Medal of Honor: Warfighter Preview
Something that’s true of pretty much all shooters out there at the moment, even your favourite one, is that it’s difficult to really care about any of the characters. There’s very much a disconnection between the gamer and the charecter. Don’t misunderstand me; they’re fun, I love them and I’m still playing Battlefield 3 once a week now which is more I can say about most games I purchased around that time.
There was a point a few years ago where the first-person shooter’s focus shifted; they were no longer about telling a story or reliving historical events. They became about a multiplayer experience with a campaign tacked on – Medal of Honor: Warfighter is looking like it might just be the one to change that.
Danger Close really want to focus on the human side war; they want Warfighter to become just as much about (if not more so) the people you play the game as, and avoid the over the top Micheal Bay-like story. The missions in Warfighter are all based on real world and quite recent events too – obviously some events have been changed slightly and all of these seperate missions will be tied together by an over-arching story, but there is truth to it all, and just knowing that makes me feel like Warfighter could be the FPS we’ll start to care about.
The attention to detail doesn’t stop there though, everything down to the way the guns reload have been put under the microscope by both the developers and many real world Tier One operatives working on the game. While we were being show our gameplay presentation Richard Farrelly (Senior Creative Director) paused to tell us how, when they were building this particular section, one of the Tier One guys was getting quite aggitated with the game because it wasn’t reloading fast enough (we’ve all been there).
When the lead designer asked what the problem was, said operative told him that it was bullshit and that he could reload that gun faster than the game was showing. A bit of a discussion ensued where the developer explained to him how they test and time all these things, but the operative wasn’t having any of it. The developer then challenged him to do it down in the mo-cap studio and sure as hell he did it quicker – the reloading of that gun is now motion captured from that soldier’s movements.
That to me is quite a cool story and I’m sure the developers have 100′s more like it, but those are the kind of efforts Danger Close are going to, along with working with the people that were there during these real world events to tell the most compelling, moving and realistic story they can.
Graphicaly the game is exactly what you’d expect from Battlefield 3′s Frostbite engine. They are clearly making some changes and tweaks to it that will hopefully mix up the atmosphere to suit this new story-telling, but the version we saw running was an early build so it wouldn’t be fair of me to point out it’s flaws just yet.
Our gameplay run-through took us through a flooded hotel in Basilan with the aim of saving a group of hostages. It was quite a confined space with attackers coming at you from multiple levels, and there was a little more emphesis on keeping behind cover. Standing up and just shooting seemed to be a sure fire way of visiting the loading screen; the enemies were much more aware of their surrounds than I’d expected, making the experience seem more intense and immersive.
We did get to see a few new gameplay elements too, including door breaching which is, like the rest of the game, a lot less Hollywood. Some guns come with dual scopes for short and medium/long range targeting, much like these spec ops guys use in the real world. I know both of these things aren’t new to gaming as such but the way Warfigher now presents them, like everything else it does, is very much grounded in reality and what will really set it apart from the crowd.