Waiting in line to play Medal of Honor: Warfighter, I was able to view a trailer and lengthy gameplay video. It showed me a nice-looking first-person shooter, full of impressive water effects, good attention to detail, and realistic facial expressions. When I finally got inside and got the game to myself, I wasn’t met with the same graphical splendor. There are a number of factors that could have been affecting this; perhaps my TV sucked (the guy to my left had seemingly nicer visuals in front of him, I gathered from my numerous glances), or perhaps that intro movie outside the play area was running on a high-end PC? Some combination? I don’t know and can’t explain the inconsistency. When I played the game, the intro cinema was very grainy — not the kind that is done on purpose to illustrate an artistic effect or control the mood, but I mean it looked straight up bad.
We began outside of a house, our side closely watching a hostage situation unfold. I say “we” meaning me and the other journalists playing the game, though we were all sampling single-player; none of us were helping or killing the others. The madman running the hostage show capped one of his own guys, which almost set our team into action prematurely. Whew. It was a pretty intense scene, if a little bit cliche in today’s world of modern warfare over saturation. I didn’t capitalize that because I’m not just referring to the games with the title of Modern Warfare, I’m referring to all shooters with this and similar settings.
Gameplay looked significantly better. The game handled like anyone would exact it to, and no new features were pointed out to the press members attending the play session. Still, what was there was good. I had a machine gun, some grenades, and a pistol, all of which controlled the way they generally do on a PS3. I almost feel bad that there’s not a whole lot to report on the gameplay front, but really, there’s just not. Going through the stage, dashing at times, hitting O crouch, popping out from behind the cover to cap people, waiting for the other guys to do the same and blasting them accordingly, hearing teammates tell me “tango down,” it honestly felt a little bit routine. It’s not that anything was particularly bad about Warfighter, just that it felt very, very familiar.