Medal of Honor: Warfighter preview - Tier 1 goes global in Danger Close's sequel

Medal of Honor: Warfighter, EA and Danger Close's military FPS, started as a "vent book." Two Tier 1 Operators named Kevin and Nate (we were only given their first names) wrote down their frustrations over failed operations around the world and the bureaucracy that kept them from going on the missions the operatives thought they should go on. A few years ago they took this manuscript to EA's Greg Goodrich, producer on the Medal of Honor series, who used it as an inspiration for Warfighter.

Because when two Tier 1 Operators hand you a book filled with their angry ramblings, you damn well better make a game out of it.

Above: Watch those corners and stay frost(bite 2.0)y

The locations, mood, and stories were used for the game, which plans to take players around the world fighting against enemies in a wide variety of locations - a large departure from 2010's Medal of Honor, which focused solely on an operation in Afghanistan. Beyond telling a more compelling story, traveling around fighting a terrorist threat makes for a more varied experience, and we had a chance to see that in action during an event at GDC. The mission we saw took place in the Philippines, where Abu Sayyaf (the terrorist organization that serves as the main antagonist in Warfighter) had taken aid workers hostage. This already makes for a more interesting location than the mountains of Afghanistan, but even more alluring was the storm. The mission took place in the middle of a typhoon, meaning that just about every building we saw was slowly filling up with water.

And it looked awesome, mostly thanks to the Frostbite 2.0 engine. Running on DICE's engine gives Warfighter two things: wonderful visuals that are comparable to what we saw last year with Battlefield 3, and destructible environments that are second to none.The Tier 1 Operative fought through the building, wading in waist-deep water, and switching between various scopes on his weapon on the fly. It had a definite Medal of Honor look to it, albeit with a Battlefield 3 taste, and that's not a bad thing. Every so often he'd come to a door, and standing next to it offered the option to breach it. These aren't your typical scripted door breaches, though - the player can choose how he wants to break into the room, either by throwing a flashbang in, kicking it down, or planting C4 on and giving the enemies an explosive surprise.

Above: Check out our interview with one of the producers

Once he'd cleared out the building, the Operative grabbed the hostages and threw them onto boats before riding out of the city, blasting apart enemies with a grenade launcher along the way. Buildings crumbled as they were struck by explosives, and the environment, on the whole, was extremely cool. After escaping they were picked up by helicopters, bringing the Operatives and the hostages to safety. This sort of thing is a fairly common occurrence according to Danger Close, who says that the game's missions will parallel actual events. While they're not "ripped from the headlines," they're absolutely inspired by them.

But singleplayer is only half of the experience. Going toe-to-toe with Call of Duty means bringing a complete package, and Danger Close is definitely prepared to stay competitive. While most details are still under wraps, Danger Close did confirm that all work on the multiplayer would be completed in-house, as opposed to 2010's method of splitting duties between the developer and DICE. Goodrich also said that the game would feature Tier 1 Operatives from around the world, pitting special forces from America against British SAS, German KSK, and Polish GROM against each other.

Above: Warfighter looks to rise above the call of duty on the battlefield

He explained that the developer knows that children in Germany don't grow up wanting to be US special forces - they want to be KSK, and Danger Close wants to let players fight as their "home team," just like they can in FIFA. Except, obviously, they then kill the other home teams with guns, so it's a little different.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter is due out on October 23 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Stay tuned for more information as we get it.

Hollander Cooper

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.