By Steve Wright
I'll admit it: I was not extremely excited to go into the Medal of Honor: Warfighter preview booth at this year's E3. For all the jokes I crack about common themes this year – bow and arrows becoming standard weaponry, as an example – it seems like every single game I've previewed this year is a shooter. Moreover, a wartime shooter.
Thankfully, I sucked it up and got some hands-on time with Warfighter's multiplayer mode – and boy, were my first impressions of the title ever wrong. The newest iteration of Medal of Honor looks to be a great game that's got a fresh take on what's fast becoming a stale genre.
The multiplayer in Medal of Honor: Warfighter is all about team work. Not your entire team, and not a squad like in Battlefield, you're really saddled up as a two-man "Fire Team." Warfighter allows you to team up with one buddy (or assigns you to another single) to take part in matches. Whilst you may be fighting as two men in a larger unit, you're wholly reliant on your Fire Team member.
You're able to see your Fire Team buddy anywhere on the map, and the idea is to be in constant contact – verbally and physically. If you die and your Fire Team member isn't in combat, you'll respawn on him after your cool-down is over. If you've been killed, and your Fire Team buddy dispatches your assailant quickly, you'll instantly respawn on him. Whilst other shooters encourage team work, Warfighter almost forces you via its game mechanics.
For the record, even if the cooperation is forced, it never seems like it…and it's insanely fun, to boot.
The game offers a lot of choice too in the form of 12 different playable Tier-1 special forces units from 10 different countries. I was torn between choosing Canada's "JTF2" team or Australia's "SASR" crew. Each unit has a variety of classes as well, so you'll have to play for a while to experience what each class has to offer.
Using the Frostbite 2.0 engine, Warfighter's visuals are brilliant, as you'd expect. Truthfully, there's nothing I could fault with the title in the short time I had with it. Of course, I didn't get to see any more of the title's single-player mode, so we may have another Battlefield 3 on our hands, where it's almost not worth going through the game's campaign. Time will tell; Medal of Honor: Warfighter is scheduled for a release on 26 October for Xbox, PS3, PC, PS Vita and later on, Wii U.