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Medal of Honor: Warfighter | A Bit of Multiplayer
To add onto Peterocc’s discussion of the MOHW single player, here’s a little something for the multiplayer from our play test with Danger Close Studios a few weeks ago.
Sector Control on Harra Dunes
Harra Dunes is a township in a mountainous, yet desert like climate. The map sits on several levels, balanced by buildings, sand, rocks, and surrounded in parts by large rock walls. There is a mixture of areas in this locale, from ruined buildings to a small covered market with several boxes and tables. A few buildings are intact and can be entered, including a few two story options.
Sector Control is exactly as it sounds; 3 points designated by flags that two teams compete to control. Each team starts on a side (North and South) and all sectors are neutral at game start. Controlling a flag gives your team points and the other team can take it at any time. Think Conquest (BF3) or Domination (COD).
Sector Control on Harra Dunes was a pretty balanced and fun experience. Most of the combat seemed be centered around the Center flag, but having several routes from spawns to any of the flags made it possible to get around the hot zones and to either the North or South flags. As mentioned above, there are a few higher areas (mostly 2 story buildings) that offer vantage and potentially sniper spots. One sits just over the Center flag, but has several avenues in from both the first and second story. While this does give an advantage to the team that can lock that spot down, it also makes them a large and obvious target.
The North flag is a little more difficult because it sits in a bit of a nook of the rocks, just outside the covered market area. There aren’t many direct lines of sight to this flag from a distance, so getting someone before they capture it can be hard but not impossible. A side and relatively long route from South to North sectors runs along the opposite edge of the map from Central’s location and offers a top down view from a disintegrated staircase over North flag.
South flag itself is in a bit of an open spot, but a terrace on one side and some broken walls on another. There are a couple nooks you can squeeze yourself into for a capture while a fight occurs in the area, but individuals not in the capture radius usually have the better cover.
This map and game mode felt balanced enough that is was more the skill of a team and how well they worked together that determined the winner, rather than who captured what point first. Added to that, there wasn’t really one class or another that was overused. While the Demolitions class (with Tank Stance) might see some heavy use, it was only occasionally that we really saw that class overpower everyone else and determine the flow of the game.
Hotspot & Sarajevo Stadium
Now Sarajevo stadium is a fun location. It’s a bit more of an elongated than round map and you travel through several different areas in it. There’s an indoor portion that encompasses the actual stadium (taken over as a base camp and in serious need of repair). Then you go out into surrounding buildings and something of a utility area with a storm pipe and water tower.
Some areas have an imbalance in lines of sight for anyone particular to snipers, but generally, in the next section the opposite side (whichever it may be) will have more. The transitions from area to area are pretty smooth and you’ll have no less than 3 routes from point to point in most cases.
The game mode Hotspot is something of a scramble. There’s an attacking team and a defending team with 5 possible detonation points. These 5 points are chosen randomly through the course of the game and forces both sides to move quickly and be able to pick up, move, and dig in several times at different points in the map.
The goal is to win 3 of the 5 locations: either as an attacker placing a bomb or as a defender preventing the opposing force from destroying that location.
This is a much more tactical game mode that forces players to work together or fail. The fact that you can’t just dig into one location and stay there makes it a more balanced battlefield and enjoyable regardless of what side you play on. A few maps may be a little more difficult just because of map balance, but overall I definitely enjoyed playing through this mode.
Besides the maps and game modes, I really feel like this game has captured the idea of how a team works together in a multiplayer situation. Through a series of rounds (if you don’t reset the room or server), you are designated a buddy within your team (you can pick this person if you party up beforehand). Termed “fire teams,” this is the person you should be playing with as an extension of yourself. It is, of course, entirely possible to be fire team buddies and ignore each other. However, the benefits of working with your fire team within the scope of the full team are amazing.
In most other shooters, the idea of partnering up and working as smaller groups within a team to facilitate strategy has been entirely player driven. I had to say “hey, you! You’re my buddy, let’s run this map” and simply hope the person was all for that. In Warfighter, the development team has added this element of increased tactics and team play as a basic feature of a multiplayer game experience.
You’ll have a maker designating where the other is at all times on your HUD, even if they aren’t in your field of vision. You have the ability to spawn on each other (think the squad system of BF3). You can offer healing and ammo. Additional points are given for buddy spawns, heals, and kills. Making good combinations of the classes with their differing abilities, support actions, and weaponry within a fire team can help set you up for responding to each of the game modes and enemy tactics.
And for good old revenge, opposing team players who kill your buddy will be highlighted in red for a short time. Just so you know who to target.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter has definitely held my attention since E3. The game play was solid and brought my hopes up in an seemingly endless sea of shooters releasing without really defining themselves. After attending this play test, I can stand by my E3 assessment that this game has awesome potential. The base experience of the game is solid and the team has been dedicated to tweaking all the little things that makes you want to keep playing (and shooting at your friends).
Keep on eye out for the beta which is set for early October and a release date of October 23. I’m planning for a day 1 buy.
And yes, there will be a Southpaw configuration.