PS3 Reviews: Battlefield 1943 Review

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Battlefield 1943 Review

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Graphics:

 

8.5

Gameplay:

 

8.1

Sound:

 

7.7

Control:

 

8.4

Replay Value:

 

8.6

Online Gameplay:

 

9.0

Overall Rating:       8.3

 

 

Publisher:

EA

Developer:

DICE Stockholm

Number Of Players:

Unlimited

Genre:

FPS

There may come a day when we simply sit in a comfortable armchair, press a button a few times, and purchase the latest, greatest video game. Personally, I’m not looking forward to it (I’m one of the dinosaurs who believe a physical video game collection is far superior to digital files on a screen), but it certainly has its advantages. And if Battlefield 1943 is indicative of the quality we can expect from downloadable titles in the very near future, I won’t be complaining much. As I was a huge fan of Warhawk, I was excited to dive into DICE’s new multiplayer title and I was instantly surprised to behold the level of visual accomplishment and gameplay diversity. I do have a serious problem with the plane controls – it goes beyond “tricky” and is more annoying than anything else – and due to the typical lack of organization in random matches, you rarely get a chance to take advantage of the game’s many tactical maneuvers. That takes coordination and cooperation and because the voice chat can be a little iffy at times, battles often boil down to free-for-alls. Still, it’s a damn fun game and one hell of an experience for a downloadable title.

With the possible exception of Wipeout HD, you likely haven’t seen better graphics in a game that you downloaded from the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live Marketplace. Not only are each of the three maps colorful, nicely detailed, and generally pleasing to the eye, but the inherent destructibility is a huge bonus. Missiles and rockets will carve out craters in the earth, structures will explode and tumble, and even trees will fall beneath ammunition barrages. The best part is that such occurrences have a direct impact on the battlefield: you didn’t just blow up a cut-and-pasted building that disappears entirely; the rubble will most certainly be evident. Character modeling is only okay but what you see directly in front of you will always remain solid, refined, and technically impressive. There isn’t much in the way of graphical hitches and glitches (although you may spot a few during periods of hectic action, especially if you get blowed up real good), and it’s difficult to nitpick when you’re talking about a $15 game that takes all of 15 minutes to download. It does seem as if DICE uses a little too much color, though; it's almost comical to see the carnage so brightly depicted.

The sound isn’t quite as good, primarily because of the voice chat issues and the lack of balance between various sound effects. A rocket can either explode out of your speakers or simply hit with a dull “thunk” nearby; it may cause the same negative effect, but your ears will experience it differently. This is a common issue with online multiplayer games, although we’re not sure why… Anyway, the rest of the sound presentation is fine, and there are some aspects that really stand out- for instance, the cries of your comrades are clear, distinct, and diverse; they will yell when a grenade is headed your way, for example, and their voices over the radio sound authentic. The vehicles have the appropriate audio attached to them, and when you’re on the ground and the air raid alarms go off, you’ll actually be fearful. The first air strike that smashed into a capture point behind me actually made me jump…that’s good sound, right there. But again, it just isn’t consistent enough. If the developers could maybe address the stability of the sound with a future patch or something, that’d make the experience even more engrossing. Just a suggestion, DICE.

I referenced Warhawk in the intro and I will do so again here: if you’re at all familiar with Incognito’s excellent multiplayer title, you may wish to become an enlisted man in Battlefield 1943. It’s a similar setup: there are ground vehicles like jeeps and tanks, anti-air guns, and planes; all of which can be used by any player on the map. However, Warhawk fans should be forewarned that the planes in this game handle very differently, as DICE clearly wanted to implement a more simulated feel. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to gel well with the rest of the game’s atmosphere and we never really could get the controls down correctly. Although it takes a while to master flight in Warhawk, learning the controls takes a matter of minutes. But this gripe out of the way, we should also tell you that Battlefield 1943 has character classes that definitely add a whole new dimension to the action, and it’s a definite cornerstone of the gameplay. You can choose to be a Scout, Infantry man, or Rifleman, and each comes with his own set of default weapons and, oh yeah, infinite ammo. You won’t have to worry about running out of bullets or even rockets, and that injects more flavor into an already robust experience.

No, it doesn’t enhance the depth, but there’s enough of that with all the vehicles and squad strategies available. Furthermore, the victory conditions are unique to the Battlefield series: there will be capture points that both teams must attempt to nab and control, but the reinforcements meter acts as a health bar. In other words, the more times you die and respawn, the lower the meter will go and when all the reinforcements are exhausted, your side must accept defeat. Capture points can change hands quickly, too; because you can choose to respawn near any friendly checkpoint, you might find yourself in the midst of a pitched battle for the area. These points are clearly marked on your map, as are the various vehicles, which allows you to plan your assault accordingly. When you die and respawn, you can choose to play as one of the three aforementioned classes: the Scout has a sniper rifle and a pistol, the Rifleman has the classic M1 Garand rifle and an attachment for firing an explosive, and the Infantry soldier has a machine gun and a bazooka (great for use against tanks and structures). However, these weapons may alter depending on if you’re on the U.S. or Japanese side.

The voice chat issue reared its ugly head several times during our play experience, which got a little frustrating. Sometimes, you can hear everyone while other times, you can’t hear any of your squad mates. However, we assume this is a drawback that will soon be fixed, and in the meantime, it won’t take long to get your bearings. It just puts a major crimp in strategic planning so in random matches, you often find yourself on your own. The good news is that you can always respawn where your team is and you can even pop up in a vehicle, provided there’s room. Once you’re playing, you’ll be finding those special bunkers to launch air raids – bad-ass! – sniping from the bushes, rolling along in a tank, and securing and defending those valuable Capture points. The inclusion of those air-raids, which you do control, and the destructibility of the environment were highlights for us, as was being able to bail out of a plane. Sometimes, you might want to step into a plane just to get behind enemy lines; you can leap out and parachute your way down into the fray. We just wish that piloting those damn things was a little easier and not so freakin’ sensitive…it got to the point where we simply couldn’t use them reliably or effectively.

There are only three maps but each is large enough where you probably won’t lose interest all that quickly, and we expect more to arrive in due time. That’s the thing with online multiplayer games: the designers can continually build up on the base concept, and if we use Warhawk as an example, that game is drastically different now than it was when it first launched. Therefore, we have to take into consideration the growth potential of Battlefield 1943, and when we do, we see more maps, more classes, more gameplay features, and hopefully, more modes. This would expand on the current experience, but as it stands, it’s tough not to recommend for the measly price of $15. The action is fast-paced and diverse enough to please just about anyone who enjoys the online multiplayer world, the visuals are impressive, the atmosphere is engaging, and DICE keeps everything dynamic from the moment you start your first match to the time you decide to log off. There are a few little shortcomings that may or may not be addressed in the future, but there’s nothing that will significantly detract from your enjoyment. It’s a good time to release it, too, as we’re in the standard summer lull until the bigger titles start hitting store shelves this fall.

Bottom line- for the money, it’ll be a challenge to find something more entertaining than Battlefield 1943.

7/14/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

GuernicaReborn
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 10:14:50 PM
Reply

I thought it was interesting enough... Flying is much easier if you press up on the directional pad so you can see the whole plane. When I was flying in 1st person view I got all disoriented as soon as the horizon was out of view, and I'd crash every time.

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LightShow
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 10:16:46 PM
Reply

helluva lot of fun guys, and the way the ammo system works is nice, especially when rockets and grenades are involved. Hit me up PSN: Spaceraser

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Hezzron
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 10:25:57 PM
Reply

DLC.....not my favorite.

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Alienange
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 10:38:02 PM
Reply

It sounds like Battlefield Light to me. For the same money I can get Bad Company and get a full experience.

Still, I'm very glad to see some quality games on the PSN.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 11:50:48 PM

Gotta agree with you on this. I feel the pricing is right but there isn't enough content for me. I'm still playing BF2 after 4 years, god I love playing on a new map every week.

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Alienange
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 8:54:24 AM

<mouth drops open in shock>

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 12:10:20 AM
Reply


There's actually a 4th map too, which is "CORAL SEA".

But you can't unlock it until there has been "43 million community kills" confirmed on Dice's kill count timer, that was turned on last FRIDAY 7/10/09.

Something more to really shoot for, huh?

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 12:34:21 AM

4 maps compared to over 500 for BF2...ya.... :)

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 1:40:11 AM
Reply

@LV
The review only said 3 maps, so just saying there's one more awaiting the 43rd millionth cummunity kill. Tis all

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 1:44:06 AM

Oh my bad, didn't mean to take your words out of context. I'm surprised the 4th map is an unlock able. How long is 43 million community kills going to take? Seems like a hefty number.

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Alienange
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 8:55:53 AM

I wonder if there will be a special recognition to the player who gets that 43 millionth kill. That would be cool.

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chocoholic
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 9:06:54 AM

There is some special swag, the person who gets the 43 millionth kill wins a pair of official 1943 sunglasses, a 1943 t-shirt, and custom Battlefield sneakers or something like that.

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Alienange
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 9:30:22 PM

Nice!

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Qubex
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 4:04:23 AM
Reply

It was a refreshing experience for a little while, after that I just yearn for the technical beaut that is KZ2... see doesn't matter about the price that much; I just feel so comfortable playing KZ2, it feels natural... the way the soldiers run and move, timing etc... I just get a better feeling...

I think Battlefield is still fun though for the time I played it...

Q!

"i am home"

Last edited by Qubex on 7/15/2009 4:05:23 AM

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www
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 4:44:09 AM
Reply

This game is everywhere!

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WigSplasher
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 6:12:55 AM
Reply

this game is great for 15.00 bucks... i remember back in the day when 1942 shipped and i didn't have a good enough rig to play it... this is kinda like playing 1942 for me. not really, actually, but still, let me think that. :P

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 3:13:47 PM
Reply

Chocoholic is right about the prize package, it's a custom pair of 1943 Battlefield sunglasses, a custom 1943 Battlefield t-shirt, and a custom pair of 1943 Battlefield sneakers.(I think they should've also added into the package, 1 free new Dice game for life too, but that's just me)LOL

FYI: There are 2 separate winner's for whomever gets the 43rd millionth community kill, one winner for the 360, and one winner for the PS3.

BTW, it's now Wednesday, at about 4:08PM (EST) as I'm posting this, the xbox already has already gotten their 43 millionth kill & have a winner(it only took 5 days). The Xbox winner was Xbox live user, James (jkasapi) from Peterborough, England.
And dice's "kudo" to him is here: http://www.battlefield1943.com/blog/battlefield-1943s-43000000th-killer

The PS3 kill count now stands at "27295952" kills on the PS3's timer.
And I think we should have our own winner by about this coming Monday.

All the info on on un-locking the Coral Sea map
http://www.battlefield1943.com/coral-sea

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BeezleDrop
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 5:07:56 PM
Reply

Actually I believe the sound is some of the best in a shooter period.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, July 16, 2009 @ 2:35:00 PM
Reply

As of 3:30 PM (EST) Wednesday 7/16/09,
The Playstation 3 "community kills" timer is now at 31858340.

So that's only about 1.1+ million more to go to unlocking the 4th map, Coral Sea.

I've now revised my thinking, and that it will be unlocked sometime Sunday morning.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/16/2009 2:36:02 PM

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furbiesmustdie
Saturday, July 18, 2009 @ 9:59:42 AM
Reply

"Bottom line- for the money, it’ll be a challenge to find something more entertaining than Battlefield 1943."
one word: Warhawk.
p-w-n-d

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JPBooch
Thursday, July 23, 2009 @ 4:05:13 PM
Reply

The three maps get a little boring after about an hour and I feel like I'm playing retro BF:BC. Aside from that, it's not a bad game.

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