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Battlefield is frankly a brilliant game, Xbox Live Arcade or not. Quality maps, modes and attention to detail make this seem more like a big boxed title than a little download. How did they do that?
As a rule Xbox Live Arcade games these are good fun but complete todge - they are small games made either by amateur writers or off the back of a released game. Battlefield 1943 is the latter, it's made off the back of the other Battlefield games like Bad Company, but my gosh does it break the trend of rubbish Xbox Live games!
The basic premise of the game is that it's an on-line only multiplayer shooting game. You are allocated your side and must work with ten or so team mates to capture and keep strategic points on the map. I invited my cousin over to play this game with me so that I could write a decent review on the multiplayer side of things. But this was a mistake as I was peeved to discover that you can't have a local split-screen game. So back to our requests home we went and soon got down to playing.
This, however, is the only bad thing I have to say about the game. That and the fact that my TV was way too small and too low def to read the text on screen - clearly game-makers expect everyone to have 50 inch super screens. I ended up sitting three feet away from the TV, on the floor.
Don't worry, I got him back later. Shot down the plane he was in.
I fired the game up and clicked Join Game without having a clue what was going on. I never bother reading instructions or anything like that on games, it makes it far more fun if you have no idea what you're doing. So, the game began and I was thrown onto a Japanese Aircraft Carrier a few hundred yards away from an island. It appeared that everyone else on my team knew exactly what they were doing, and all jumped into three planes and a couple of boats and went over to the island. I swam and it took me a little longer and felt just a little stupid.
So, after eventually swimming ashore, I got up onto a beach, and my own chap shot me in the back. (Don't worry, I got him back later. Shot down the plane he was in.) But then I discovered that you could choose roughly where you spawn, so decided not to go back on the ship, but on the island.
Before you spawn, you get a choice of characters, an Infantryman, a Rifleman, or a Scout, each having his own different set of three weapons, two guns and a knife. They all appear to have about the same strengths and weaknesses, it's just down to which weapons you prefer.
I discovered the premise of the game by wandering up to a flagpole, shooting a lad, and seeing my flag go up instead of his. Unbeknownst to me, I had captured a Fishing Village! This is always an exciting thing to happen. Any game where you can capture fishing villages must be a very good game indeed. No, really!
My cousin seemed to be having a similar experience, although he was rather a lot better than I was - clearly a sign of a wasted life. I watched as he shot about four bad guys and stole a car before driving around madly.
It seems massive beyond possibility given its size.
It was quickly apparent that Battlefield 1943 was going to be a lot of fun and eat a lot of time. And it's all squeezed into just 600 megs and the maps are huge, and there's plenty of them, and it's only 1200 points, and, and, and, I like it! But there's more, my cousin and I, both being nerds, him being a fully fledged CG designer and me having dabbled, decided to test the scenery. It was fully interactive! So yes, we forgot about the game for a bit, and went around with a rocket launcher blowing trees up.
As far as I'm aware I have by no means discovered everything in Battlefield 1943 yet. It seems massive beyond possibility given its size. I would definitely, definitely recommend this game to anyone. As a measure of how good it was, my cousin, who has the Bad Company version of the game, decided to go home and buy this, as it was so much fun.
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