Posted by Tim on July 10, 2009

Battlefield: 1943 Review

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Battlefield: 1943

Developer: DICE

Copy Reviewed: PSN version

1235323533_bf1943-logoIf we have learned anything from this generation of video games, is that most games live and die by online play. Since the advent of online gaming for consoles, the added dimension of being able to pick up a controller and play multiplayer games with people from across the globe has become a staple in the minds of many gamers. Luckily for Battlefied: 1943, online gaming is kind of its thing. This little downloadable game can hold its own in the world of online play. While there is only one game mode, DICE has produced a dandy of a game in this WWII pacific iteration of the Battlefield series.

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People who played Battlefield: Bad Company will quickly recognize that 1943 is a simplified version of the game. The game play, controls, and maps are all very similar, only with older weapons and the only game mode is Conquest, a capture and hold orientated game. The game is a basic 24 player match. Players are given the option of being on one of two sides: the US Marines, or the Japanese Imperial Navy, and also the choice of three classes: infantry, rifleman, and scout. Within each team players can split up into squads of four.

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There are three maps in the game, and each map has five capture and hold points. There are many types of vehicles, from tanks, planes, and boats, that will quickly transport players between each C&H flag. Each class has unique perks which add strategy for each team. For example, rifleman have anti-tank weapons, while infantry have anti-personnel weapons. There are also anti-air guns to shoot down planes and stationary machine guns to mow down advancing enemies, both can be found on top of bunkers and around the bases. Snipers will also find many towers and thick foliage to find excellent and strategic sniping spots.

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As mentioned earlier, within each team, players can join up in squads of four. A squad adds the benefit of easy communication between squad-mates, and other squad members can spot-spawn on the squad leader. At the end of each game, a stats menu lists the best squad for that game, as well as the top players and individual stats. There are also class rankings and stamps that are awarded for completing a variety of goals. This adds extra incentive to diversify your style of play and to keep coming back for more.

Those who are familiar with Battlefield games know that vehicles are a huge part of each game and the same can be said in 1943. While the boats are really only useful in transporting, tanks, jeeps and planes are very useful in mounting attacks. There is also an air support system where one player can control three bombers to take out an enemy stronghold.

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1943 doesn’t contain a lot of variety, but the things the game does, it does well. However, there is not an absence of error either. Currently there is some server problems and communication often breaks down between squad mates.

While hopefully this problem gets resolved, it certainly is frustrating for people playing the game at launch. Additionally, creating a squad can be a bit of a hassle. The only way you can join a squad is from the main menu, making it impossible to switch mid game. It is also difficult to join a friend who is in game, and there is no guarantee you will join the same team. There is no communication between other players outside your squad, so forget about smack talking. Additionally making private games are difficult as you need 16 friends in order to start a game. These difficulties make joining up with friends frustrating, and take away from the online experience.

Although some joining of friends issues can annoy, the overall experience you get with Battlefield: 1943 is very good. DICE has shown that even a simple downloadable online only game can hold its own in the world of online gaming. There is enough going on to add a good amount of strategy. The three classes and different vehicles allow players to diversify their methods of attack. Joining up in squads adds significant advantages. The class ranking and stamp achievements add a lot of incentive to this game. DICE has produced a fantastic game in this version of the Battlefield series, one that even online savvy players will find very enjoyable.

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