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Medal of Honor: Warfighter preview – Hands-on the single-player campaign

We’ve been waiting to get our hands on the early levels of developer Danger Close’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The cinematic campaign puts you back in your combat boots with Voodoo, Preacher, and adds some new faces to the Medal of Honor series, arming you with the best modern weapons and equipment available to Tier 1 operators. But it seems there’s more to Warfighter’s campaign than the standard infantry cover-shooting. Players will be able to get behind the wheel during a tense car chases, control unmanned combat drones, and get their hands on some high-powered weaponry.

The first level, called Hot Pursuit, didn’t involve gunfire or exploding grenades whatsoever. Preacher (from Medal of Honor 2010) and his team are tailing a terrorist informant when their target is suddenly assassinated. The assailant attempts to escape through the crowded streets of Karachi, Pakistan in a truck, and you must give chase. The driving isn’t the typical on-rails segment that has you sit in the passenger seat and shoot out enemy tires; this time you’re the driver.

Driving through the Karachi streets and alleyways filled with pedestrians, merchant carts, and traffic feels like it was pulled straight out of a chase scene from an action movie. You’ll crash into street carts and crates, sending debris flying over your hood, and more than likely sideswipe a few cars as you try to ram the bad guy off the road. Controlling the truck has a fairly realistic feel to it: You’ll start to drift as you speed through turns, but not to the point of losing complete control. Once we caught up to the assassin, a clean pit maneuver sent his truck into a crippling slow-mo crash, to which the mission was ended with us opening his driver door and giving him a swift punch to the face.

We were also able to play through the entire Shore Leave mission (which was shown in previous MOH trailers). You play the level as Stump, a new face introduced for Warfighter. The special ops team gets dropped in Somalia, where they’re sent to assist US forces in combat with an army of insurgents. This level plays out more like you’d expect a typical military style shooter would. Enemy fire comes from all directions and you’ll have to take cover, fire off a few pot shots, and toss grenades ‘til all the threats are eliminated. The action is balanced with set-pieces that change up the pace, or just let us watch a spectacle of explosions after calling in a massive airstrike.

In one section, we took control of a remote-controlled robot, armed with a machine gun and grenade launcher. The sequence was relatively short, taking only a few minutes before our robot met its (definitely scripted) death. Then it was back on foot, as we fought our way through war-torn alleyways and disabled .50 caliber machine gun mounted pickup trucks.

The last section of the level had our character Stump and Voodoo climb to the top of a building overlooking pinned down American soldiers and attacking terrorists. The two set up a sniping position with Voodoo playing spotter and Stump taking the rifle. Voodoo spotted the main threats (the guys holding RPGs), forcing you to have to act quickly to take them out. Once the enemies holding the explosive ordinance were dealt with, a pair of attack helicopters swooped in and blew the insurgents to oblivion.

From what we’ve seen of the Medal of Honor: Warfighter campaign, it’s full of intense shooter action--but there are definitely moments that change the pace so there isn’t too much shooter overkill. We’re interested to see how the rest of the campaign holds up, but we’ll have to wait and see when Medal of Honor: Warfighter hits store shelves on October 23 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Interested in Medal of Honor: Warfighter's multiplayer? The beta starts October 5, and we will be livestreaming it on Friday morning at 11 AM PT. Join us in our Medal of Honor: Warfighter multiplayer beta livestream to get all the details on the new modes, classes and more.

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