Gamescom 2012: Medal of Honor: Warfighter Multiplayer Hands-On Preview – Home Run!
Written Friday, August 24, 2012 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Having not developed the multiplayer for its first Medal of Honor outing (that duty went to DICE), it’s clear that Danger Close has been revelling in the opportunity to put its personal touch on what will no doubt be the legs of the title. At E3, the multiplayer took centre-stage for the title and at Gamescom 2012, it was no different. While the focus at E3 was on the chaotic support actions of all the classes, EA took a different approach for its Gamescom showing for Warfighter, introducing one of the game’s new smaller, micro games.
Remember Counter-Strike? If you don’t, you’ve at least played the new PSN version, right? Well, Warfighter’s new Home Run mode is a lot like that. If you’ve not played Counter-Strike, we’re referring to short, bite-sized rounds that can be over in a matter of seconds. You know, with no respawns and small maps. It’s tense stuff.
Home Run mode is Danger Close’s attempt to create an eSports style mode that’s suitable for clans and such. Taking place on tiny, intricate maps, this 6 vs. 6 game mode is essentially a capture the flag style mode, but with attack and defend scenarios. It takes place across 10 different rounds where you spend 5 attacking and 5 defending – at the halfway point you switch over from one to the other. It’s not that easy though as players can’t respawn after they’re killed. If you eradicate the other team, you get one point. If you’re attacking and you capture the flag, you get two points. With it being the first to 10 points, it’s essential that you and your troops work together as a team, but if needs be, it can go all the way to the tenth round if it’s an exceptionally close affair.
Seeing as the game mode is designed to be short, sharp and fast, Danger Close has made the executive decision to not only remove spawns, but also to remove the support actions as well. This ultimately means that the emphasis here falls on teamwork and general skill, something that perfectly suits the e-Sports vibe they’re shooting for.
In our hands-on with the mode – which incidentally was only 4 vs. 4 – we headed to Sarajevo Stadium to see whether we could hit a Home Run. Badoom-tish! Sarajevo Stadium is a rectangular map with plenty of tight corridors at both sides and through the middle. It probably takes no more than 20 seconds to run from one spawn to another. The flags sit on the one side of the map; one in the relative open on a dirt mound near some stairs and a ramp down to the lower level; the second flag sits in the middle of a series of corridors, invisible from the defender’s spawn, ultimately meaning you can’t cover both flags at once.
The first big decision is what class of the six you decide to head out onto the battlefield with: Assaulter, Pointman, Heavy Gunner, Sniper, Demolitions or Spec Op – for more info on the classes, see our E3 preview. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why would anyone select the sniper class in such a small map with such frenetic gameplay? Well, easy, because a.) you can actually snipe the others in their spawn if you stand in the right place, are quick enough and accurate enough; and b.) because the machine pistol that is the sniper’s secondary weapon can be quite powerful up-close. After flicking from the assault-rifle equipped classes like the Assaulter and the Pointman, we actually settled on the Sniper class for the reasons mentioned above.
Communication is key then, especially as it was 4 on 4. There was always that temptation to stick two on each flag, but if the team rushes the one and outnumbers you 4 to 2, you’re likely to lose the flag and thus, concede 2 points. Remember, you only need one flag to win the round as well, so that’s not a viable option. Getting that balance between all of you protecting the 2 flags is the key to success, and with only one death, it’s amazing how it can push players onto the defensive from the off. That’s a surefire way to lose.
The action is tense and the rounds are short, so if you do screw your strategy up in the one round, you only have to wait 30 seconds or so before the next round is up and you can redeem yourself. Unfortunately for me, our team was severely lacking in teamwork and we were on the end of a 10-nil drubbing. For shame! Despite that though, it’s easy to see the positives of the mode and the angle that Danger Close is going for with Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Whether it becomes an e-Sports hit, which the dev is obviously hoping for, remains to be seen, but the Counter-Strike feel certainly isn’t going to harm its chances.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is scheduled for an October 23rd and October 26th release in North America and Europe respectively.