At a glance multiplayer Warfighter appears to be a running with the tried and tested formula of team based combat. After a few matches you will start to see that this is not entirely the case. Pay attention and the class selection screen, match commentary and post match animations reveal the conceit. All the teams here are made up of Tier 1 Special Forces operatives and the match you are playing is setup as if it were some kind of live fire training exercise. Thankfully this doesn’t affect the actual gameplay in any negative way, it’s not paintball or lasertag, you are still ‘killing’ your opponents but as a wrapper for the game it makes a lot of sense. When selecting your forces your chosen model will swagger off with some smart arse comment like “Stand back boys, I’ve got this” or “For Queen and country”. The swagger doesn’t end there; the post round scoreboard doesn’t show the last kill, it shows the highest scoring players, strutting about, soaking up the glory.
Match commentary really completes the setup; a cross between the televised voiceover of Unreal Tournament and a sports pundit. Talk of having men remaining and how the away team need one more point to stay in the match sets the scene very well and I found the whole concept, including the ridiculous amount of swagger, quite endearing.
The match we played was Home Run, an attack and defend capture the flag game mode. The map is fairly small and asymmetric with two flags. The attacking team only needs to grab one flag and deliver it to their base to win. On the map we played the flag closest to the attacking team’s spawn was considerably easier to defend adding an element of risk and reward to the games. Every round was over very quickly with sides switching after five rounds to make up a ten round match. This is the point where the ultimate swagger came in. When swapping side you see the two teams strut past each other as they switch spawns. While I’m sure this will do nothing for some players I appreciated the idea.
I guess I find the idea of training to be the best of the best more believable than fighting an actual war.