Battlefield 1943 Review

Written by Mark Mackay

July 16, 2009 | 11:47

Tags: #battlefield #battlefield-1943 #multiplayer #preview #world-war-2

Companies: #dice-interactive

Gameplay

The most difficult part of writing this review is avoiding the temptation of talking about how utterly inadequate the PS3 controller is for a fast-paced, multiplayer-only FPS such as Battlefield 1943. After attempting a paragraph or two we decided that there simply isn’t words to describe such inadequacy in the English language. You'll just have to infer our frustration from our guttural yells of annoyance - you can hear them from where you are, right? We're yelling about how inaccurate the thumbsticks feel and the desperate need for more buttons - but that's by no means a fault exclusive to Battlefield 1943.

In Battlefield 1943, a big emphasis has been placed on creating a good system for setting up and working in squads, but working in a team isn't something you have to get involved in if you don't want. When you start the game you can select whether to join the game as a lonesome Rambo or in an open squad. Adjustments to your squad are made from the in-game menu, which can only be accessed when you’re alive and in the field.

The downside of this is of course is that while you’re inviting people on your friends list to your squad, you’re getting the crap pummelled out of you by everything from samurai swords to spitfires - there are the usual flotilla of vehicles in 1943, from dinghies to bi-planes that you can parachute out of. Hopefully the PC version will take advantage of its superior control system and allow squad adjustments to be made using a quick flitting of the keyboard.

*Battlefield 1943 Review Battlefield 1943 Gameplay and Conclusions
Click to enlarge

To take advantage of the customisable squad options you can set particular flags on the level map as either defensive points or offensive points for your team to focus on. These clear markers allow your squaddie chums to clearly see where to concentrate their efforts, which is a useful tool to starting down the road to victory - but by no means an assurance of success. You need to be quick on the trigger, as well as with the tactics.

The subject of roads leads us to the subject of vehicles, of which there's no shortage in the game. Each level has it's share of tanks,jeeps and aeroplanes - any of which can be nabbed at the press of a button. The vehicles are more useful on some maps than others though. For example, the Guadalcanal map is a large island with highly variable terrain which forces you to rely on using planes or jeeps rather than tanks or boats.

Playing on public servers can be an issue sometimes though, with anonymous players proving all to happy to jump into a landrover and gun it off into the distance, leaving you wishing you could patch in an engineer from Team Fortress 2 to teleport you to the combat zone. Overall though, the vehicles bring a great sense of pace and variation to the game, which is much-needed thanks to the meagre selection of player classes. If the novelty of spending some time boom-shotting people from a distance is wearing thin then a quick swoop around in a spitfire should give your nose a relief from the jars of urine building up next to you.

*Battlefield 1943 Review Battlefield 1943 Gameplay and Conclusions
Click to enlarge

Graphically the game is obviously limited by the console hardware and the game as a whole suffers because of it. Every straight line is ruined by jaggies and the texture detail is limited, to say the least. The slightly cartoony design style is pretty cool though, and most of the guys on the bit-tech team liked the way the game looked despite it being a far cry from Crysis.

*Battlefield 1943 Review Battlefield 1943 Gameplay and ConclusionsBecause of the check-point, conquest-style game play, cooperation plays a large part in not only winning a map but also the amount of fun that’s involved in playing. For this reason the best games to be had are in a team of people that you know and using voice comms.

If you’re a fan on the Battlefield series then you should get a kick out of Battlefield 1943. It’s a fast-paced Battlefield conquest game with improved balance, better squad functionality and a few expanded features like destructible buildings. It's just a shame that the console controllers fail to convey the required sense of movement or accuracy that would let us appreciate the game properly - the game would just be massively improved by the introduction of a keyboard and mouse set-up.

All in all though, Battlefield 1943 is a fairly solid, if somewhat unremarkable game. It's essentially just Battlefield 1942 given the supermodel treatment - that is, it's been tarted up and dumbed down a bit. If taking a dump in the forest and wiping with pine cones isn’t enough to satisfy your commando urges then this game might just do the job, though you may equally be tempted to just hold off for a PC version or get stuck in to a proper FPS.

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