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Ever since the series was given a bit of a makeover two years ago, Medal of Honor's focus story-wise has been on the soldiers and not on the pursuit of one antagonist, as most other games tend to do.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
From: EA, Danger Close+
Two and a half stars (out of five)
Warfighter attempts to expand on that this time around, focusing not only on the bond between the soldiers, but also on the effect it has on the families back home.
This is done via some very nicely animated cutscenes pre- and post-level throughout the game, and on top of this, there is an overarching commander (someone who should be very familiar if you played the first one ... ) who provides dialogue that attempts to tie each level into one big story.
The key word in that sentence, however, is "attempts".
Each level begins with very little to no background as to why you are there, where you are and who you are chasing. Mostly, the missions are you being dropped into some exotic locale, chasing after some bad guy who you've never heard of prior to the mission (and won't ever see mentioned again), and then moving on to another place.
The single-player campaign is just one isolated event after another, despite attempts to make it all seem linked. This is OK if the levels are amazing though, right? Unfortunately, the levels just aren't that good to begin with.
Warfighter's main rival, Modern Warfare 3, has a level where the Eiffel Tower gets destroyed; that sort of thing sticks in my mind a year after its release. In Warfighter, there are no moments that leave you amazed, or even slightly surprised. Even the obligatory boat-chase level leaves something to be desired.
The aforementioned bits showing the family aspect also are a disappointment.
What could have been an interesting and unique part of the story ends up being an annoyance, until roughly three-quarters through the game itself. Up until then, you'll more than likely just skip them as quickly as you can.
While the single-player campaign is disappointing, it is well made and fun to play for the most part. The controls are smooth and the graphics are occasionally outstanding. It's just a shame that the story and locations don't match up.
Warfighter also, of course, comes with a significant multiplayer mode. But it hardly innovates, with the only real point of difference being the squad aspect, and the inclusion of soldiers from all over the world.
Teams are split into "fireteams" of two people, who can spawn on each other and gain bonuses from playing tactically.
On the whole, it works fine, but it's hardly ground-breaking.
The ability to play as Australian or British soldiers (or any country you care to think of) is a nice touch but completely superfluous, much like the game itself. It adds nothing to the genre that you haven't already seen from previously released games.
I doubt that it will even encourage people to stop playing the well-supported Battlefield 3, let alone make people consider buying it over the latest Call of Duty game.
It just seems to exist for the sake of it.
Your money is better spent elsewhere, I'm afraid.