Battlefield 1943 is the new downloadable Arcade game from Electronic Arts, It is available now on the Playstation 3 for £9.99 and the Xbox 360 for 1200 Microsoft Points with a PC version due out at a later date.
The Battlefield series returns to its roots for this cut down game, back to World War 2 and more specifically the battles that were fought in the Pacific between the US Marines and the Japanese. There are 3 maps at launch; Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Wake Island. These maps were completely rebuilt to fit the reduced number of players (24) in a match. A fourth map called Coral Sea is released when the whole community reaches 43 million kills on each platform, whilst the three standard maps are playable in the usual capture the flag mode called Conquest mode which is the Battlefield norm.
There are many different vehicles to use including jeeps, boats, tanks and planes as well as the mounted AA guns that shred through planes like there's no tomorrow, just watch out for the scouts that seem to fester each map. If you enjoyed calling in the artillery in Battlefield Bad Company you will love the new addition to this game when activated from the bunker, you can control a squadron of three heavy bombers getting them to drop their load onto enemy positions.
Coral Sea is different; it appears on the main menu under the option Air Superiority and is in all senses a Dog Fighting map. You spawn on an aircraft carrier and either take control of one of the two air defence guns or hop into one of the attack planes that continuously spawn on the runway of the ship and try to shoot down as many of the enemy as you can. The plane controls take a while to get used to and lining up an enemy in your sights is tricky, But after a while it becomes easier and you'll be strafing the decks of the enemy carrier with machine gun fire as you line yourself up for a bombing run with ease. I strongly recommend playing the Tutorial level which is found in the options to hone your flying skills before engaging in air to air combat.
The number of Playable Classes has been reduced to three, Rifleman, Scout and Infantry each of these is explained below and can be swapped mid game by ransacking a recently deceased corpse and picking up its kit.
Infantry; this is your Anti Tank Class, armed with a Submachine Gun, Anti Tank Weapon (Bazooka), Wrench and Grenades. As well as hitting people over the head the wrench is used to fix vehicles in the field.
Rifleman; this is your Soldier Class, Armed with a Rifle, Bayonet, Rifle Grenades and Normal Grenades. They excel at ground combat
Scout. This is your Sniper Class, armed with a Scoped Rifle, Pistol, Melee Weapon and Explosives. They are experts at ERC (Extreme Range Combat) and Guerrilla Tactics.
There is no need for the medic and support classes now as ammo and health regenerate when not in combat. This doesn't apply to vehicles so keeping an infantry person nearby is very useful.
The Stats and Award system returns although instead of receiving medals and ribbons you collect postcard and stamps. Post cards seem to be awards given over a lifetime career such as play 100 matches, whilst the Stamps are all Round Based e.g. kill 4 people in a round. These can be tracked via the My Soldier section of the Battlefield 1943 website.
The Game uses the Frostbite Graphics engine which featured in the previous game Battlefield Bad Company and allows you to completely destroy the buildings and terrain. If an enemy is hiding in a building just bring it down with the tank he conveniently left outside. The Game has a certain beauty about it before the devastation begins and I occasionally caught myself thinking this would make a nice holiday destination with its golden sands, crystal clear water and tank traps.
All in all I found this game very enjoyable and good value for money and it is an excellent title for purchase if you're looking for something to kill the summertime blues or waste away the hours of your school holidays.
It well deserves the 9/10 mark that I award it and it is only let down by a few graphical glitches. I played over 40 matches and only discovered them 3 times. The game could also have done with one of two more maps taking advantage of the Air Superiority mode but apart from that this is a very solid addition to the marketplace that was a very enjoyable experience to play and one I will be returning to again and again.
See you on the Battlefield Soldiers.