Shooting. It has been part of video games ever since the invention of Space War when one enters the way-back machine to the year 1962, where a group of computer scientists created one of the earliest computer games. It featured two space ships that were pitted against one another as they flew around an extremely strong gravity well.
Each ship has a limited amount of fuel and missiles and the winner was the ship with the most kills within a certain time period. There's even a version of it on Steam, that can be found here: steam://install/480
So, why am I babbling on about a 50 year old video game? You came here to read about my hands on experience with Medal of Honor: Warfighter
from here on in)! I can sense your agitation, really I can, but what I'm trying to illustrate to you is that computer gamers have been shooting each other for over 50 years now and all of it done virtually.
does share many traits with Space War in that it requires players to shoot each other until they have more kills than they do within a time period. Granted the graphics have improved somewhat and you're not flying around in little space ships (mores the pity some would say), but even after 50 years shooting people in video games is still fun.
I can vouch for this as I spent 45 minutes at Gamescom 2012 taking great delight in shooting my fellow member of the European press at a behind closed doors session of MOH:W
. The mode of play was capture the flag and the map was incredibly small.
The multiplayer set-up is based on classes of combatant as well as two-person fire teams. This has players randomly being paired up with a team mate as the match starts. Experience points are granted to players who work with their partner, which adds some incentive to do so.
There are six base classes available, which can be modified the more the player gains experience. These classes are:
- All round assault class that is best at mid-range.
- Likes explosions and makes them happen, a lot.
- Can lay down a good amount of suppression fire while the rest of the team pick off the opposition.
- Equipped to scout ahead and spot enemies for the rest of the team as well as determine the tactical situation during battle.
- Working in tandem with the Point Man or Assaulter, this class does much to harass the enemy.
- A mixture between Point Man and Assaulter, this class is much less encumbered that their other team mates, but they don't have the same fire power as a result.
During the hands-on I managed to experience all six classes and found them to be distinctive enough to warrant their presence. My personal favourite was the Point Man, as I liked to make a jump for that flag as well as spot the opposing team.
uses the Frostbyte 2.0 engine and Danger Close, the developers of the game have done everything they can to get the most out of this engine. Visually very impressive, the lighting and muzzle flashes are all very convincing. But that's not what really made me feel the 45 minutes I spent playing it lasted more like 5.
It was the sound. MOH:W
boasts an incredible sound system that allows players to pin-point the location of enemies way before they have been seen. Every footstep is heard, providing there is no gun-fire. The small map I experienced during the hands-on session did much to demonstrate this as I found myself tensely waiting for someone to creep around the corner who I could only hear as I desperately tried to defend the flag.
The last MOH game was in 2010 and it wasn't received terribly well. It was up against a very strong Call of Duty title and its single player was lacking and MOH:W
seems to be addressing why this happened. One way is by expanding the multiplayer to include this persistent world-wide competition where players represent their respective nations as they play multiplayer matches. It's an interesting idea that may do much to distract people away from other FPS games.
I came away smiling from my experience with MOH:W
. There's enough innovation going on there to give me some hope that it may just make a dent in the dominance of Call of Duty franchise; I'm sure EA are hoping that too.