While fans of the Battlefield series may have been irked lately that the makers of those first-person shooters, DICE, have been distracting themselves with console and cartoon versions of the series, not to mention some game in which the girl from the Esurance ads runs around like an idiot, there was some good news out of EA’s event in Los Angeles last week. DICE are working on a new, more classic-style Battlefield game. And while it is a bit more arcadey than some games in the series, it should still satisfy longtime followers Battlefield-ers, especially since it’s being released on PC as well as 360 and PS3.
As you (hopefully) figured out from the name, the game is set in World War II. The Pacific theater, to be specific, as the game features reworked versions of maps from Battlefield 1942 — Iwo Jima, Wake Island, and Guadalcanal — that sets you against the Japanese. Or rather, you’re friends playing as the Japanese, since this is an online-only shooter. There’s no single player or story mode to get in the way of you gunning down your pals.
Like all games in this shooter series, 1943 boasts the usual compliment of vehicles (boats, planes, tanks), as well as three character classes — the sniper-living Scout, the self-explanatory Rifleman, and the machine gun enthusiast Infantry — who battle it out in games of that most classic of classic Battlefield game types, the Capture The Flag variation Conquest.
Where 1943 differentiates itself from 1942, though, is that the controls are decidedly arcadey. Or at least they are on the Xbox version we played. As a result, the game felt as smooth and responsive as, well, most other first-person shooters we’ve played on Billy G’s machine lately.
Though we did have some issues with the button configuration. Unlike most FPS games these days, hitting someone upside the head doesn’t just involve hitting a button, with you automatically switching back to your gun. Instead, you hit a button to switch to your melee weapon — which can include a bayonet you attach to your rifle — but then have to hit another button to switch back. Granted, it’s just one extra step, but it could mean the difference between life and death. Or life and having to wait a few seconds to respawn.
Some might also gripe that there is no friendly fire in the game. Though as someone who shoots firsts and ask questions later, I’m okay with that (as should anyone I play with). Still others might complain that while there is a ranking up system in the game, it doesn’t do anything. Going up in rank doesn’t give you new abilities, make you healthier, or give you new kinds of guns, it just gives you some way of saying “I’m better than you” to people. Or, to be more accurate, “I’ve played this game more than you.”
Oh, and there’s one nut shot reserved just for hardcore Battlefield fans: while the 360 and PS3 versions will be out in June, PC players will have to wait until September. Although DICE and EA have said that the game will be the same game, just reworked for PC people, it’s still a whole three months! Oh, the humanity.
Even so, one thing kind of moots all complaints: the game will only set you back $15, and will be a digital download from the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network Store, and a website to be named later. At that price, even the hardest of hardcore Battlefield fans should have nothing to be irked about.