Battlefield 1943

Battlefield 1943 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Battlefield 1943 takes players back to WWII. The game offers endless hours of 24 player multiplayer action.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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Just what do you expect from a £10 downloadable title on Xbox LIVE or PSN? Games like Geometry Wars 2 might not be bursting at the seams with content, but the pure arcade gameplay and handful of game modes are enough to make it perfect for some binge gaming when there's nothing else to do. But what about a budget-priced Battlefield 1942 follow-up from FPS king DICE? What amount of content and features should a gorgeous looking downloadable shooter have, and with genre heavyweights monopolising practically every online gamer, is a cheap price enough to tempt any of them away?

Being an XBLA/PSN release, 1943 isn't nearly as feature or content rich as you might expect from an online first-person shooter. For your money (around £10) you get a proper Battlefield experience (on-foot combat and lots of vehicles), but only three maps (plus a soon to be unlocked fourth). These are pretty big maps though, with support for up to 12 versus 12 matches. There's also a solid ranking system that awards you over time with new badges and medals. Despite this there's a sense that this is a Battlefield game that's been trimmed of all the fat, leaving behind only the pure team-based gameplay. It's not perfect, seeing as there are plenty of features missing that fans will have wanted, but it's good, accessible fun for console gamers.

By far the biggest issue many will have with 1943 is the single game type. The base capture mode that sees the US and Japanese fight over five bases across each map will be familiar to many, and it's an ideal set-up for large-scale fights, but that’s all you get. The more bases your team controls, the faster the enemy's re-spawn ticker depletes, until eventually it's victory or game over. Perhaps wanting more game modes in a game that costs £10 is asking for too much, and the four maps (eventually) seems good value, but we fear the lack of options could hurt long-term appeal.

On foot the combat feels Bad Company-like, which is no bad thing really. There's a class structure in place, with Rifleman, Infantry and Scout selectable from the Enlist menu. The Rifleman carries a rifle and anti-infantry weapons; Infantry are your general grunts, carrying short range weapons and heavy tank destroying RPGs; and Scouts are your long-range specialists, equipped with sniper rifles and demolition tools should you get close to your target. It's worth noting that there's no character customisation at all here. You choose your class and that's it. If you've spent any time playing a recent Call of Duty or any other FPS that allows you to kit out your character as you see fit, this strict set of options will likely feel somewhat restrictive, but remember this isn't a full-price title.

Controlling air raids is good fun

Controlling air raids is good fun

Battlefield 1943 isn't just about on-foot combat, though, with ground, air and sea battles in vehicles being a key component of the gameplay. Vehicles add some much needed variety to the gameplay, with jeeps and tanks for use on the ground, planes to fly around in, boats to ferry men into battle on, and fixed anti-air turrets to man if you're feel like playing as a sitting duck. There's the usual problem of other players jumping into vehicles when they spawn and not waiting around for passengers, but the four-man squad system means that you're always going to be with a few like-minded players who are trying to complete the same objectives as you – should you choose to use the system.

After a few teething problems to do with the servers being over-populated we're glad to report than 1943 is running well online. Even in full 24-player matches the lag has been hardly noticeable. As expected there's the option to play online with friends or you can hop straight into a match through the Quick Match option. Award hunters can view all the medals and badges earned through success online, and the worldwide leaderboards are available to show how you compare with the best in the world.

Visually it's comparable to retail releases

Visually it's comparable to retail releases

Judged against all games, Battlefield 1943 would stand up well, but as a downloadable title it's among the best looking we've ever seen. Built on the same Frostbite engine that powered DICE's Battlefield Bad Company (and the forthcoming sequel), this World War II FPS could easily pass as a full price retail release. The maps are massive, the draw distance is impressive, the frame rate holds steady, there's building destruction (although not nearly on par with Red Faction: Guerrilla) and the whole thing is colourful. It might sound strange to be complimenting a WW2 shooter for its use of colour, but considering we get so many dull grey and brown games, 1943's blue skies and green hills make for a welcome change.

Despite the lack of game modes and a bare bones class system, Battlefield 1943 differs enough from the competition to make it a worthwhile alternative to the likes of CoD, Halo, Gears of War, Killzone 2, Resistance and the rest. Presumably EA will extend the game with premium map packs, but to keep gamers away from rival games it'll need to expand the backbone too. As it stands Battlefield 1943 is like an FPS starter kit, designed to get people playing without too many barriers to entry. With a new character class system, extra game modes and a heap of new maps, 1943 could end up being the true sequel fans have been waiting for.

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User Comments

FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Liz4671

It's available to buy on the PlayStation Network or XBox Live Marketplace
Posted 12:36 on 30 July 2011
Liz4671's Avatar

Liz4671

Where do i buy the game ?
Posted 19:53 on 29 July 2011
clangod's Avatar

clangod

Hope you can get it sorted pb. I don't like the idea of a few games constituting a download worth 10 pound though. I'm guessing you'll be left with significant XBL points afterward right?

I ended up on 1943 at about 5am this morning. Between the normal island levels and the Air Superiority level it seemed that most of the players were all newbies. I was getting mega kill scores and that rarely happens (I average about 17 kills). It was quite fun for a while. But of course as people left/ connected, the game ramped up a bit and became much more challenging.
Posted 09:51 on 04 February 2010
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie@ altaranga

I was hoping to be on last night but the missus is unwell. Maybe some tomorrow night if any one is about?
Posted 09:44 on 04 February 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Yeah, It's money. If I trade a few games I suppose I can get an XBL points card in Gamestation at some point.
Posted 09:37 on 04 February 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod@ pblive

Is it a question of money (as in buying it twice)? Seems a small price to pay to enjoy it on both platforms. I say go for it.

Meanwhile, I play only on PSN as I do not yet own a 360.
Posted 09:31 on 04 February 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

I'm still debating getting this on 360 as well as PSN so I can play everyone rather than just my PS3 friends.
Posted 09:06 on 04 February 2010
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ CheekyLee

Dude, I saw you online but didn't realise you wanted a game. You should've dropped me a message. I was played BF1943 last night with my bro.

I pinged FM too but he didn't reply (as far as I'm aware). Maybe next time, eh? :)
Posted 08:48 on 04 February 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

Eeek! VG.com tag-team BF43? The sole time I was ever in a communicating squad (with Altaranga and his bro) was easily the most enjoyable time I have had in the game. If people are online, I hope to be around later.
Posted 19:55 on 03 February 2010
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga

I hope to be online later if you want to hook up. 8ish?
Posted 18:07 on 03 February 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

Best $19.95 I ever spent.
Posted 18:04 on 03 February 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu

This game is reaaly really good like...very good but not as good as some other games which i like better than this game which is good but not too good to be as or more gooder than some games which i like better :D
Posted 17:00 on 03 February 2010
robz48's Avatar

robz48

I would join you, let me know when you will be playing.
Posted 16:55 on 03 February 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

That sounds cool Altaranga. EOTScott is my general running gaming partner and I'm sure he'll be up for it.
Posted 15:16 on 03 February 2010
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ FantasyMeister

Squads are great fun to be in. You get to respawn with your team-mates; discuss where enemies are; double up in tanks and jeeps; while one is doing an air raid another watches the shelter. There are a few of us on here who own the game so let me know if you wanna create a mini-team one evening.
Posted 15:08 on 03 February 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Battlefield 1943
8
Out of 10
Battlefield 1943
  • Looks great
  • Land, air and sea vehicles
  • Only one game mode
  • Limited class system
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 08/07/2009
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: D.I.C.E
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-24
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,657 26
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