WW2 #17: Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Less openly unethical, more just garbage

june gloom
3 min readApr 2, 2024

This review was originally posted to Twitter on October 7, 2018.

Wondering why this is on the WW2 list? Because it, like Battlefield, Call of Duty, and several other WW2 gaming franchises, eventually moved to a modern-day setting in an attempt to stay current. But they wouldn’t be here if the industry hadn’t been trying to piggyback on the popularity of late 90s war movies like Saving Private Ryan.

Initial release: October 5, 2012
Platform: PC, XBox 360, PlayStation 3
Developer: Danger Close

If there’s an ignominious end for a franchise, it’s attempting to rip off your biggest competitor and still failing to make bank. That’s even if you don’t fuck it up on a technical level, which, as far as Medal of Honor: Warfighter goes… ehhhhh.

I suppose by this point it’s been patched into a playable state, but there’s still some lingering issues, for example the game literally restarting before and after driving levels, of which there are two. Or my favorite: enemies randomly getting stuck in walls, barely visible. In one incident I was trying to figure out why my AI buddies weren’t advancing, and why they were all shooting at the wall. Then I noticed the pair of hands sticking out of it. After shooting the hands a bit, the next script triggered. Good job, Danger Close.

The AI, by the way, is fucking infuriating. Your buddies are awful goddamn shots, and also extremely inattentive, allowing bad guys to walk right past them and shoot you instead (because the enemy AI has designated you a prime target — a frustratingly common issue in shooters.) It doesn’t help that sometimes your cover is basically worthless. You can be shot through floors or objects by enemies that logically shouldn’t even be able to see you or know you’re there. This is on top of myriad smaller issues, like animation problems.

There’s an overall lack of polish that really ramps up the difficulty past tolerable levels, and there’s a real sense of joylessness to this game that even the already ethically compromised Medal of Honor 2010 doesn’t have; it feels like a by-the-numbers Modern Warfare clone. It would be forgettable if it wasn’t so memorably janky.

While they sidestep the issue of setting it in a real-world conflict that people are still dying in, they still borrow from/re-enact a lot of real-world incidents like the Somalian pirates who hijacked that ship, or a hostage situation by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines. These real-world incidents mostly serve as a backdrop of sorts for an otherwise fictional tale of tracking down the source of large quantities of explosives and exposing a massive bombing plot by a not-Osama villain. (And yes, the final level is a fictionalized re-enactment of the Osama raid.) In between all this is a bunch of guff about Preacher (one of the guys from Medal of Honor 2010) trying to juggle his responsibilities to his family with his duties as a Navy SEAL. It’s all very dramatic and I so don’t care, there’s been a hundred TV shows and movies with this premise. The Unit did it better. It’s like they looked at the response to the Afghanistan setting of the last game and realized borrowing from an ongoing conflict probably isn’t a good idea, but they tried to have it both ways by tying real-world incidents into a fictional plotline and it just seems worse that way.

I honestly can’t think of a more fitting end for the Medal of Honor franchise, a name that had so much promise and effectively launched an entire multi-million-dollar subgenre of shooter, before being driven into the ground early on, and has survived through sheer corporate cynicism, finally giving up and ripping off its competition wholesale and failing at that too.




june gloom

Media critic, retired streamer, furry. I love you. [she/her]