Set for release later this week, Medal of Honor: Warfighter has not received the attention one might have expected of Electronic Arts’ military based fourth quarter first-person shooter (FPS). Where once the franchise would’ve graced television broadcasts for weeks prior to release and been all over the media in the run up to launch, it’s currently very quiet on the Medal of Honor front. Electronic Theatre is today breaking that silence however, following a hands-on session with the multiplayer gameplay.
Playable online as a pre-release edition used for QA, the multiplayer gameplay was close to the final build. A few errors did occur throughout play but the representatives on hand from development studio Danger Close Games pre-empted each one by stating that they had already been addressed, and that a work around was available in this build. And as was foretold, this was exactly the situation throughout Electronic Theatre’s time with the videogame.
The several multiplayer matches played feature sixteen players, eight on each team, across a variety of maps and gameplay modes. The Hot Shot mode was the first experienced, wherein teams must attack and defend a base in turn, pushing enemy units back through randomly generated objectives when on the assault and holding the line when on defence. Combat Mission mode is similar though the three objectives are predetermined and arranged in a linear fashion, much like the Gold Rush mode that has become a Battlefield tradition.
One of the more enjoyable gameplay modes of those on offer was the Home Run mode, in which teams were limited to six players aside and given the objective of claiming the opposing team’s flag. A revision of the typical Capture the Flag rules, the match tales place across five rounds in which one team attempts to capture the defending team’s flag before teams switch. Each player only has one life per round, and so cautious team play is the best strategy by far.
Of all the classes available two stood out above all others. The Demolitions class was attractive simply due to its combination of explosive and penetrating firearms. The Point Man however, is arguably a more damaging arrangement, mixing shotgun and rifle in a loadout that promises to be deadly at both short and medium ranges.
Throughout all of this, one thing remains startlingly clear: Medal of Honor: Warfighter offers a very familiar gameplay experience. Developed using the engine now famous for its FPS experiences, by a team now well versed in developing FPS titles, as part of a franchise long established for its FPS action, Medal of Honor: Warfighter is about as familiar an experience as another platform title being added to the line-up of 16-bit mascots in the early 90s. That’s not to say there isn’t still the opportunity for Medal of Honor: Warfighter to surprise, but as the common perception of the audience is that more of the same is demanded, it’s likely that any innovation will be reserved for the single-player component of the videogame.