The Medal of Honour series once led the way in the first-person shooter market. Now overtaken by Call of Duty, recent years have seen it scrambling for sales space against Activision’s gargantuan franchise.
This time round, helped along by its masterful Frostbite 2 engine, DICE hopes to take a slice from COD’s pie with Medal of Honour Warfighter. But is its Battlefield 3 heritage enough to win in one of the most competitive gaming markets? From what we have seen, it could just be.
First up, Medal of Honour looks incredible. Remember the first time you saw that Battlefield 3 gameplay video? Well it’s that all over again. The dynamic lighting, rain splashing on the screen, particle effects . . . everything is incredibly polished. This is definitely a good thing, as the last Medal of Honour was a fairly unwieldy beast to look at.
Warfighter follows the story of elite groups of fighters around the globe. It comes from a storyline penned by real-world special forces groups. Twelve different elite fighting units across 10 different nations are all involved, ensuring that the game has hugely varied environments to play across. Each unit gets its own battle based around real-world situations. For example, the level we were shown was about a hostage rescue in the Philippines. Developers said you would also be taking on the likes of Somalian pirates and other terrorist organisations.
A short but sweet gameplay video of Warfighter already exists, showing snippets of the Phillipines level that we saw in action - but believe us, it is nothing on the actual experience. Unlike Battlefield, this is a much more on-rails game, hence the similarities with Call of Duty. Battles are also a lot more close quarters based and gunplay a much quicker experience. The gunsight snaps to your eye quickly and enemies drop easily, all giving the sense that you are part of an elite fighting unit.
The sheer amount of explosions and debris flying about while we witnessed a squad being guided around on the mission set in the Philippines was particularly impressive, as was the later on-rails escape scene set on a rubber dinghy. Firing immense numbers of rounds from a front-mounted gun at RPG brandishing bad guys, the game had all the trimmings of a high-quality FPS rollercoaster ride.
Our gameplay demo was short but oh so very sweet. We were also given a few details about multiplayer plans, which is set to appear at E3 later in the year. Essentially you will be able to exercise a bit of national pride by representing your country using its own special forces unit. Teams will then battle it out in “blue on blue” multiplayer, where the likes of the German GSG9 takes on the British SAS.
We will have more on Medal of Honour Warfighter when it appears at E3 and in the build up to its launch on 23 October.
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