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Danger Close

Medal of Honor photo
Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor: Warfighter team no longer exists

Danger Close dissolved, repurposed to support Battlefield developer
Jun 14
// Kyle MacGregor
The team behind the Medal of Honor series reboot and its ill-fated sequel has been scattered to the wind, EA Labels executive vice president Patrick Söderlund told Eurogamer. "Danger Close as it was doesn’t ex...

EA: Warfighter is better than reviews say, trust us!

Medal of Honor defended by its biggest fanboy
Oct 31
// Jim Sterling
Usually, a negative review for a major videogame is accompanied by all sorts of wailing and caterwauling from angry fans, but in the case of Medal of Honor: Warfighter, most readers expected it. All except Medal of ...

Review: Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Oct 24 // Jim Sterling
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Danger ClosePublisher: Electronic ArtsRelease: October 23, 2012MSRP: $59.99 Medal of Honor: Warfighter takes the uniformity of the military FPS to its logical, strained conclusion. In both its single-player campaign and competitive online mode, it is a "Who's Who" of every overplayed stereotype the genre has to offer. Crossing off an invisible checklist of must-have features, Warfighter plays it absolutely safe, doing very little to rock the boat, but even less to capture the imagination. First things first, the single-player mode is abysmal. For the most part, it's another common romp through the Middle East and other war-torn parts of the world, as players hide behind crates and shoot at silhouettes spawning across murky arenas of nondescript space. So linear and formulaic is each mission, it comes across less like the "EXTREME REALISM" of modern combat and more like a cheap, slow fairground ride. There is an attempt at a story, featuring characters that make no impression and a villain that appears for no other reason than to be an obligatory foreign bad guy. In short, it's a tacky and melodramatic look at military life with a script that could have been trotted out by a twelve-year-old. Just like so many others.  Worst of all, the game regularly attempts to grab for the heartstrings by introducing a wife and a daughter to one of the interchangeable protagonists -- attempts that fail partly because the writing is so corny, and mostly because the character models are horrendously creepy, clearly being designed by artists who have never had to draw females before. Yes, Danger Close, women do exist -- but they don't look like sheets of pink latex pulled taut over a chimpanzee's skeleton.  [embed]237311:45541[/embed] The campaign takes players on a tour through familiar and increasingly weary scenarios -- there's the boat level, the city streets, the customary shoot-out in an Arabian village, the moonlit stealth adventure, the sniping section, and the expected helicopter level. Warfighter seems content to just go through the motions with most of its campaign, copying entire scenarios from its own reboot, as well as Battlefield and Call of Duty, to create a set of missions that feel like the videogame equivalent of a TV series clip show.  In fairness, there are a few brief glimmers of originality, mostly coming from those levels where shooting isn't part of the action. A couple of car chases, one of which becomes a surprisingly effective vehicular stealth challenge, manage to offer welcome sanctuary from the rest of the story's relentless shooting gallery. They're not exactly exciting, but they're something else, and that's all that matters. Sadly, they are but brief flashes of respite among a brown sea of brown guns firing brown bullets in brown deserts.  Outside of such momentary flickers of newness, the rest of the game is a one-note song droned repeatedly from beginning to end. Every single level plays out the same way, albeit with different (yet wholly familiar) setpieces. Boasting a cover system that barely works, the action of Warfighter gets stale within the first few minutes and never freshens up, as players pick their fragile way from chest-high wall to chest-high wall, popping off the clairvoyant -- yet nonetheless stupid -- enemies who are one scream of "Durka Durka" away from becoming Team America stereotypes. As seems to be increasingly common with games of this nature, there's no sense of pacing or tension. The stakes never feel high and the action never heats up, because nothing ever happens. For the five or six hours the campaign lasts, not once does anything actually happen in it. Bullets are fired, people fall over screaming, but ultimately nothing memorable occurs, and nothing changes from that first shot fired to that last generic terrorist killed. It is just shooting. Ducking behind boxes and shooting. Forever.  Most egregious of all is the fact that door breaching is now championed as the prime feature of the experience. Any player of military FPS games should be familiar with breaching -- you stand outside a door, kick it open, toss in a flashbang, and then pop off the startled enemies in slow-motion. Most campaigns use them once or twice in order to provide something a little different, though these days it's becoming tacky in its overuse. Naturally, Warfighter took that overuse and made a farce of it. The first hour of Warfighter has more breaching in it than entire games do, and like everything else, it's always the same bloody thing. You kick a door, and kill folks in slow motion. It was already getting old before this game even released. Danger Close has officially murdered it.  Still, if you score enough headshots in slow-motion, you can unlock the option to open the door with an axe or a crowbar instead of kicking it. Hardly feels like a reward, though, when you realize kicking the thing is quicker and gets the whole sorry display over with more efficiently.  After years of military shooters, the single-player portion of Warfighter just comes off as depressing. It's sad to play through the same old stuff I've played countless times before, and I say this as a fan of the genre. I still think there's life in the military FPS, but not the way this game does it. Not with such a lack of creative ambition and a steadfast refusal to give us even the slightest motivation to care about what's happening. Even after beating it, I still don't know why I was supposed to hate any of the villains. I know the "heroes" of the piece hated them, but I didn't like any of them much either. Nobody gave me a reason to be quite so invested. Call of Duty has its ludicrous-but-satisfying story, Battlefield has its energy and vehicle variety, but Medal of Honor has no identity. It is merely a hollow reflection of the market leaders, too timid to strike out on its own.  The multiplayer, of course, is clearly where Danger Close put all its effort, and while it does little to stand out from the ever-swelling pack, it's certainly not bad, and at least provides a more compelling competitive arena than the last Medal of Honor did. The one thing it truly does differently is the "Fire Team" system, an admittedly inventive little idea that blends co-op gameplay with traditional competitive battles. In each match, players will be paired up to form Fire Teams, and will be responsible for providing benefits to each other. An active player will serve as a walking spawn point for his or her teammate, and can also hand out health/ammo replenishment. What's more, players will get to earn points for their partner's successes, and each team will be judged as a duo more than individuals. The psychological effect of the Fire Team system is quite noticeable. I found myself more willing to stay out of harm's way as my partner was spawning in, allowing him to appear quicker and safer. I also regularly kept my teammate stocked up and felt vengeful when he died, despite him being a complete stranger. It's a great idea that adds a little rewarding extra level to the combat.  Outside of this new feature, you're looking at a fairly standard multiplayer affair, no matter how much it tries to obscure the fact by assaulting you with information. From the very moment you jump in (after installing the massive patch, setting up Origin, and inputting an online pass), you're introduced to a screen littered with options and pop-up info boxes. Designed to resemble a post-modern website, the lobby screen is full of tabs and windows allowing you to view your Battlelog social networking nonsense, customize your weapons, and pick your own squad of playable soldiers using six classes made up of characters from a whole host of different nations, each country carrying its own set of special equipment. There is a ton of content, but once you know where everything is, you realize it's more of the same, thrust violently down your throat in the hopes that you swallow too quickly to realize you've eaten it before.  The actual gameplay itself is similarly busy, shoving text and explosions at the player with such wanton abandon, it's initially alienating in its chaos. However, after a few rounds, the style-over-utility visual information starts to make sense, and you settle into a rather bland -- but totally serviceable -- online shooter that really could be interchanged with any other.  That's really the big problem with Medal of Honor: Warfighter -- it has no big problem. It has no great highlight, either. The Fire Team dynamic is a neat twist, but ultimately it's not enough to save the overall experience from pointlessness. Warfighter is a largely pointless game. It exists simply to be just another brown FPS, and in that endeavor it undoubtedly succeeds. As with the single-player mode, you shoot people, they fall down, but nothing really happens. You just go through the motions, doing the same stuff you've been doing for the past five years. These games have now gotten to a point where they need to do more than expand the content. Warfighter is officially one game too many. When even Call of Duty realizes it needs to move away from the "modern warfare" setting and try new things, you know the good times are over. Sadly, Danger Close didn't get the memo, so it dutifully trotted out more of the regular fluff in an attempt to keep up with what everybody else has been doing for half a decade. Ironically, it would have been better served if it never rebooted in 2010 and stuck with World War II -- barely anybody's doing those games anymore. It is also quite clear the studio rushed development to get out ahead of the competition, demonstrating what a soulless pissing contest these games have become. It suffers from a litany of visual and audio glitches, with cutscenes particularly afflicted by stuttering framerate, poorly compressed visuals, and horrible audio pops. In-game, there are issues with enemies spawning before the player's very eyes, bodies disappearing or freezing mid-air, and bits of scenery having epileptic fits. Important things like notes about sniper rifle bullet drop had to be patched in, and even then, they weren't patched in well. The information appears briefly, once, and then never again, even if you miss it or have to restart the section. Not to mention, the game just doesn't look very good. Aside from a few nice lighting effects, its graphical offerings are severely unimpressive, with poor textures and dated character models that do little to make the brown, dreary art style any less dismal. This is all after installing the optional texture patch provided on the 360 disc.  Medal of Honor: Warfighter is for the kind of person who goes into a bar and asks for the usual every single night, not even vaguely curious about trying something else for a change. It's not entirely Warfighter's fault -- it didn't know that, after five years of Activision and EA releasing several military shooters a year, it would be the straw that broke the camel's back. As I said, I still like these kinds of shooters, but the core idea has stopped being compelling on its own, and new games desperately require something to identify them. Just running through the same old routine isn't working anymore.  I believe it's telling that every screenshot on this review was provided with a giant logo bearing the name's game. Even the publisher realizes how homogeneous these titles have become, that a screenshot alone is not enough to tell which one we're actually talking about.  It doesn't help that previous titles simply do what Warfighter does better. Danger Close implemented a curious little co-op flavor, but it's attached to a bog-standard shooting experience that can be better enjoyed in last year's games. The only thing this latest Medal of Honor has going for it is a noisier presentation and an avalanche of content, none of which matters when the core gameplay is so mind-numbingly dull at this point in time.  Charmless, cynical, and uninspired, Warfighter encapsulates everything wrong with the annual big budget shooter industry. It's really not an awful game, it's just insipid and shallow, a title that exists solely to exist, and squeeze whatever profit remains to be had from serving the same flavorless porridge to the same unadventurous customers. It will make its money, and keep the FPS factories in business for another year. To anybody working on these games who have a shred of creative integrity: I hope the money is worth it. 
Warfighter photo
The war that broke the camel's back
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a funny name. Yes, "Warfighter" is a term with a real-life military application, but that doesn't stop it from sounding incredibly silly. It is gratuitously macho, not to mention rather redundant...


Medal of Honor: Warfighter gets HUGE launch day patch

Game development finished via the Internet
Oct 23
// Jim Sterling
Day one patches are nothing new, as developers increasingly exploit online connectivity to allow them to finish developing the game after they already pressed it onto a disc. Medal of Honor: Warfighter, however, seems to goin...

Preview: Medal of Honor: Warfighter multiplayer

Oct 12 // Abel Girmay
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC) Developer: Danger Close Publisher: Electronic Arts Release: October 23, 2012 The most touted addition to Warfighter's multiplayer is the new Fireteam mechanic. Described as co-op within multiplayer, a Fireteam is essentially a buddy system that grants you and your friend special bonuses, the most useful being the ability to constantly replenish your firemate's health and ammunition. The support class is still a team's main lifeline to healing, but you can essentially always play as support for your firemate. Apart from this, your squadmate can spawn in on you; the both of you essentially anchor each other into the action. There is a spawn delay of around four seconds though, with a few more seconds added if your squadmate is spotted or happens to be under fire. Even so, the spawn protection does not seem to take proximity into account, leading to a few spawn kills as the game thinks that it's safe to spawn even though there is an enemy posted a few feet away. Overall, the Fireteam mechanic adds a nice layer and good reason for teamwork, which is sorely lacking in some infantry-focused shooters. I'm sure many of you by now have noticed Warfighter's "Go Global" schtick, allowing players to step into the boots of many special forces units, not just those of the USA. This carries over into the multiplayer, where players will have the ability to choose the nationality of their player character. For balance reasons, nationality will not have an effect on the moment-to-moment gameplay, but rather, is a part of the overall customization. Not all nationalities are playable with each class initially -- their accessibility corresponds to their real-world counterparts. Confused? It's actually quite simple. The first class you unlock for use is the Rifleman, who is playable across all nationalities since all real-world special forces have riflemen. The second class you unlock is the sniper, who defaults to South Korean since the South Korean UDT Seals have the best sniper training in the world. As you level up your sniper class, you can unlock more and more nationalities to play as. Conversely, the Demolition class has the Swedish SOG unit as its last unlock, since the real-world SOG doesn't actually have a specialized demolition unit. There are also some small touches for added realism, such as different reload animations for various units. The Polish GROM, for example, handle reloads very differently from US Navy Seals. It's a nice little addition to the standard class system of many shooters that could go a long way to creating an added sense of attachment to your favorite loadout. As for the actual modes we played, they ran the usual gamut of deathmatch, demolition, and control point types, but with a good amount of variation to be sure. The first mode was a demolition type, entitled Hot Spot. In Hot Spot, there are five bomb sites located throughout the map, though only one is active at a time, with one team defending while the other attempts to set them off. The twist is that the order in which these site are active are completely random. Fun as the randomness can be, once a site is active, it plays how you would expect a demolition game to play. The second mode we played, Combat Mission, played not unlike Battlefield's Conquest or Halo: Reach's Invasion. One team defends a site while the other attacks; the attackers aim to progressively gain more ground and plant the final bomb at the defending team's base. The difference here is that the attackers' lose condition is not based on a time limit, but instead by the number of lives they have. Basically, the attacking team starts out with a set number of lives, leaving the defending team to focus equally on defending the bomb sites and slaying. For all you out there who never play for the objective and instead focus on your K:D ratio, this is one objective-based mode where you can do just that, guilt free. Still, I did take issue with Combat Mission's losing condition. The sheer number of lives that the attacking team has felt weighted too heavily in their favor. What's more, the attacking team gets a portion of their lives replenished after each bomb site is successfully destroyed. Our time ended with one final mode, Home Run, which was by far the most intriguing. Playing as a cross between Search & Destroy and Capture the Flag, the immediate objective is as straightforward as any CTF game, except that you only have one life per round. What this creates is a fun stop-and-go dynamic, where you have to figure out when the best time to go for the flag is versus hanging back to take out a few enemies before advancing. As an added touch, the flag changes to the flag of whatever nationality you're playing. It's ultimately a lot of fun, and hands down the best mode out of all the ones shown. While I've been relatively excited by and am altogether anticipating Medal of Honor: Warfighter for its single-player component, my excitement for the multiplayer portion is less noticeable. Warfighter is perfectly good in its own right, and I'm sure there will be a sizable community that crops around it. But we're living in a time where the modern military shooter is in no short supply, and with the exception of Home Run, there's nothing here in the way of modes that looks terribly exciting. Certainly nothing to tear anyone away from whatever their latest addiction is.
One final look before launch
In about two weeks, Medal of Honor: Warfighter will be released. While we've seen single-player content twice already, it wasn't until recently that we got to try out the game's multiplayer at length. Although the last game h...

A little more on Medal of Honor: Warfighter's campaign

Oct 04 // Abel Girmay
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC) Developer: Danger Close Publisher: Electronic Arts Release: October 23, 2012 The first mission we played, entitled "Shore Leave," was actually the Somalia demo that many of you are probably familiar with. It starts off with your squad storming a beach while under sniper fire. Shortly after you make it to land and into the buildings, you initiate a breach sequence, not unlike what Call of Duty has been doing since Modern Warfare 2. Warfighter takes a slightly different approach in that you can chose how to breach a room, which almost becomes its own meta-game. Do you want to simply kick the door down and throw a flash bang, or shoot the lock off with a shotgun? For all the options you have, only a few are initially available to you, with more being unlocked by performing a certain number of headshots during breach moments. It's a self-contained mechanic, so you cannot earn new options by performing headshots in standard firefights. That all being said, I can't help but fear this was a bit of a wasted opportunity. While it's cool that breaching equates to more than walking up to a door and holding a button, all the different options are still functionally similar. It doesn't matter if you choose to kick that door in or shotgun it; the end result is still a slow-mo shootout on a couple of stunned enemies. If Danger Close was going to go through the trouble of creating a whole system behind breaching, why not go further than making it a choice between animations? The level came to a close with a sniping sequence, which actually showed how well the gunplay has been tuned. Anyone who remembers the sniping sections of the 2010 Medal of Honor will remember how impossibly accurate aiming was. With bullets that traveled in perfectly straight lines, there was no consideration of sway, bullet drop, and other factors. That is definitely not the case here, as the sniping is much more grounded in reality. It may have taken a minute or two to get past the learning curve, but aiming a reticule well above a target that's 100+ meters away to account for bullet drop definitely felt much better. Our time with single-player wrapped up with a second mission, the not-so-subtly titled "Hot Pursuit." The entire mission is car chase sequence. Needless to say, this is a pretty big deviation from the core gameplay (shooting things in the face), but what you may find surprising is that it was actually a lot of fun. After running the modern FPS gamut of set-piece moments, sniping, breaching, and the like, racing through the streets of Karachi was a nice change of pace. Created in collaboration with Black Box Studios, the driving handles well -- it was both responsive and incredibly simple to pick up and play. This is, after all, still a shooter, so it wouldn't make the greatest sense to include all the handling intricacies of a Need for Speed title. Provided that these huge breaks from the core gameplay are kept relatively sparse, I'm excited to see what other tricks Warfighter has up its sleeve. Despite a few fears of missteps with regards to the breaching system, I'm altogether hopeful for Warfighter's campaign. With only a few short weeks until release, there's still multiplayer to cover, so check back Oct. 11th for our full impressions on that.

It hasn't been that long since we first got a look at Medal of Honor: Warfighter's single-player campaign. For general details, do be sure to check out that preview. Recently though, we got a chance to spend a few hours with the game including new single-player content. Specifically, two whole campaign missions.

Preview: Go global in Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Sep 14 // Abel Girmay
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC) Developer: Danger Close Publisher: Electronic Arts Release: October 23, 2012 From the demo's opening cutscene, the first thing I couldn't help but notice was Warfighter's much-improved visuals. Frostbite 2 is here, and in full effect, though this is a modified version of the engine that built last year's Battlefield 3. Rather than the massive-scale environments and environmental destruction, Frostbite 2's graphical prowess is redirected to more micro-level assets. Debris, character models, and facial animations are just some of the things that have gained a huge boon from the redirected focus. Conceivably, Warfighter will have plenty of chances to flex its graphical muscle with the bevy of locations the game will be taking place in. While 2010's Medal of Honor occurred entirely in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan, Warfighter is decidedly more global. Characters from the first do make a return, so fans will be happy to step back in the boots of Preacher, fighting alongside returning squad-mates like Mother and Voodoo. Speaking of returning characters, the story in Medal of Honor: Warfighter seems to be a bigger focus than it was in the first. Honestly though, it does come off as just another military story. You know, the kind that carries the heavy handed overtones and themes of family, freedom, country, and your brothers in arms. It's also not as ballsy as the first game. Rather than dealing with such a controversial and real-world setting as Afghanistan, Warfighter seems more Hollywood as its missions take place all around the globe. Nothing exactly eye-catching here, but so long as it serves as a decent enough reason to go hopping around the globe, I'm fine with it. In our demo, which was pretty brief, we found ourselves in Isabella City in the Philippines. The story here followed Preacher and Mother, working in conjunction with Filipino Special Forces, as they attempted to capture a high-value target. As is the case with these things, the mission goes horribly wrong, and it's time to go in guns blazing. Anyone familiar with the last game -- or even the Battlefield series more generally -- should feel immediately comfortable with the gunplay here. Weapons carry a real sense of weight and kick when fired, and factors like bullet drop and target distance have more of an effect than in other shooters. Bullets will also prove to be finite to those that love to spray targets rather than take surgical shots, so you will need to stick close to teammates with similar weapons to replenish ammo. Peek and Lean, the quasi-cover mechanic from Medal of Honor, makes a return as well. As the name suggest, it allows you to lean against cover, and scope in over it for quick and safer shots. It worked well enough in the last title, and it's functionally similar here. One new addition to combat is the ability to switch sights when scoped in. So if, say, your rifle has an ACOG scope, you can click down on the right stick when scoped to switch to your iron sights. It's actually a very handy feature, as the ACOG scope we had wasn't ideal for some of the close-quarters fights in the early parts of the demo. Almost as soon as the demo had started, it was over. While brief, what was shown is a definite step up from the last title. The gunplay adds a few new wrinkles to an already solid system, the variety of settings is looking to be a welcome addition, and the visuals are already far better than the last game. Even if you were not necessarily a fan of the first, Warfighter does warrant the attention of shooter fans.

When EA decided to reboot the Medal of Honor franchise with its 2010 release, it wasn't met with the warmest of receptions. While it certainly wasn't an amazing shooter, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with it. Soldieri...


E3: Medal of Honor: Warfighter pre-order DLC announced

Jun 04
// Daniel Starkey
It seems pre-order bonuses are becoming more and more common these days. Today, in addition to giving gamers a taste of what to expect with the latest entry in their Medal of Honor franchise, EA announced several bonuses.&nbs...

The DTOID Show: GDC 2012 Wrap-up!

Mar 11
// Tara Long
Did you catch today's live Destructoid Show? We're all thoroughly exhausted from GDC, but Hamza Aziz, Jordan Devore, and Conrad Zimmerman were good sports and stopped by the studio for some good old-fashioned video game disc...

GDC: MoH: Warfighter multiplayer inspired by FIFA

Mar 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Along with the Battlefield 3 expansion reveals, Electronic Arts gave some more details on Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Greg Goodrich, executive producer on the series, came on stage to talk about how the ne...

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