It’s easy to get lost in the frenetic action of Battlefield 1943. Fighter planes engage in dogfights in the blue sky, bunkers crumble into rubble from artillery fire, tanks flatten unsuspecting soldiers. Developer Digital Illusions CE (DICE) have always captured the inherent chaos of war in their team-based games. And Battlefield 1943 is no exception.
Take the Fight to the Pacific in Battlefield 1943
The online shooter, available for download on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, drops a total of 24 combatants at a time in the middle of the Pacific Theater during World War II.
Players choose to join either the U.S. Marines or the Imperial Japanese Navy as the two sides battle for control of various strongholds scattered throughout the tropical locations – which are all modeled after real battle sites. The game is admittedly a revamped version of DICE’s first effort in the series, 2002’s Battlefield 1942, which was considered a revolution in online PC gaming at the time. Many who have already played that first title may feel there may not be much new in Battlefield 1943. But gamers would be mistaken for passing this title up.
Developer DICE Updates Its Classic Battlefield Experience
While the game features only three maps, all within the Pacific Theater and player classes have been reduced to just three (rifleman, infantryman, and scout), Battlefield 1943 feels like a worthy update of DICE’s WWII-themed classic.
The graphics, for one, have all been given the next-gen treatment. The lush island foliage, player models, water effects and vehicles all show off a nice, polished sheen. Fans who have played earlier Battlefield games will notice the improved eye candy in these beloved maps, especially on Wake Island.
Impressive environmental destruction is also a new addition to this remake, thanks to DICE’s Frostbite Engine which was utilized in 2008’s Battlefield: Bad Company.
Now, tank fire can bring down palm trees, a well-placed aerial bombardment can topple buildings, and machine gun fire can take out key hiding spots. The environmental damage certainly heightens the sense of real war immersion as well as change player tactics. Compared to its PC predecessors, Battlefield 1943 is also light years ahead in terms of accessibility. Joining a game, selecting a class, and engaging in the fight is a process that takes a matter of seconds. The stripped down menu system, simplified controls, and in-depth tutorial also help make things much easier for newcomers to the series.
For the most part, the overall gameplay has also adapted to modern standards. Player health, for instance, regenerates over time, making the medic class of previous games unnecessary.
But it still takes far too much ammo to take down an opponent, a marked difference from realistic shooters like Call of Duty 4. Flying also feels similarly anachronistic. While it can be a thoroughly exhilarating experience, steering a fighter plane still feels as awkward and haphazard as it did in the mouse and keyboard era of Battlefield 1942.
Early Launch Issues Threaten to Ground Battlefield 1943
As expected, Battlefield 1943 debuted July 8 to a huge response. But that popularity is also proving to be near-catastrophic for the game.
With server limits exceeded, players on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network have complained of crippling lag, random disconnections, and being shut out of joining a match entirely.
For their part, publisher EA and DICE say they are adding more servers to resolve the myriad of technical glitches. Despite these early launch hiccups, fans who decide to brave the problems and join the fray should be happy with what they find in Battlefield 1943.
Once the networking bugs have been ironed out, the value-priced $15 US download should be a no-brainer for fans of online and World War II shooters alike.