Battlefield 1943 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Battlefield 1943 box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA DICE 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: July 9, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 2-24 (Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Because Battlefield 1943 is made by DICE, it implements the Frostbite engine used in Battlefield: Bad Company. That means persistent destructibility of environments is an important tactic. Blowing out building walls to remove cover, laying vegetation low for a better view, and destroying fuel dumps to take out squads of enemies are important aspects to winning the game. Unfortunately, it is painfully apparent and strange that many objects are unable to be destroyed.

Battlefield 1943 screenshot

Many times, player tactics will be frustrated by structures that simply won't collapse and weapon types that can't cut into objects they probably should be able to. That being said, if everything was made to be destructible, eventually the maps would break down to such a point mid-battle that they wouldn't be fun. As such, I respect the decision by DICE to limit destructibility. Still, the inconsistencies are apparent and often maddening.

A few more problems I encountered are also worth mentioning. For starters, forming squads of friends to head online and connecting to servers is often impossible; getting frequently kicked from games seems to be part of the experience. A ticker at the bottom of the title screen addresses these issues, claiming that new servers are being added and that daily maintenance at 2 AM PST are fixing the problems. Still, since there is no single-player component, not being able to play due to bad coding is a real bone of contention. Also, there seems to be a glitch with the auto-save feature. Every time I exit out of the game, all of my ranks accrued during play are lost. While this has no bearing on gameplay, it does frustrate my ability to collect certain in-game accolades. It should be noted that this issue has not cropped up for other players I know (I'll try re-downloading the title to see if that solves the issue).


It is also difficult to kill players. I would like to see more one-shot kills implemented. Too often, it takes three to four shots to bring down a player even with a high-powered rifle. This takes out some of the core appeal, but it by no means breaks the game. In fact, novice players will probably enjoy the "Juggernaut"-like ability to withstand damage. Finally, while vehicles are awesome, ghost-riding jeeps into buildings is an exploit that bucks the balanced trend. Players are charging enemy positions with these vehicles only to abandon them at the last second. This allows them to send an explosive, high-speed weapon at entrenched players, while keeping them on their feet unscathed, ready to mop up any survivors. I would like to see some kind of penalty for diving off a speeding vehicle introduced. If players were knocked prone and dazed for employing such a tactic, it might help balance out the exploit.

Despite a lack of depth found in other full-fledged FPS offerings (even from what's found in the Battlefield franchise itself) and a number of initial coding missteps, Battlefield 1943 is an arcade offering you really shouldn't miss. The $15 price tag and the overall quality make this a great purchase for anyone interested in shooters.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

Players will really enjoy the visuals, especially when you consider it's a downloadable offering with a file size under 600 MB.
Exactly what you would expect from a high quality first-person shooter. I was a bit dismayed by the inability to go prone and just how difficult it is to control fighter planes.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound quality is great, if somewhat limited. Still, the sound effects and menu theme music will keep you engaged while blasting away.
Play Value
No single-player, only one mode of play (one more coming), three maps (one more coming), and three character classes is a bit shallow. But, once you get online, you'll be spending joyous hour upon hour blasting away at friends and randoms.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • By land, sea, and air! Unleash wide destruction with bombing raids, tanks, or fighter planes launched from aircraft carriers and enjoy one of the best vehicle experiences in any multiplayer game.
  • Varied locations: Play with 24 players online in three beautiful and destructible locations from the Pacific theatre. Whether you choose Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, or the classic Wake Island, jump into the best balance of infantry combat complemented by land, sea, and air vehicles.
  • Frostbite-enabled destruction: Watch as the beautiful Pacific islands quickly turn into scarred battlefields as destruction rains upon you and your fellow soldiers as you fight to win the battle!
  • Ranking, persistence, and squad support: Featuring a deep, persistent ranking system accessible through a fully enabled website, track your stats and follow the leaderboards on the web. Jump directly into a squad to set up private matches and play with your friends.

  • Screenshots / Images
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