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Battlefield 1943 360 Review

06/10/2009 Family Family Gamer Review
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Battlefield 1943 360

Battlefield 1943



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Teen Gamer (360)

Battlefield 1943 promised an escape of months of hopeless combat on Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare's online multiplayer. It seems to offer the dream of becoming more than mere cannon fodder for the hordes of expert First Person Shooter players.

Usually, I am behind the times as far as online gaming goes. The usual path of completing a game's solo content before heading into the online arena is one that I, like most players, follow religiously. But with online only First Person Shooter there is no solo mission. Which meant, having downloaded the game on the day of release, I had the perfect opportunity to get some much needed practice in before the hordes of professional level gamers got their teeth into it.

Essentially, 1943 is a stopgap between the last full Battlefield game and the next, Bad Company 2, which matters very little to someone who's as useless in a virtual firefight as a wet match at a fireworks party. But I love to play them all the same, no matter how much they grind my gears and make me lose my temper.

Perhaps it was because I'd only had an hour with it before relinquishing control of the TV to my wife's house improvement show needs.

After the intense, close quarters style warfare of Call of Duty 4, Battlefield 1943 is a refreshing change. In Call of Duty 4 it's very easy to spawn die for an entire round, especially if, like me, you have the reaction times of a log and all your tactical ideas go straight out the window as soon as you see someone to shoot at. You see, Battlefield 1943's maps are big enough for you to take any number of minutes hunting before you sight the enemy.

Anyway, after maybe an hour's plugging away, an hour of getting killed repeatedly, I realised that the sad fact was there was no way I was going to be able to compete with the best players when I couldn't even survive for more than a couple of minutes just playing equally new to the game counterparts. Frustration had begun to set in.

That was night one. Perhaps it was because I'd only had an hour with it before relinquishing control of the TV to my wife's house improvement show needs. Playing a game that needs oodles of concentration is never easy when there's someone sitting next to you on the sofa, turning the pages of the paper in a way that reeks of disapproval. What I needed was a good few hours alone with it before I could realise my dream of not being crap. It was bath night the following evening, which guaranteed at least two hours alone in front of the screen, armed to the teeth.

And for the first couple of weeks after that initial bummer things went fairly well, as new players downloaded the content and jumped in like fresh-faced soldiers in an alien environment who have no idea just how much it hurts to get shot and I offered them the chance to find out.

Perhaps it was because I'd only had an hour with it before relinquishing control of the TV to my wife's house improvement show needs.

You get three classes, a rifleman, sniper and machine gunner. Personally I find the rifleman to be the best, he's useless when faced with a fully armoured tank, but he's got enough range to take people on from a distance and enough bullets per round to get away with missing the target with a couple of them.

He suits my style of play - headless chicken in a slaughterhouse - far better than the other two. And so for a short while I was happy getting mid-table scores. I was chuffed that it wasn't me ending up at the bottom of the table on minus points through complete incompetence in the seat of a fighter plane - flying planes into trees is a definite no .

But then things began to change. As more players showed up, with more time to play and play, a quick checking of the stats online showed that on average I was suddenly almost an entire day's worth of gaming behind the pack and in some cases close to a week off target. The regular spawn die curse of Call of Duty 4 returned once someone pointed out that if you start off in an open squad (up to four players in one gang) you get points whenever one of your squad members gets a kill. Seemed like a good thing, racking up points for someone else's hard work, but the downside was that you'd end up spawning right behind them and invariably it's when they're trying to take on a tank all by themselves. Cue a swift exit from the front lines and the chance to spawn again, behind another squad member in an equally hazardous position.

But it's not all been bad news, and I am far better at Battlefield 1943 than I can ever hope to be at Call of Duty 4. There have been games when I've top scored and been the best player in the top squad, even if these moments are few and far between the countless games where I've died and died again, languishing at the bottom of the table. There have been games where I have got so angry at the continuous deaths that the dream of creating the world's first reusable, breakable joypad has resurfaced from the depths. And still my addiction to the game has yet to abate. I'm still staying up later than I should, the words 'just one more game' popping into my head with every round end. I'm still grinning from ear to ear whenever I finish in the top five and I'm still bitterly blaming everyone around me when I get killed and end up on the losing side.

I suppose the mark of a good game for me is its addictiveness, and the fact is that I haven't played anything else since Battlefield 1943 was launched months ago. If that's the case, I am officially a junkie.

Written by Andy Robertson

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Andy Robertson writes the Family Gamer column.

"Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."

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