Medal of Honor Warfighter single player impressions

There are a lot of big-name titles headed our way this October, but one you shouldn't take for granted is Medal of Honor Warfighter.  EA's upcoming sequel is being handled entirely by Danger Close this ties around, and has a much tighter focus on realism than the first, doing away with the over-the-top beards and putting better emphasis on the single player storyline, which once again brings back familiar Tier 1 characters into a dangerous new situation.  We recently got the chance to put a brief but action-packed demo through its paces, complete with some hands-on.

Though the entirety of the story hasn't been revealed yet, it does focus on Preacher, one of the main characters from the original Medal of Honor, as he lays in a hospital bed following a terrorist attack on a subway train.  His partner Mother has informed him about a terrorist target that has resurfaced, and how they must put a stop to him.  Despite the concern from Preacher's wife and daughter, he finds himself thrust back into the mission.

MoH

After a brief cinematic opening, we hop into the demo, which takes place in the Philippines-based locale of Isabella City, Basilan.  This actually ties in with a demo that we had seen beforehand, focusing on a breach and hostage rescue, followed by a thunderous escape during a tropical storm in a boat.  The scene opens with Preacher and Mother, along with other Tier 1 team members, on a stakeout, looking in on a group of terrorists holding hostages.  The main antagonist, Khalifa, then appears, chewing out his number one guy.

Preacher makes a request to "take the shot," but the conferring team refuses, wanting to hear more about Khalifa's plans with PETN, a dangerous explosive that the team is tracking down.  Suddenly, a shot rings out, and the team finds itself in a strenuous gun battle against Khalifa's forces.  Here's where the in-game action picks up.

MoH

Like the first Medal of Honor, Warfighter features very responsive controls, ideal for taking down gunmen both in close range and afar.  Danger Close has even added the use of dual scopes on some weapons, allowing you to switch between traditional iron sights and a long-ranged scope on the fly, with a click of the analog button.  This is quite useful, especially if you're gunning soldiers near you, then needing to take out an RPG-carrying threat from afar, without a second to lose.

The visuals are a little dark in this particular stage, since it does take place in the middle of the night in the Philippines.  However, it's rich with detail, especially with the lighting effects.  When an explosion rocks across the screen, you see the aftershock that comes with them, particularly when an enemy falls at your feet.  The audio is quite realistic as well, with soldiers shouting commands and terrorists not hesitating to rain down gunfire on you.

MoH

But the best segment of the demo was saved for last, featuring a new character, Stump, taking out enemies from above with a turret gun in a helicopter.  You don't control your vehicle's flight, but you aim your turret at highlighted targets on the screen, to maximum effect.  This segment was by far the most exciting thing about the demo, and involved plenty of intensity, particularly when your gun needed to "cool down" from overheat.  This leaves you open for possible attacks from below, and too many can bring down your chopper.  It's best to use your gunfire in doses.

Like I said, the demo was brief, but between this and the segment we saw earlier, it does set the tone for the dramatic single player campaign that lies in Medal of Honor Warfighter.  Tied in with the much more concentrated multiplayer, it should make this first person shooter quite a rush for fans and newcomers alike.  We'll have a report on multiplayer over the next few days, so be sure to check back.

Medal of Honor Warfighter hits stores October 23rd.

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Robert Workman
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