Two Shooters

april 5, 2013

I finished Medal of Honor Warfighter a couple of days ago and tonight I finished Spec Ops: The Line. It is amazing how different these two military shooters could be. Sure, one is a third person shooter (Spec Ops) and the other is a first person shooter. But, the quality of the storytelling really sets one apart from the other.

Medal of Honor Warfighter's story was trying to be too clever and wound up being a confusing mess. The characters were all generic. The bouncing between dates and times -- and not to mention between two main characters -- just muddled the narrative further. And even after I figured out what it was all about... well, it was an even bigger disappointment because of how simplistic it was.

Spec Ops: The Line on the other hand had a story that just went into my head and played with my brain. The story made sense and the narrative was simple yet the characters were complex. There were no narrative gimmicks (like hopping timelines or character switching) to try to dress up the story. The game had great characters that grew and changed throughout the journey. The end of the game was a complete shock -- and that is saying a lot because there were many times during the game that caught me off guard also. The story and events in the game were twisted and made me reel with horror and disgust. The story is loosely based on Conrad's Heart of Darkness (one of the main character is named Konrad as a tribute). The narrative really made Spec Ops: The Line fantastic -- so did the voice acting and the visuals.

Medal of Honor Warfighter has the benefit of using the Frostbite 2 engine so the gun mechanics and the sound are dropped dead awesome. The sound in Spec Ops: The Line left a bit to be desired, none of the guns had any oomph to them.

What both games had in common was insanely stupid AI. The AI in Spec Ops: The Line was OK, but not very good. The AI in Medal of Honor Warfighter was plain stupid. I would find myself hunched behind cover and taking heavy fire. All of the sudden I would see my character moving forward. The first time this happened, I had no idea what was going on, then I figured it out. The friendly AI had be scripted to take that cover location -- so what it was doing was taking the location and pushing me out of it! Bastard!

Anyways, yes, I finished two shooters. One I enjoyed immensely and will probably give it a second play through (Spec Ops: The Line) and the other I'll shelve.