previews\ Jun 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Battlefield 1943 - 360 - Preview 2

The Battlefield series has been popular for a while now, representing one of the most popular online shooter franchises on PCs and on consoles. Battlefield 1943 represents a first for DICE’s series, as it is the first title in the franchise to be released on Xbox LIVE Arcade.

Battlefield 1943 is a strictly online only approach to the franchise, capitalizing on its biggest strength, namely putting you in a team of dozens of other players in a struggle for spawnpoints. Battlefield 1943 is pretty barebones, but should be one that fans of the series might want to check out.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Battlefield 1943 takes the series’ staple Conquest mode, which has two 12-person sides fighting over and capturing a handful of spawn points on a large map, and applies it to Xbox LIVE Arcade. Players keep fighting until one side has exhausted their reserve soldiers or one side has captured all spawn points of the map (whichever comes first).

Battlefield 1943 takes place in the Pacific Theater during World War 2, pitting US Marine forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. You’ll fight on three classic maps: Wake Island, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima. While these maps are big and pretty solidly done, there are only three of them to play on. On the plus side, as the game progresses an additional map, Coral Sea, will be unlocked after the game’s online community has scored 43 million total kills, which is an airborne-only map that requires you to use planes in order to capture spawn points and take down enemies.

The game gives you access to three different classes: Infantryman, Rifleman, and Scout. Whichever one you choose is what determines what weapons your character is loaded out with, which can include submachine guns, sniper rifles, and so on. Additionally, you’ll be able to utilize several vehicles, including tanks, trucks, jeeps, and planes in order to best your opponents.

Visually, the game is quite striking, and easily one of the best looking titles on the XBLA service. The environments are quite large and sprawling, and boast some nice details. The character and vehicle models are very nicely done and rival most disc-based games, and the whole thing moves very smoothly with very little slowdown or lag.

The sound is quite good as well, with explosions sounding quite well. As with other Battlefield titles, the game lacks much in the way of music, instead devoting combat time to battlefield ambience.

Battlefield 1943 is a solid shooter, featuring the classic gameplay and tight controls that fans of the series have come to know and love.

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