Let’s face it, there is a glut of shooters and most of them are just terrible. Rewarding bad behavior like running through uncleared buildings, or asking the player to complete unrealistic objectives by themselves, I’ve almost fallen out of love with the shooter. Thankfully, the folks at Danger Close agree, and that much was made very clear by two rounds with the new Fire Team mode of Medal of Honor Warfighter.
In the real world, and now in the world of Warfighter, Tier 1 Operators work in pairs. Your Fire Team buddy is crucial to your survival, often being the difference between life and death. They are your best friend, they are your ally, they are godfather to your children – you’ll put your life in their hands, and they’ll put their life in yours. Most games have turned this special bond into some sort of buddy-cop movie knockoff. All of that said, I have no idea if Danger Close will preserve this relationship properly in their game, but they are making a valiant effort – we got to see that manifestation in the multiplayer.
Before we got to take it to the field, we got a quick video from Greg Godich – the Executive Producer from the game. The game will split into operator groups from various countries – KSK, GROM, SAS, JTF2, Spetsnaz, OGA, Seals, and SFOD-D. For those playing the home game, that’s Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, and United States, respectively. For multiplayer we got to see six factions in action, each very different in their approach to combat.
The first class we got to see is the Polish GROM Assaulter. He carries the HK 417, an M23 Grenade Launcher, and can call in an AH6 for fire support. The SASR Pointman is all about speed and surprise, carrying the Steyr Aug. They can also use “Black Hills ammo” which carries a bit more punch to the firefight. If that isn’t enough, they can also call in a vicious airburst mortar strike. The JTF2, our Special Forces to the North, are the fire support gunners. They bring suppression to the field with the M249 from the hip, or more targeted with a prone cover fire stance. They also bring the Blackhawk with them, allowing a targeted respawn point for your team to fastrope back into the fray. The OGA are your basic spook types (CIA, FBI, DEA, or whatever), focusing on speed and stealth. Sporting the HK MP7 and an A-10 strafing run at their fingertips, they are dangerous and quick. The SFOD-D team are more commonly known as “Delta”, and they fill the heavy fire close support function with their AA-12 shotgun, Milkor M32 Grenade Launcher and extra body armor. Saving the class that I spent the most time with for last, we check out the Seal. Using a recon stance and the McMillan Tactical Rifle (the TAC-300), they are able to reach out at long distances and prosecute targets with incredible accuracy. To back things up they can also deploy the Switchblade UAV Strike Drone to help mark targets for the team. From what I know of these various organizations, their operators, and their equipment, it is obvious Danger Close wants to get this element right. They’ll have their work cut out for them as there are 72 different operators to unlock, as well as a slew of real-world attachments and mods for your weapon system side rails.
Our multiplayer map takes place in a hot zone in the real world – Pirate Town in Somalia. This mode is called “Sector Control” – you might know it as capture and hold. Paired off with a rookie, I got to see the new Fire Team mode in action. My partner and I were abl eto see one another through any situation, including spotting him through walls and floors. This means that you’ll have the advantage of operational awareness of your partner at all times, allowing you to coordinate more effectively. This concept also extends to respawning. If you go down, after a cooldown you’ll respawn on your partner’s six. If your partner takes out the person who killed you, you’ll almost immediately respawn on that partner’s six.
The Frostbite 2 engine does a fantastic job of giving us a realistic and gorgeously gritty world to play. This pirate town is, as you might expect, a complete mess. The dilapidated ruins provide excellent defilade, as well as a few rotting tower structures for high ground. My partner and I coordinated our strikes for a short while, and then he unfortunately decided to take his hands off the keys. Determined, I somehow managed to remain alive for the rest of the entire round, defending myself with only my pistol and SOG. As the team from Danger Close and EA gathered behind me, my absentee partner and I rocketed up to #1 Fire Team and I took the top slot for kills. Even Kristoffer “Hoffa” Bergqvist, Multiplayer Director for Medal of Honor Warfighter, commented the near-impossibile nature of it. I’m not telling you all of this to brag, honestly. I’m telling you this to demonstrate just how easy it was to pick up, and just how well this title is resonating with me already. The game is slated to hit this October on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U this October, and already I’m very excited to get my hands on it again.