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Confusion of war in Medal of Honor: Warfighter's multiplayer


War can be a confusing beast to tame. My time with Medal of Honor: Warfighter during E3 2012 featured as much bombastic action as expected from a war-based shooter, but it also featured another bit of confusion. I was confused as to why I would only get to play one match, but had to watch a 15 minute presentation explaining each class first. And the variety between each class – different damage models and weapon loadouts, and different bonus killstreaks for each – meant for a sharp learning curve once we finally did get into a match. It wasn't the ideal situation, a complex demo on a very tight timetable.

Gallery: Medal of Honor: Warfighter (E3 2012) | 8 Photos

Thankfully the game type was one all too familiar. Three flags were situated on the map – a dilapidated little town with plenty of alleys and perches for sneaking shooters – and each team accrues points by capturing them; your standard capture-based game mode.

With six different classes to choose from, I wasn't so much bothered with fighting over these capture points as I was finding a class that suited me. After running through them all, the slow, automatic shotgun-toting guy covered in padding ultimately became my favorite. And each class has its own support ability: my selection would pull goggles and a helmet to equip some extra armor at the price of mobility and a speedy recon class toting an SMG has a Predator-like infrared vision filter that lets him identify threats, for example.

The variety between classes also extends to killstreaks. After popping two enemies in a row, you can choose between two different options, things like launching UAVs or pulling out grenade launchers. It isn't a revolutionary step, but the variety makes for interesting emergent gameplay scenarios.

I really wish I was able to at least play a few matches with the same group of people, to better see the balance at work when two teams knowledgeable in the class system go at it. As it was in this demo, most everyone was in the same boat as I was: dropped into battle with little-to-no knowledge on how to wage war. I was confused and scared and frustrated all at the same time. Perhaps that less-than-ideal situation makes for the most realistic simulation of war I've ever experienced.

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