Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Subtle Warrior, Hidden Wars - Medal of Honor : Warfighter - campaign - xbox360.


MoH is not CoD. Nor does it want to be. In the landscape of FPS, the general idea is to go bigger and over the top to reach unfathomable levels. MoH is interested in depicting a more intimate portrayal of the heroes involved, in their private moments, while maintaing one's duty to the greater good as a soldier. Unfortunately, a lot of this can be lost to many players who might only want to shoot away and are not interested in intimate details. We are all eager to play, but I don't think that should sacrifice the attention one can give, similar to engaging yourself in a good book. There is a lot to MoH's subtlety in its delivery. Cinematically, it hints at tv shows like 24 and Homeland, and in its more tense moments of urgency and gunfire, it takes lead from films like The Kingdom.


MoH is more intense and enjoyable at the harder difficulty levels. The controls work brilliantly. You have the ability to aim fairly well without always needing to hold down the left trigger to shoot. The controls and the aiming feel better than its current military FPS rivals. Typically, as a military shooter campaign starts, the tutorial for the gameplay is through a military training facility. In this case, it is done by navigating through a terrorist training camp, which will later be revisited in the game. It's a nice twist with an eerie feeling. The Frosbite 2 engine delivers quite well. The visuals are great, such as in the beginning sequence where Mother and Preacher rises from the water, with Mother shaking the water out of his scope then battling through a collapsing port around them. The stage in the Philippines is beautiful, with great lighting and weather effects. The scenery can also be intense, like navigating a boat through collapsing buildings, and a sequence where you must to crawl through a burning building, with people burning around you. The game does seem to have glitches with disappearing bodies and floating weapons after kills like in Battlefield 3. Hard to say if it's just Xbox360 or a programming flaw.

The biggest gripe that gamers will most likely have is the linear nature of the campaign. MoH is not the only FPS that suffers from this. Most military FPS , like CoD, still retain a linear campaign format as well. When trying to navigate through a stage, the player will encounter invisible barriers that would prevent alternative routes to flank opponents, and so forth. The linear gameplay isn't necessarily the issue. The player is interested in options of tactical engagement through the landscape to favor their playing style.

However, there is still a lot to the gameplay of MoH. The details depicted in the gameplay seem to be inspired by real life circumstances from their research with military operatives. Being able to obtain ammo from your fellow soldiers and the ability to slide to cover are welcomed gameplay elements. Collapsible cover is always fun. Fighting in the darkness, without the aid of night vision, keeps your eyes alert to movements of silhouettes. Very often, opponents will also blind you with their flashlights, resulting in a moment of vulnerability for you, while revealing their location as well. The repetition of kicking down doors doesn't always seem necessary. The added vehicle chase sequences were very entertaining. The first vehicle chase was very Jason Bourne-esque, and rivals the fun I've obtained from actual racing games. The next car chase mirrors that of Ronin or the Transporter movies, speeding through oncoming traffic and later handicapped with limited visibility, then switches up the gameplay to a hide and seek/cat and mouse scenario. The game is at its best in sequences requiring urgency or discretion. The foot chase toward and through an enemy compound, while undergoing barrages of gunfire, as well as the escape that requires limited weapons and stealth, are some of the best parts of the game. Truthfully, as simple as it may be, my favorite gameplay element is the thud of that tomahawk.


MoH Warfighter is a different flavor, and should remain that way. I'm intrigued by the more intimate portrayal. The previous MoH felt like the film Three Kings. The characters are established like a band of brothers, and Warfighter further evolves that. There is a lot that can be developed in the future with the characters of Preacher, Voodoo, and Dusty. In terms of gameplay, military FPS in general may be able to benefit in taking elements from games like Halo ODST. A route towards an open world FPS at its base gameplay may help differentiate MoH from its competitors. Unlike Halo ODST, MoH should maintain the urgency and heightened danger similar to films like Black Hawk Down and Hurt Locker. Open world missions like obtaining weaponry and ammo and finding safety from whatever may come, can become survival elements in the gameplay. Combining the open world elements, in addition to straight forward levels and mixed gameplay, MoH may be able to reach levels beyond its rivals. Taking stealth elements like the ability to shoot out lights, and hang from windows to engage your opponent from the outside in, will be interesting additions to the gameplay. Going through a whole level with a tomahawk would be incredible in any game. The open world aspect of the game doesn't need to go full Fallout or Skyrim. I don't think the pacing of military shooters would favor that very much. It needs just enough of an open world mix to give the player goals to achieve at their own discretion.

The cinematic visual ending plays itself very much like a film. Again, its strength lies in its subtlety. The characters engage back to the themes of hard decisions, involving family and duty, that were established from the beginning of the game, which leaves lingering emotions. I am intrigued by the characters, and excited to see what the next MoH will bring.