Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Goes Too Far

By John Walker on October 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Son, I'm sorry. Your father... your father is in Linkin Park.

Medal Of Honor: Warfighter began in stirring controversy, and seems to wade around in it. Boasting depictions of real-world conflicts, including those that are ongoing, it seems as much an attempt to test the limits of what will be tolerated in a modern war shooter as it is an attempt to follow up on last year’s dismal revival of the franchise. But perhaps this time they’ve gone too far. It’s hard to see how this will be countenanced. They’ve put Linkin Park in one of their trailers.

Again.

Beginning with a mother and son mourning their having the same haircut, the video is once again the rebellious anti-establishment punk rock band selling one of their songs as advertising to a major corporation. \m/ For the band it represents their demise from shouty-nu-punk, via being Bon Jovi with sore throats and a DJ, into something bland and generic enough that their aging fans know won’t wake the baby. The shouty man doesn’t even shout once.

Oh good grief, it’s so self-important I want to pull my own skin off. The plot appears to be that war is very noble and then you tell a kid that their dad is dead, the end. WINSTON CHURCHILL QUOTE. Now buy our album and our game.

There’s something about taking that horrendous moment – a moment that’s happening too often to people – and using it to sell your song and game, that sits so wrongly with me. Clearly it’s their attempt at demonstrating sincerity, but I can only detect sanctimoniousness. Good grief, it makes Green Day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends video look like it were directed by Lewis Milestone.

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177 Comments »

  1. belgerog says:

    Was that soldier wearing NV goggles during daytime there at 3:50?

  2. Synesthesia says:

    Um, i need some help and the internet doctor couldnt help me:

    how do i keep my ears and my dignity from falling off? Is there some cream EA sells or something?

  3. MordeaniisChaos says:

    …Seriously? This is far worse than I ever freaking expected. Not only do the lyrics not have ANYTHING TO DO WITH MILITARY SERVICE OR MILITARY ANYTHING and TOTALLY SHITTY, but you have that shit to advertise your crazy intense authentic military shooter? The hell? I don’t think your target audience is people who get teared up about military widows for the most part, so why the hell did you get a mopey song put to a video of children crying? You could have had someone do a catchy kinda folky piece that borrows from military cadences (“Gimme that old Marine Corps Spirit” is a verse that gives me goosebumps when it’s belted out of the right Leatherneck), with a video of guys blowing shit up and coming home to dogs and kids and wives going crazy with joy to see them. Not because war should be glorified and the bad things hidden, but because who the hell wants to buy this game because of some ugly old ass emo singing about a glass castle over and over? This is such a baffling move from the marketing out of EA… Remember BF3? That’s how you get people pumped up! Short, punchy trailers with some grinding, noisy tracks that hit hard and leave an impression.

  4. Brise Bonbons says:

    This is ridiculous and moronic for some very specific reasons: For example the juxtaposition of this kid crying about his dad’s death (which by itself in context of the music is, I’d say, neutral, if woefully heavy handed) with scenes from the videogame which we know to represent a gamespace where no “good soldier and father” ever dies permanently (unless they are fated to do so by the gods of the dramatic game narrative).

    I feel like the attempted poignancy of the music and kid/dad narrative – irrespective of whether it’s good or not – actually makes the game look more vapid and fake than it would otherwise.

    That’s my initial take, anyway. There are some great comments in this thread about music and war, exploitation of tragedy in marketing, and so on that I don’t even feel clever enough to reply to. But most startling to me is that however badly this music video might miss the mark, I’m confident the finished game won’t achieve even 1/100 of the basic human emotion of this marketing piece, because modern milshooters are almost fundamentally incapable of actually grappling with this sort of concept in any way but through a sappy cut scene.

  5. Branthog says:

    The problem I have with games that try to take the “our military actions in the middle east make for a difficult time, for these honorable peace-keeping heroes — now feel super sad and then we’ll go beat some brown-people ass!” is that, while my heart certainly goes out to fallen military persons and their families, I just see a guy coming to the door to tell a little kid and his family that his daddy died protecting Haliburton and KDR contractor assets in the middle east; not “yer daddy done protected FREEDOM”, which is how they portray it.

    Therefore, all of the military action — all the fighting — in the game itself, which is supposed to feel like “rah rah gettin’ revenge on the brown-man in the funny headwear!” stuff just falls flat and, actually, kind of is a little sickening.