Medal of Honor: Warfighter
|Medal of Honor: Warfighter|
|Developer(s)||Danger Close Games|
|Series||Medal of Honor|
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a first-person shooter video game developed by Danger Close Games and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2010's series reboot Medal of Honor and the fourteenth installment in the Medal of Honor series. The title was announced on February 23, 2012, and was released in North America on October 23, 2012, in Australia on October 25, 2012, and in Europe on October 26, 2012 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The games' single-player campaign picks up where Medal of Honor left off, as it reveals U.S. special forces operator Preacher returning home to find his family torn apart from years of deployment around the world. Upon release, the game received mixed reviews; with praise for the visuals and the use of the Frostbite 2 engine but criticism was aimed at the low texture quality on consoles, glitches, confusing storyline and poor artificial intelligence.
The gameplay in Warfighter features different aspects than its predecessor. Features from the previous game such as peek and lean, requesting ammunition (now unlimited), and sliding returned. New features in the campaign like the Dynamic Door Breach and micro-destruction have been added.
The single-player campaign follows the story of Tier 1 operators. The single-player features various locations including Bosnia, Pakistan, Philippines and Somalia. The player takes control of Preacher of Task Force Blackbird and Stump of Task Force Mako.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter's multiplayer was not developed by EA Digital Illusions CE who previously helped develop Medal of Honors multiplayer. Danger Close Games developed the game's multiplayer aspect with DICE's Frostbite 2 engine. Players are involved in a global battle by choosing which country they would like to defend. There are 13 different tier one units from ten different nations that players can choose from. Reserving the game gave players access to additional content when Warfighter released, including additional weapons and perks. There was also a limited edition of the game that gave players early access to the U.S. SEAL Team Sniper equipped with the McMilllan TAC-300.
The following national task-forces are available in multiplayer: Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), British Special Air Service (SAS), Canadian Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2), German Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK), Norwegian Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK/HJK), Polish JW GROM (GROM), Russian FSB Alpha (Alfa Group), the Republic of Korea Navy Special Warfare Flotilla (UDT/SEAL), Swedish Särskilda operationsgruppen (SOG), the U.S. Army Delta Force (SFOD-D), U.S. Navy SEALs (DEVGRU), and the U.S. CIA Special Activities Division - SOG (OGA). In addition to the nationalities, there are six distinct classes that players select from: Spec Ops, Sniper, Assaulter, Demolitions, Heavy Gunner, and Point Man. Each class has specific benefits and abilities that are unique to their class. These nationalities and classes are only available in multiplayer mode.
Warfighter features deep customization, for both the players appearance and the player's weapon. The player is able to equip various barrels, muzzles, magazines, stocks, optics, and paint jobs of the weapon.
At an undisclosed ship dock in Karachi, Pakistan, Task Force Mako which consists of U.S. Navy SEALs "Mother", "Voodoo", and "Preacher", is assigned to sabotage a black market arms deal involving an Al-Qaeda jihad movement. They successfully plant a charge on a truck; when they detonate the charge, a secondary explosion destroys the docks and sinks a cargo ship, forcing the operatives to fight through the chaos. They are later debriefed by their handler Dusty, a U.S. Army Delta Force operative. Through satellite video taken, the team finds out that the docks and cargo ship were carrying PETN.
The SEALs determine that the shipment was headed for the Philippines, and quickly follow the lead to Isabela City. At the height of a typhoon-induced flood, members of the Abu Sayyaf Group kidnap several hostages for ransom. Mako, working with Task Force Tiger of the Philippine Army SOCOM, led by General Barrera, attempts to identify the ringleaders, and successfully recognize Marwan al-Khalifa, who is conferring with another unknown terrorist head. Preacher requests permission from Barrera for an ID check on the unknown leader as well as the order to eliminate Khalifa, but is denied. Instead, Barrera orders his own sniper specialist and team leader, "Tiger 12" to take out Khalifa and deploys the NAVSOG to begin the hostage rescue. Just as the operation begins, the terrorists and hostages hastily escape. Mother and Preacher join up with Tiger 12 and the rest of the special forces, tracking the hostages and fighting their way to the capitol building. After a failed door breach, Barrera orders Tiger 12 and the others to withdraw, intending to negotiate with the terrorists. Tiger 12 defies orders and assists the SEALs in rescuing the hostages, but is killed during extraction. Links with the Abu Sayyaf, the PETN, and a man known as "the Cleric" are discovered. Mother and Preacher receive pending honorable discharges from the Navy following the operation, while Voodoo is appointed the new team leader for Mako, with operator "Stump" serving alongside him.
Voodoo and Stump, along with replacements Dingo and Tick, are assigned to assist Task Force Grizzly in Mogadishu, curtailing piracy in the area. Following the operation, Mako is assigned to the USS Bainbridge, where a stand off takes place with Somali pirates and the U.S Navy involving a hostage situation on a U.S. freighter off the Somali coast.
Preacher, whose marriage has been failing due to the nature and frequency of his job, immediately seizes the opportunity to attempt to repair his relationship with his wife, Lena, and daughter, Bella. He travels to Madrid, Spain, where his wife has taken their daughter to live with her parents. His wife agrees to meet with him, but while Preacher is waiting for her train to arrive, he sees Khalifa preparing for a suicide bombing inside one of the trains. The blast destroys the train, killing several civilians and putting Preacher in a coma. When Preacher regains consciousness, he finds Mother in his room, who reveals the connections of the PETN shipment with their recent operations and various bomb attacks throughout Europe. Mother also identifies the 'unknown' head they observed in the Philippines as Sad al-Din. Lena and Bella survive due to missing their train, and visit the hospital. Although Preacher is initially hesitant to return to duty, Lena eventually persuades him.
After making a full recovery, Mother and Preacher are assigned to the Central Intelligence Agency's Task Force Blackbird, and both SEAL operatives travel to Pakistan. With the aid of undercover operative Ajab, they track another suspect, Faraz, to investigate Pakistani ties to the terrorists and the PETN. After being apprehended, Faraz reveals the PETN is stored at a secret location in Yemen and exposes a Saudi Arabian banker named Hassan, who has strong terrorist connections and knowledge of the explosives. While waiting for extraction, Faraz is killed by a hostile sniper, and Blackbird is forced to escape to avoid the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence. After tracking the location in Yemen, Mako raids the facility housing large amounts of PETN. However, the team find that only half of the PETN stockpile is stored in the facility.
Dusty then assigns Blackbird to the city of Dubai, in order to abduct Hassan for interrogation. After Mother and Preacher take him captive, Sad al-Din and his men chase them into a sandstorm that engulfs the city. The SEALs manage to upload crucial data to Dusty before being intercepted and captured. The intelligence leads Mako to Sarajevo, where a weapons dealer named Stovan Bosic is revealed to be the seller. Mako links up with a team of Polish GROM, and the joint forces track down the source of the PETN to a local hockey rink and capture Bosic. The arms dealer reveals that two ships containing the PETN had just left Dubai and after tracking the vessels, Mako is sent to intercept one of two cargo ships headed for Karachi, as the other has already been impounded by NATO forces in Croatia.
Meanwhile, Preacher and Mother are interrogated by Sad al-Din aboard the cargo freighter headed for Karachi. Mother is executed by Sad al Din when he refuses to give up information. As Mako arrives and assaults the ship, Preacher manages to escape captivity and fights his way to the bridge. He corners Sad al-Din and nearly beats him to death, but manages to stop himself and let the SEALs arrest the terrorist. With Sad al-Din in custody, the SEALs identify Hassan as The Cleric, and the location of his compound in Pakistan.
Preacher and Dusty rejoin Mako to raid Hassan's compound. During the assault, Voodoo and Preacher are able to locate Hassan and kill him when he attempts to detonate his bomb-laden vest. Preacher returns home, where the SEALs and their families attend Mother's funeral. As Mother is laid to rest, Preacher and Lena decide to reconcile their differences and improve their marriage. As Preacher's family eats at a restaurant, his phone rings, but he hesitates to pick it up.
One month after Medal of Honor was released, John Riccitiello, EA CEO at the time, stated that "Consumer feedback has been strong to suggest that we've got a franchise now, once again, that we could successfully and effectively sequel in the future." On February 18, 2011, Gregory Goodrich, the executive producer of Danger Close Games, said that the company would be pursuing a sequel to the 2010 reboot. On January 11, 2012, retailer Game revealed that EA plans to release new entries in the Medal of Honor and Need for Speed series later that year, which was shown by EA during a confidential presentation. Several video game website outlets such as GameSpot and Kotaku disclosed an invitation to a March 6, 2012 public unveiling at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, indicating that a new installment in the Medal of Honor franchise would have its first public demonstration.
Warfighter follows in the footsteps of 2011's Battlefield 3 by using the Frostbite 2 engine. EA senior creative director Richard Farrelly said Danger Close has been helping push the engine in new directions and has managed to create its own signature look for Warfighter, but "still have some of the same elements that EA Digital Illusions CE have like the micro-destruction and the amazing lighting." Farrelly also stated that Warfighter is "helping make Frostbite 2 a better engine".
A multiplayer beta for Warfighter was made available on October 5 exclusively for the Xbox 360. The beta featured one map, and one mode. Players had access to all 6 classes. The beta ended on October 15.
Seven members of Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) who worked as consultants for the game were disciplined for releasing classified information to the game's creators. They received a punitive letter of reprimand and a partial forfeiture of pay for two months. The two main complaints against the SEALs were that they did not seek the permission of their commanding officer to take part in the project and that they showed the game designers some of their specially designed combat equipment unique to their unit. The military official briefed about the case was not authorized to speak publicly about it.
The music for Warfighter was composed by Ramin Djawadi, who also composed the music for Medal of Honor (2010). The official soundtrack was released on September 25, 2012, on iTunes and Amazon, nearly one month before the release of the game. The soundtrack consists of 21 tracks, 2 of which were composed by Mike Shinoda, the co-vocalist and rapper of Linkin Park. Linkin Park's song "Castle of Glass" from their album Living Things serves as the end credits song for Warfighter, and variations of the song appear on the soundtrack. Themes from the previous game reappear as well, albeit in slightly differed forms. The official video was released on October 10, 2012.
On October 25, 2011, an insert featuring promotional artwork was included with retail copies of Battlefield 3, featuring little more than a picture and a BBFC logo. On February 23, 2012, Warfighter was officially unveiled, alongside promotional artwork. On March 6, 2012, the premiere trailer was released on YouTube. On September 11, 2012, Danger Close unveiled the first gameplay trailer.
Executive producer Greg Goodrich has stated he wants to avoid the annual war of words that usually kicks off in the buildup to EA and Activision's end-of-year first-person shooter releases, and leave it to the publishing executives. He stated "I think that because of our genre and the history of our franchise... it's just a natural thing to want to go out and pick a fight. [But] if you look at it, almost none of it came from the development team. EA is a very big organisation, and there are a lot of grown-ups and adults that manage things that are out of our control."
Pre-orders of Warfighter received an automatic upgrade to the Limited Edition of the game at no extra cost. The Limited Edition unlocked the U.S. Navy SEAL Tier 1 Sniper and the McMillan Tac-300 sniper rifle upon the game's launch. All those who had pre-ordered Warfighter received access to the Battlefield 4 beta. The Battlefield 4 beta took place during Autumn 2013.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter Military Edition bundles the limited edition of the shooter with additional in-game content, and is only available for active, reserve and former U.S. military personnel and US government employees exclusively on GovX.com.
The Military Edition includes all the perks of the game's Limited Edition, as well as "exclusive in-game unlocks", One particular unlock is a camouflage pattern named "Project HONOR", which is tied to a real-world promotion arranged by EA to raise money for the families of fallen Special Operations soldiers.
Danger Close Games unveiled Medal of Honor: Warfighter: Zero Dark Thirty, the first official Map Pack. The DLC helped promote both the game and the film Zero Dark Thirty. EA and Sony pictures released a trailer on September 10, 2012. The pack became available for sale in North America on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on December 17, 2012. Additional maps for the game were made available on December 19, to coincide with the film's initial release. Electronic Arts donated $1 to nonprofit organizations that support veterans for each Zero Dark Thirty map pack sold.
Warfighter received mixed reviews. Although the visuals and Frostbite 2 engine were praised, criticism was directed towards its poorly executed and confusing storyline, poor AI, linear gameplay, and glitches (even after the day one patch). Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the Xbox 360 version 53/100, the PlayStation 3 version 55/100, and the PC version 55/100.
IGN said "This is the first time we've seen a Frostbite Engine game failing to function at a basic level." Eurogamer gave it 5/10, Destructoid and VideoGamer.com both also gave the game a 5/10. The Financial Post gave the game a 5.5/10 saying that the game was "Hard to recommend" and GameThirst awarded the game 6/10 saying "There's no need to buy Warfighter, rent it instead." Joystiq scored the game 2/5 saying "The concept behind Warfighter is sound ... but the execution leaves a lot to be desired." StuffTV scored the game a 3/5 saying "Warfighter’s single-player mode drops the ball so badly that it threatens to overshadow the clever buddy system ...". The Huffington Post scored the game a 2/5. Kotaku reviewed the game poorly saying: "It's so brazenly unremarkable, its storytelling so amateurish, its action so rote, that it feels like a master class in middling modern warfare." and "Medal of Honor Warfighter is slipshod, uninspired, unpolished, and unfun." Game Informer gave the game a 5/10 saying "this once-loved series may be dangerously close to being put in a casket." GameSpot gave the game a 6/10 noting that the linear gameplay failed to add up to the tension, there is too much ammo and enemies show up in predictable places making the game too easy, poor storytelling, confined maps, and bugs like showing up in invisible places. Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation stated in his review that "Warfighter is down with everything that makes modern shooters... despicable", citing the uninspired story, over-the-top set piece moments, and the lack of player input on the actual plot, stating that "being played by a self-aware human being was classified by the developers as a bug". This lead him to coin the term "Spunkgargleweewee" to describe overly linear, modern military shooters. He later placed Medal of Honor: Warfighter at #2 in his list of worst games of 2012, describing it as "obnoxious, incoherent, and boring".
Electronic Arts responded to the largely negative criticism saying that the launch "is coming in below our expectations." EA Labels president, Frank Gibeau said, "We’re disappointed with the critical reception. Internal testing and mock reviews indicated that the game is better than the [Metacritic] score we have right now. We believe it is. However, we are seeing folks out there that just don’t like the game." Gibeau went on to say that EA is "not happy" with how the game has been received by the critics.
According to GamesIndustry International, the game sold over 300,000 copies in its first week on shelves, "significantly below analyst expectations." It was the eighth selling game in the month of October. On January 7, 2013, GameSpot analyst Eddie Makuch reported that the game had shipped 3 million copies. Despite the bad reviews, on October 27, the game climbed to the number one spot in UK sales.
Peter Moore, COO of EA revealed in their Q3 2013 earnings call that due to the game's "poor critical and commercial reception", the Medal of Honor series would be placed on hold. Richard Hilleman, chief creative officer at EA described Warfighter's poor performance as "an execution problem" caused by a lack of quality leadership. Hilleman stated that while Medal of Honor could make a return, EA's focus would be on the Battlefield series.
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Middling multiplayer combined with a short and disappointing campaign makes Medal of Honor: Warfighter hard to recommend.
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