Battlefield 1943 Review

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Gamers rarely seem to be happy with the price of new games, but every once in a while, something comes out that we all just shut up and buy. Battlefield 1943, the latest in DICE’s series of multiplayer FPS’s, came in at the super budget price of 1200 Microsoft Points last week with nary a peep about the bill. The fact that only about three servers were available to play on (since apparently EA didn’t think the game would be all that popular) left most gamers with something else to complain about. Then again, a lot of developers would kill for a game that was more popular than initially anticipated.

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So now the servers are up and running, Xbox users even won themselves a new map by killing 43 million people (won’t that make Jack Thompson proud) and were left with a modern remix of Battlefield 1942. Their are only three maps, three classes and two game types to choose from, but don’t think that makes this game small in scope or atmosphere . When your team calls in air support to aid in the capture of an airfield or your squad storms the beaches in an attempt to save pinned down allies, you forget that this is simply an “arcade game”. Battlefield 1943 also creates that “war is hell” feeling like few other games. Air raid sirens signal that enemy bombers are only a few seconds away from eradicating your base, buildings and all, in a deafening barrage of explosions. Tanks blast entire walls out of buildings, making cover temporary at best and bridges never last very long in the intense battles.

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Battlefield 1943 really breaks the mold of what most Xbox gamers are accustomed to on the downloadable side of their consoles (PS3 gamers however, have been enjoying full downloadable games for years now). The game isn’t a small, relaxing title or one you can play with your buddies on the couch.  It produces thrilling, at times epic battles with 24 players flying, driving and capturing bases (among numerous other roles) across beautiful, destructible island maps. . The squad system gives small groups of friends tactical intimacy without loosing the games grandiose scale.  The game also has what now seems like an expected experience point system gives you a rank and… well, little else from what I could tell, but its their in all its malicious addictiveness.  And of course, DICE nails the feel of the guns and vehicles, and give us three balanced and flexible classes to play as.

Sure, I’d like to be able to turn off the head bobbing and change some of the control layouts, but these typify the triviality of my complaints.  This is not just an easy recommendation; it’s a must buy. Battlefield 1943 is the essence of a killer multiplayer experience; varied, exciting and constantly rewarding.

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