E3 2012: Medal of Honor: Warfighter Multiplayer Hands-On Preview – Classifaction
Written Wednesday, June 20, 2012 By Dan WebbView author's profile
You know we like to bust out the honesty here at X360A. It’s what we do best. Let us continue that trend by categorically saying that the original Medal of Honor’s multiplayer – and by original, we mean the last iteration of the franchise from 2010, a la, the reboot – was pretty disastrous. Poor level design and puzzling design choices made the game a bit of a minefield. From constant spawn killing to too many choke points, it wasn’t the greatest start to EA’s new era in the Medal of Honor series. Despite DICE’s impressive capabilities in crafting large, wide-scale battlefields, they ultimately fell short in a much more claustrophobic and enclosed environment.
While we might not have been overawed with the single-player when we first saw Medal of Honor: Warfighter, with Danger Close now on multiplayer duty, it seems like it’s a move that could benefit the franchise. Offering plenty of madness and tools of the trade to play around with, it was actually a rather enjoyable experience. Okay, so we only got to play one map – Pirate Town in Somalia – and we only got to play one mode – Sector Control, AKA territories – but we did get a chance to try out all six classes, which come with some vastly different tools of the trade to try out.
The six classes – and their respective tools of the trade – are as follows:
The general make-up of the game is this: each class has a primary starting weapon; each class has a special ability of sorts (like Tank mode, the heavy hitter magazine, and so on); and each class has special support they can call in (one of which is defensive and one of which is offensive – drone support vs. a mortar strike, for instance, depending on which class you choose). It’s worth noting as well that the special ability is on a cooldown timer, whereas the special support you have to earn. The good news though is that despite having six classes, none of them seemed overly powerful and they all seemed to have their obvious advantages and disadvantages. Balance is obviously always key in class-based games.
Similar to Battlefield’s spawn system, Medal of Honor: Warfighter adopts what is essentially a buddy system, teaming players up with another player when it comes to spawning. It’s actually an important system to manage if you want to be successful. When you die you can spawn in one of two places: base camp or on your buddy. If your buddy is in combat, you can’t spawn. If he’s not, and your timer has reached 0, you can. That said, if your buddy kills the aggressor who killed you, you can spawn straight away without a delay.
Master this system and you can dominate the round and the opposition. Fail to master it and you’ll spend far too long in the menu system waiting to spawn on a buddy or spawning back at base camp, a bit of a trek from the action. It almost places a duty on the surviving teammate to get into cover so his buddy can spawn on him, rather than the other side of the level. It encourages teamwork, and we like that in a game. No, we love that.
In terms of the actual gameplay and what not… well, the level design seemed pretty faultless, with plenty of multi-storey buildings to enter, alleyways, open spaces by a large lighthouse, decimated walls to use as cover and/or shortcuts. There were no obvious exploits either, like in the last Medal of Honor, which is refreshing to report. Of course, this is only one map though.
As far as controls are concerned, it’s a Frostbite 2.0 powered shooter, so you should know what to expect by now with DICE’s Battlefield engine. The in-game action is surprisingly mental. With all the offensive and defensive supports being deployed, it can get a little heated, all of which actually come thick and fast. At any one time there can be Blackhawks hovering overhead, mortar strikes raining down, drones buzzing around and a whole host of powerful weapons – like the automatic grenade launcher – producing nothing but explosions and utter carnage. It was - and I’m surprising myself here when I say this, especially after the last outing - a good dose of multiplayer fun.
It is clear from the brief hands-on that the 2010 outing for Medal of Honor was an experience that Danger Close and EA have learnt from, and the disjointed feeling from rolling from an Unreal single-player experience to a Frostbite multiplayer experience is surely a feeling of the past. It’s tough to judge the whole multiplayer experience from playing just one map, but if this is a sign of things to come, instead of getting a frustrating multiplayer arena we could be getting the polar opposite.
Yes, it plays remarkably similar to Call of Duty, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing or indeed surprising considering it’s more of a corridor military-based shooter than an open-world shooter like Battlefield. Combined with the wide range of assists that come with each class and the sheer amount of support that players can call in, Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a manic, yet enjoyable, affair. If this is indicative of the whole multiplayer experience, a lot of people could be pleasantly surprised this coming October.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is scheduled for an October 23rd and October 26th release in North America and Europe respectively.