Medal of Honor Warfighter Has You Sniping Like a Professional Bowler (VIDEO)

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bill-swift - October 5, 2012

Assaulting a beach must be a required element of Medal of Honor games. In my recent go round with the campaign mode of Medal of Honor Warfighter, the action opened up with an assault on a beach in Somalia. Whether a subtle homage to Saving Private Ryan or wink at the franchise's history, this was nothing like stomping down the ramp of a WWII era landing craft and establishing a beachhead against overwhelming odds. The enemies in this section of Warfighter are geared up with assault rifles and rocket propelled grenade launchers so it only takes a handful of them to hold onto a beach.

However you're a special forces badass with the toughness, training and equipment to get the job done no matter how difficult it may seem. The temptation to pick up dropped enemy weapons just to see what they're like is very strong early on. The problem is those raggedy AKs are a poor choice when you're trying to takeout 10-12 snipers in windows and militia hiding behind barricades. American made hardware with red dots, magnification and powerful rounds make a huge difference, I found. The heavier weapons carried by the militia sound different and feel heavier with their slower controller rumble, but damn if those things aren't bullet spray showers.

The all important audio component of the game seems to be top notch with much of the instruction and context for what you're doing coming through the in-game character's headset. And it's not just repeating the same message over and over again. I'm paraphrasing here but something like "Preacher, take out that sniper" becomes "That sniper's got us pinned down! Do something about it!" as you dawdle on the beach looking at the beauty of splashing waves and the mid-century architecture of the city instead of doing your job as a highly trained Tier 1 operator. You're getting what seems to be the authentic special forces jargon as well with all sorts of acronyms, portmanteaus and phrases that only dudes like that would know. The interesting thing is, a high percentage of MoH fans simply won't know if what they're hearing is the real deal or not because….only special forces operators know and use these expressions. I mean, I've played military shooters since the beginning and I know characters using terms like "exfil" and "splash one tango" and "green" to me go all sound pretty cool but I have no idea if that's what I'd really hear during a special forces mission.  And it's not worth it for me to find out either.

Moving through the bombed out husk of the town, Warfighter seems to have you fighting from one set piece to another. For example, storming the beach with my teammates got us into town and into some buildings crawling with enemies before we were told to use a robot to explore the next area. This remote controlled robot exploration piece, as you'd expect, was a big departure in gameplay style. The robot you're controlling can roll around on its mini tank treads but it can't duck, slide into cover or jump over obstacles like your badass warfighter can. Also pulling the trigger fires something like an 8-round burst. This is a totally different proposition compared to the full or semi-auto fire of a rifle you're used to using.

But continuing on, the next round of fighting after the robot sequence (your robot inevitably gets shot to shit and smashed with a rock) has you rescuing stranded marines and moving through town again before we find out that the character you're controlling is actually a sniper. He's a super special special forces guy. Love it. The sequence of him setting up in a tower with assistance from his teammate with the Boston accent can be seen in the video above. Sniping itself, however, is more challenging and more authentic than in any other military shooter I've experienced. You have to account for gravity --but not wind it seems-- while aiming at targets. From the tower there are enemies at various levels of a building and while some can simply be lined up and smoked, you'll have to guesstimate bullet drop on most of them. This is made all the more tricky by the fact that the first few guys presented during the sniper portion are all straight ahead shootable enemies. The later guys, the ones who are firing rockets at your position now that you're smoked all of their buddies are the ones moving and positioned farther away. You actually have to aim a little bit over their heads if you want to bend a round into their foreheads. Aiming directly at the heads of the distant targets might hit them in the feet, or most likely, hit whatever cover they have.

These set pieces form the kind of backbone of the game. Controlling the robot, sniping from the tower or driving through town are things that are going to happen and unfold in a specific way before you'll clear them. Everything in between is fighting on foot, building to building on your way to the next set piece it seems.

So far the authenticity of Warfighter seems to be a huge strength. All of this stuff look and sounds very plausible and an accurate representation of what special forces are doing with all of that taxpayer support. The action of the weapons and movment of the AI controlled teammates in the single player campaign look like the real thing when you all breach and clear a room. Corners are checked and statuses are called out.

Keep it here for more on Medal of Honor Warfighter because we've got more video coming up very soon plus a detailed look at the multiplayer elements of the game.