Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s Fair Shake

Ready? I liked Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Yes, I’m that guy.

On an industry level, it’s not that great. The material is familiar, middle Easterner’s are dispatched with reckless abandon, and the bevy of weapons seem selected from a stock of gaming staples.

Underneath that though is a game that succeeds at what it wants to do. All of the marketing work to prime players for a “realistic” experience is diluted in the opening scene. Medal of Honor is a summer action flick, short on length, high on pizzazz. There’s a lot of energy running through the campaign, missing from both Battlefield 3 and the previous Honor title. Gun combat, despite the shooting gallery nature of the AI, is satisfying, hearty, and weighted. It gives Honor bulk and heft missing from its Activision-spawned competition.

There’s nothing necessarily unique about it, so maybe that’s why gaming’s press have tossed their ire towards this effort. They’re tired of them, but clearly, the market is not. If anything, with Call of Duty titles lining the most played lists on console platforms, gamers remain frothing at the mouth for more. Most importantly, despite the theme, Medal of Honor feels different in an online space.

While still a run-and-gun splatter fest, the team up system ensures people need to work together. Players play a little more cautiously despite the temptation otherwise on slightly cluttered maps. Weapons balance between Battlefield and Call of Duty in feel, making it unique. The worry should be that players of this growing genre only want to go one way or the other, but here’s hoping the differences find this title a place in the market. It deserves more credit than it’s getting and some of the shaming is certainly over the outlandishly huge day one patch that indicates the title was unfinished when it went gold. That’s not a positive first impression, but at least it leaves one before you hit the power button.