, these are only my impressions on the single player campaign. While I did get some time with the multiplayer beta, I didn't feel it was enough to really formulate a solid opinion, so I'll leave that to someone else. Honestly that's not why I enjoyed Medal of Honor 2010, and it wasn't what I was looking forward to in Warfighter either. What sold me on the campaign was how invested I became in just a few hours in the lives of Voodoo, Mother, Preacher, and Stump (okay, maybe not Stump). Compare that to my time with Price, Soap, and the rest of the gang in Modern Warfare, and there is no doubt in my mind as to which one I preferred. Not saying I didn't enjoy those games immensely, I just wasn't as invested in those games.

Part of that is due to the small moments that happen in between the firefights. While there aren't a great deal of these scenes, the ones that are present honestly convey how much these guys sacrifice. On top of putting their lives on the line they also put their lives on hold. Their marriages, their kids, their friends, all the things we hold dear and in many cases take for granted. All of those freedoms are put on the back burner for the safety and well-being of our country, and I think Warfighter is the first game in recent memory that really drives that point home in a compelling way (sorry, Lee Greenwood moment over). No spoilers here, but I felt like I got a glimpse of Preacher and Mother's lives when out of uniform, and ultimately the message that for guys like these there really isn't any time out of uniform, just small moments to actually enjoy what you're fighting for. It might not be your cup of tea, but I applaud what developer Danger Close was attempting to convey.

With all due credit given to the narrative however, it is a game. As such, there are issues that need to be addressed. Given the size and scope of the day 1 patch, I was surprised at how many technical problems the game had. Scenes not loading correctly, clicking audio, and sometimes audio not coming through at all, as well as random freezing all popped up during gameplay. None of these glitches frustrated me more though than my squadmates' lack of common sense. You would think I was on the opposing side with the amount of times they would shove me out of a particular spot or sometimes out of cover completely. One time I was by a wall in cover, and my guy bum rushed me into the corner (because evidentially we can't share a wall), where I spent the next 20 minutes hopping, sprinting, and ducking until I finally had to reload an old save. For as long as the list of patch fixes was, you get the feeling that the list actually needed to be longer. When things worked correctly I enjoyed the combat and the feel of the weapons. I frequently picked up enemy guns just to see how they handled, and I enjoyed the heavy emphasis on cover as well. Also of note are the small breaks from normal combat, and while I won't say why they happen, at certain points you take control of a boat as well as your remote controlled scout bot. I was surprised at how much fun I had driving the former, but sadly the bot left something to be desired. He doesn't control as smoothly as you'd like, and while that might be more realistic, I was perfectly happy to get past those parts and move on. 

Another surprise was just how pretty this game is, especially after my time with the underwhelming map in the beta. Frostbite 2.0 is capable of some fantastic visuals, and they were put to good use in the campaign. The character models are also well done, but two things kept coming to mind throughout: 1. Evidently all soldiers are exactly the same height. 2. The female character models could have used a bit more work. They weren't terrible by any means, but in some instances (especially when the young child is present), they varied from slightly off to kind of creepy.

While some of these problems do rear their heads more than I'd like, I truly don't regret my time with Warfighter. The 7 to 8 hour campaign was memorable and yes, fun as well. It has its share of flaws, but they didn't overshadow my fun with the game. Whether it's worth a full $60, that you will have to judge for yourself. What I can say is that there is a game worth playing here, and if you have some free time you might want to consider giving it a shot.

So, has anyone else played the campaign? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments!

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