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Medal of Honor: Warfighter’s bearded badasses can’t defeat mediocrity (review)

We’re winning the war on … doors

As you mow down wave after wave of generic insurgents, you encounter a whole different kind of hostile. I’m speaking of those stubborn, freedom-hating hazards known as doors. You kick, hack, shoot, and explode through all sorts of knob-laden barriers to entry during single-player.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter 4

The thing is, you’ll do it a lot. You’ll do it so much that the solo mode’s designers included a pointless minigame where you’ll unlock different breaching techniques by successfully getting headshots after forcing your way past the wooden menaces.

It’s all pretty repetitive, annoying, and unnecessary.

Unpolished wounds that can’t be patched up

Warfighter launched with a significant day-one patch to fix issues right out of the box, and before you even jump in, you’re encouraged to install a 1.5 GB texture pack. While I commend developer Danger Close’s efforts to ensure the best experience for players, you can only wonder what types of challenges the studio endured to ship the title.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter 5

And these updates only serve as minor remedies to an unpolished, incomplete offering. Scripting errors plague the gameplay. On one occasion, my artificial-intelligence squad mate went rogue, disobeying objectives and leaving me without backup. During a subsequent encounter, another computer-controlled team member trapped me into a random corner of the level we were on, forcing me to shoot him so I could get out.

The narrative itself also feels neglected. One of Warfighter’s most compelling missions happens pretty early, setting the foundation for a potentially impactful side story. Amazingly, the thread went nowhere with only a passing reference later in the plot.

Conclusion

Honestly, I don’t think EA is giving Medal of Honor a fair shot. The software giant doesn’t even see the series as its premiere military FPS brand. After all, you can get in the Battlefield 4 beta by purchasing a limited-edition copy of Warfighter.

While this globetrotting, tier-one engagement has some fun beneath its gritty fingernails, it fails as the category flag-bearer it wants to be. And that’s unfortunate, because Medal of Honor innovated in its gunplay-friendly space so many years ago. Now, it stands as a bastion of blasé.

Ultimately, not even the most epically bearded special-forces operators can rescue the veteran saga from its entrenched and desperate position.

Score: 60/100

Medal of Honor: Warfighter released on Oct. 23, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, with a Wii U version coming at a later date. The publisher provided GamesBeat with an Xbox 360 copy of the game for the purpose of this review.

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