Medal of Honor: Warfighter Multiplayer Preview – Who Dares Wins
In a crowded marketplace, it’s hard for a game such as Medal of Honor to escape certain labels, ‘EA’s attempt at Call of Duty’ and ‘A scaled down Battlefield game’ both instantly spring to mind. To use such reductive labels, however, is detrimental to both parties, Danger Close, who develop Medal of Honor, and the player who dismisses them as such and misses out on, from what I saw at Gamescom, is going to be one hell of a multiplayer experience.
The reason this is a multiplayer preview and not an all-encompassing preview is simple, at Gamescom, either behind closed doors or on the show floor, there was no sign of it. While this is a puzzling omission, and quite disturbing for a primarily single player gamer like myself, all was soon forgotten once I’d buddied up into a fire-team and started playing Homerun.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of the multiplayer in Medal of Honor: Warfighter, do not go into the game expecting the usual ‘Good Guy Vs. Bad Guy’ multiplayer. Instead, all players are members of an elite military unit, one of twelve from ten countries. Within this, you select a class ranging from the Point Man, who’s agile and deals serious damage with a assault rifle or sub-machine gun, to a Machine Gunner, who’s slower and more of a support role with a heavy machine gun and bipod. Whatever class or unit you choose to represent, you’ll be paired with another person in a fire-team.
A fire-team is a small squad (similar in type to the squads you see in DICE’s Battlefield multiplayer mode Squad Deathmatch) of two people, where you earn higher scores and more in-game points for doing squad actions like assists, avenging team-mates and the like. It works together in order to make you co-operate, rather than simply be a lone wolf as many multiplayer gamers tend to be these days. Either way, in Homerun mode this is vitally important because of the objectives.
Set in cramped, but intricate maps, such as the one in Sarajevo Stadium, which was the battleground for the times I played the game, Homerun mode (also referred to by developers as Sport mode and various other names) is a variation on the familiar game of Capture the Flag. Whilst there are two flags on the map once more, and you have to capture them, this is where the similarities end, because the rules are different. Whilst there are two things to capture, only one team is attacking at any one time. The other team, rather than playing a game of ‘attack is the best form of defence’ instead have to defend both flags from being captured in the short 3 minute round.
In practice, this makes for two things; a lot of kills, and a lot of tension. Whilst discouraging campers, as the maps are small and cramped, you’ll find yourself rushing through, frantically trying to stop the opposing team from capturing a flag or stopping you from doing so. On many occasions, you’ll find yourself running past a member of the opposing team in the frenzy of matches and then having to turn round and shoot them. Either way, it made for a very enjoyable mode.
It also hammered home the importance of the classes and the elite soldiers. On many occasions, my Point Man was able to rip through the opposing forces due to the special ability they possess being more powerful ammunition. However, when I came up across an engineer with what was essentially body armour, my bullets seemingly did nothing and I was easily picked off, with the gloating tones of the player in question resonating in my ear. I didn’t feel angry though, and next round I got even. Several times.
It’s this kind of fast multiplayer, with a quick turnaround and an objective based focus, that really appeals to me when I play a multiplayer game, and it’s the reason that Medal of Honor: Warfighter is so appealing to me at the moment. It will be perhaps the ultimate drop in, play a couple of rounds and drop out again experience and, when you’ve got so much choice with regards to games nowadays, that’s an excellent game to have in your collection. Warfighter, I need you.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is due to be released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on 23rd October, 2012 in North America, 25th October, 2012 in most of Europe and 26th October, 2012 in the UK. Hear Ryan and Calvin talk in-depth about Warfighter on Season 5, Episode 1 of the Godcast.