Medal of Honor Warfighter‘s single-player campaign is incredibly short, even for a first-person shooter. Not only that, but it’s linear to the point that your options for developing a creative strategy for, well, anything is pretty much stifled. While I was playing, even I started to wonder what the point of developing this strategy guide was. However, as linear and short Warfighter is, sometimes help was needed, especially if I didn’t pay attention to the characters’ chatter (which was boring, by the way). Not to mention, if it wasn’t for the guide, I would have rage quit within 30 minutes, and this is all before I even touched the multiplayer portion of the game. In other words, the Medal of Honor Warfighter strategy guide definitely served its purpose, and in addition, it presented one of the best layouts for a guide I have ever come across. Not to mention, the tips provided in the multiplayer section helped this complete newbie to FPS multiplayer develop a strategy for the maps.
Since there isn’t much to the single-player campaign when it comes to story or even length of the missions, there really isn’t a lot of writing to be had in the walkthrough portion, and it really wasn’t necessary either. Most of the text is in the beginning of each mission, which nicely lays out the mission map, the mission’s objectives, the story recap, the starting loadout, and the mission’s Achievements. I appreciated the latter listing the most, because it prevented the Achievement-hunter in me from replaying a mission to nab the Achievement I most likely could have gotten the first time had I known about it. For example, in the “Hot Pursuit” mission, there is an Achievement for driving over 90 market stalls. Had I not known about this ahead of time, I would have done my best to avoid crashing through the markets on the sidewalk. But hey, now I know there’s motivation to drive like a maniac.
The actual walkthrough portion consists of a series of well documented and well placed screenshots to help guide you through the mission. I cannot emphasize enough how fantastic the layout is for the walkthroughs. The last time I saw a layout this great, this concise, this clear, and this useful was The 3rd Birthday strategy guide. Each screenshot has a clear purpose with a clear explanation, even without the text below each one, and I could see exactly where I was and needed go with a simple glance to the book. I rarely had to pause the game and flip through the pages to see what I needed to do next. Strategy guide publishers, please look at this book and The 3rd Birthday strategy guide when planning layouts for future guides. This is how a screenshot-laden strategy guide should be handled.
As most of the game focuses on multiplayer, so does the Warfighter strategy guide. The opening pages act as a primer for those who have never ventured online to a multiplayer match before. However, before you can think of dismissing it, everyone should read the Fireteam explanation in the primer, as it’s the one unique feature Warfighter has from a majority of the online shooters. The classes followed next, which went over the abilities and support actions available for each. The guide even lays out the loadout differences between the classes from each country, and it gives a brief description of the individual soldier and the class’s history within that particular country. Thanks to this, I was able to pick out a class and country that fit more of my play style without a lot of trial by fire.
One problem I’ve always had with multiplayer sections being included in strategy guides is the fact that the guides really can’t give users that much of a strategy since players fight against other players. Real people are not predictable like AI, and unless they are completely new to the experience (like me most of the time), real players are harder to kill. Getting good at multiplayer requires playing a certain map over and over so you can become familiar with it and playing it over and over so you can climb the steep learning curve of getting used to fighting against other people. It’s not unusual to take 5-10 deaths to get slightly accustomed to map and find the best points to set up a strategy. Since Warfighter requires each player to have a Fireteam partner, the learning curve takes on a whole new definition. On the one hand, it’s nice having a partner to help you out with ammo and avenging your death, but on the other hand, if you don’t know your partner, it’s hard to coordinate a plan, especially if you’re both new to the map.
Normally, most multiplayer strategy guides will present a map and an ideal loadout for your best chances of survival and doing well. The Warfighter strategy guide actually provides a list of all of the choke points for each map along with the recommended loadout for each choke point. As such, I was able to look at my loadout and my partner’s loadout and decipher the best place for us to hang out and fend off attackers. For someone as green as I am with multiplayer shooters, I was able to pull off more kills in my first few matches than I ever have during my brief career playing Modern Warfare 3.
Seasoned veterans to multiplayer most likely will not need this help, but even they would appreciate the maps of each area for each type of match.
Surprisingly enough, the Warfighter guide contained a few bonuses as well. The front of the book (not the back, which was unusual) contains over 20 pages of behind the scenes material, including information on each warfighter from around the world, a look at game developer Danger Close, the timeline of the Medal of Honor games, and a gorgeous collection of concept art. I didn’t keep my game, but I’m going to keep this guide for the concept art alone.
The Medal of Honor Warfighter strategy guide authors really had a limited playing field to work with for this guide, but they were able to compile a book ideal for a novice to the world of the first-person shooter, in both the campaign and multiplayer. It’s hard to recommend the guide when the game itself is so short, but if you’re in it mostly for the multiplayer, then the detailed maps alone will make it worth your purchase.