To create your free account, please enter your email address and password below. Please ensure your email is correct as you will recieve a validation email before you can login.
To log in to your account, please enter your email address and password below:
To reset your password, please enter your email address below and we will send you a link to reset it.
DICE rummages around in its closet and comes up with Battlefield 1943 - EA gives us the heads-up treatment...
Hardcore Battlefield fans may have been justifiably miffed when Bad Company was released last year. Initially there was a public outcry when it became apparent that a Conquest mode wouldn't ship with the game, with DICE quickly asserting that the mode would be made available via DLC after release. The game itself, on the other hand, was a clear move away from the multiplayer centric Battlefield 2, a title that only ever sat comfortably on the PC despite the Modern Combat console spin-offs. To compensate for a PC market of swiftly diminishing returns, DICE's Bad Company was a console game with an emphasis on the single-player campaign and, while the game still retained the foundations of a Battlefield experience, we certainly felt that it lacked the unique Battlefield touches of old (particularly in its multiplayer game).
A little sympathy had to be spared for PC gamers who set up their own game servers on Battlefield 2, were members of a disciplined and deadly squad, or spent hours collecting all the illusive medals and awards that the PC game made you fight so hard for. Had DICE forgotten its loyal PC gamer fan-base by releasing Bad Company only on next-gen consoles? Wherever you stand on this debate, EA's recent announcement of Battlefield 1943 must have been a relief to Battlefield fans who are loyal to the PC platform - not only would this downloadable XBLA and PSN game be coming to PC as well, but it would also hark back to the original Battlefield 1942 that rethought the way we play multiplayer FPS games online.
Surrender, Surrender, But Don't Give Yourself Away
Unlike its predecessor, Battlefield 1943 is designed as an instantly accessible portal for multiplayer FPS action. Although Battlefield 1942 may seem dated and simplistic by modern standards, as an online multiplayer shooter its depth was unparalleled in its day. Battlefield 2, on the other hand, was brimming with depth as a multiplayer FPS, to the point that few military shooters have surpassed its sheer scale and attention to detail. With this in mind, it certainly looks like EA DICE won't be emulating this level of depth in battlefield 1943 - a game which EA informs us will be a mere 350MB download and offers no more than three soldier classes and three maps to fight across.
The three maps will be Wake Island, Iwo Jima, and Guadalcanal. Our hands on was with Wake Island, which presents the same horseshoe configuration of islands that gamers might remember from the original Battlefield 1942 game, although the visuals will be anything but familiar to fans of the series. Battlefield 1943 uses a much brighter spectrum of colours than we've become used to in the traditionally bleak looking military FPS genre, perhaps representative of the fact that DICE is clearly opting for a game that doesn't take itself too seriously. To say that BF 1943 was like EA's as yet unreleased Battlefield: Heroes game would be inaccurate, as BF 1943 doesn't stray anywhere near as close to the casual game boundary, but we'd suggest that at least the colour scheme is more than a mere coincidence.
While there are no comic style cel-shaded visuals on show in BF 1943, with DICE clearly painting realistic looking environments and character models, there was definitely something a bit cartoony about a few of the vehicles we saw during our hands on. This was particularly the case with the planes we piloted, which definitely had a small and bulbous feel to them that appeared a bit more cute than menacing. Planes, by the way, are one of a number of vehicles that can be commandeered in BF 1943. As has been a staple of BF games, if you can see it then you can use it, which includes everything from tanks to landing craft, and AA guns to fighter planes.
For fans of destructable environments, DICE has squeezed the benefits of its Frostbite engine into the small download size of BF 1943. Similarly to BF: Bad Company though, this makes for bizarre inconsistencies in exactly which objects can be destroyed and others that will remain curiously rooted to the spot. For example, the concrete walls of aircraft hangers and even whole bridges will crumble to the ground under rocket fire, and yet a simple iron mesh fence will stay standing regardless of how much firepower you throw at it, but at least there's some hardcore tech at work behind this easy-going shooter.
Soldier classes retain BF 1943's vein of simplicity over substance, with Infantry, Rifleman, and Scout being the three classes on offer. The Infantry class is aimed at players who employ an aggressive run-and-gun style over the intricacies of stealth and tactical play. Armed with a fairly inaccurate sub-machine gun, a bazooka, and the ability to fix vehicles, Infantry will be the one-stop shop for gamers who don't want to think too hard about exactly how they kill the enemy. Rifleman, on the other hand, will hold semi-automatic rifles as their main weapon (M1 Garands on the US side). However, they also get a load-out of grenades and a nifty grenade launcher extension for the rifle, making them deadly for mid-range attack.
As always, misanthropic hardcore gamers will be best served with the sniper option, which in BF 1943 comes under the Scout class. This class comes decked-out with a sniper rifle (obviously), pistol, melee weapon (a samurai sword on the Japanese side), and a good stock of dynamite that can be planted as a booby trap. By incorporating a regenerative ammo and health system, DICE has minimised the need for classes such as Medic and it'll be interesting to see how Battlefield fans respond to this. It may be streamlined and accessible, but we'll have to wait and see whether DICE has sacrificed too much gameplay depth in order to achieve this.
Bombs On The Run
Perhaps the most original feature that we spotted in BF 1943 was the bombing runs. Initiated whenever you manage to get your character hunkered down in one of the level's bunkers, these bombing runs see players taking control of a squadron of three bombers which are o their way to the island. Players can control the direction of these bombers from the aerial view, although the planes aren't particularly responsive and you'll have to line up the right trajectory long before you reach the island. Then it's simply a case of dropping your payload on an enemy base to rain hell from above - it's pretty addictive and equally satisfying.
Incorporating squad play for up to 4 players across adversarial multiplayer clashes of up to 24 players, there certainly should be some hefty scuffles in this overactive Battlefield incarnation (just don't expect any unlockable weapons, perks, or awards for your heroic actions). Interestingly, Conquest Mode will be the only game mode that ships with BF 1943 (the game won't have a single-player constituent either), although EA is still unsure whether the PC game will release at the same time as the XBLA and PSN versions. Currently, the publisher could only tell us that it is "aiming" to release the PC game alongside the console downloads.
Battlefield 1943 certainly won't offer the sort of depth that fans of the series have become used to in previous Battlefield games, but what it will do is cater for gamers who want a quick pick-up-and-play experience of DICE's legendary franchise - a Battlefield hors d'œuvre if you will.
TVG Store - Finding you the cheapest price for: