Tuesday, October 30, 2012

If it's the same how can it be worse?

I do not understand why Medal of Honor Warfighter exists. The modern military shooter space is very crowded, both by innumerable second and third tier titles and two giants: Call of Duty Whatever and Battlefield The Next One. A game is going to need to do something pretty amazing or outlandish to get noticed, and by get noticed I mean get people to buy it instead of waiting for the next iteration of the bug two while playing the old one to death. So what does Warfighter do? It goes out of its way to be exactly like Call of Duty Black Ops, hoping for accidental sales to people who either don't know how to read or just buy games featuring angry looking men wielding guns on the cover, assuming it is the one they are looking for.

With that bit of snark out of the way, there is nothing wrong with Warfighter. It is a shooter in which you shoot things, occasionally drive things (these parts are not very good) then go back to shooting things, sometimes from a turret. It is the same formula that has been abused for years by better and better technology. Warfigher runs on the same engine that the last Battlefield did and puts it to very good use in combat. Some of the characters faces are a bit off in the cut scenes; to be less delicate, the main character's wife looks like she too an unfortunate tumble down the uncanny valley. It was distracting but no deal breaker.

So if there is nothing wrong with Warfighter why have both the public and private opinion been so negative? I have read several, some better written than others, and the majority of them come do to Warfighter being bad because it is not Call of Duty or Battlefield. The IGN review cites technical issues that I did not see. Gametrailers complained that it was too linear. GameInformer and Giant Bomb said it was nothing new. Here's the problem: if it is nothing new then isn't it at least as good as the game it is copying? I don't recall Call of Duty: The Last One getting anything under a 9 out of 10 from anyone. The two big games have become the standard for military shooters and have someone become exempt for the qualities that are supposed to represent.

As usual these opinions are based entirely on the single  player portion of the the game. For all I know playing Call of Duty with other people is the equivalent of gaming heaven and Warfighter is rolling a giant rock up a hill only to have it crush you on the way back down. Honestly, I don't care. There is nothing wrong with Warfighter that isn't wrong with all the other games it tries very hard to look like. The only difference between then are their marketing and "marketing" budgets.

You know exactly what I mean.

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