Can Medal of Honor Warfighter Stand Out?
Ben Sheene / Oct 9th, 2012 1 Comment
Medal of Honor Warfighter is releasing at a very dangerous time. On October 23rd EA and developer Danger Close will release the fourteenth entry in the long-running Medal of Honor series, building upon the success of the Medal of Honor reboot from 2010. A few weeks later on November 13, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will release, and is expected to sell insanely well like all past entries in the franchise. The question really is: how can Medal Of Honor Warfighter stand up to the juggernaut and make itself shine in the shadow of Black Ops 2’s looming release?
The biggest marketing push in EA’s arsenal is that anyone who purchases Warfighter will receive access to the Battlefield 4 beta. People love getting early access into betas because it gives them time to hone their skills before the game has a retail release. Battlefield 3 still has a very popular online community so there is no doubt that gamers will flock to the fourth installment of Medal of Honor as well. That’s a pretty great incentive for purchasing any game but will definitely help push units for any Battlefield fans who haven’t found a reason to invest their time into Medal of Honor.
[adsense250itp]Having early access to an unreleased Medal of Honor Warfighter is great, but what if that feature was stripped away? You can’t just hedge all your bets on that sole gimmick and then ship an inferior game. Danger Close is hoping that their team has been able to achieve a realistic modern-day shooter that is actually a good game. Putting it bluntly, the shooter genre has grown increasingly bland in recent years. An FPS seems like it takes the least amount of effort to put together and has the highest chance of seeing any kind of profit. “Realistic” and “modern-day” often end up just being bullet points on the back of the box. A game might be grounded in realism and take you to the war-torn Middle East or somewhere in Europe but these games usually devolve into an orgy of explosions that would place any nation in the world at risk for war. While I’m sure enough chaos happens in the real world it would be nice to play something that feels factual in Warfighter.
A big part of this goal is to make an authentic experience where the player is placed in the shoes of a soldier who lives and breathes combat. These aren’t beefy men who bro-fist and cheer over a burning building and an enormous kill count. In Warfighter you play as Tier 1 operator Preacher; this is a man who has experienced years of deployment, and it’s taking a toll on him and his family. The developers are intent on making the story of this man in Medal of Honor Warfighter as realistic as possible – full of death, difficult decisions, and how a person tries to leave that behind and live a normal life. Spec Ops: The Line managed to craft a great story revolving around how combat begins to wear on a man, but Warfighter is hitting even closer and more personally. I think catering to this idea of realism could possibly appeal to the men and women who fight in today’s wars—there could be a great market for Warfighter in them. That being said, how do you sell the same type of experience to gamers who only want the biggest and loudest out of their shooters?
Not only will the characters be (hopefully) realistic but so will the setting within this newest edition of the Medal of Honor franchise. You are going to recognize the locales you are fighting in. The threats will seem like they could have been ripped from today’s headlines. Instead of a near future setting like in Black Ops 2 or the science fiction universe of Halo 4 you are going to be deep in the now. The modern-day atmosphere could have every opportunity in the world to make for a boring game but Warfighter has a lot of source material to work from. These days, soldiers don’t go deep into foreign territory killing hundreds of men to reach a climatic encounter with a nuclear arms dealer. They rescue civilians, defuse bombs, recover intelligence, sneak in behind the lines, and get in deadly shootouts. If all of these elements are blended into a campaign and executed well (and tastefully) then I definitely think Warfighter will be a winner. Don’t forget that the multiplayer portion also lets you play as soldiers from actual countries fighting against each other. While America versus Canada might not happen anytime soon, it isn’t often you see that actual approach in an online arena.
In the end, everyone wants their game to be on top. Who wouldn’t want to dethrone the king and sell millions of units? If a game blends in too much then it will just get lost in the shuffle of a bigger release. EA certainly has the budget to reach the eyes and ears of millions of gamers but the real battle is how to convince them to try something unexpected. By providing something new and something real they could have a competitor with Medal of Honor Warfighter. Danger Close has a lot of experience with the Medal of Honor series and if Warfighter lives up to the promise then it will be the best one yet.
tags: ea , fps , medal of honor , medal of honor warfighter , pc , xbox 360