Battlefield 1943 Review
In spite of all of the iterations and refinements that have gone into the Battlefield series over the years, for purely enjoyable sheer shooter pandemonium it's hard to beat the original Battlefield 1942. Someone at Dice must have noticed this as well, because the Battlefield series has been brought back to its roots with Battlefield 1943. Released as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game, Battlefield 1943 doesn't come with all of the bells and whistles you find in a full game, but the core gameplay is so much fun that I doubt that most gamers would mind.
The thing that makes Battlefield 1943 so enjoyable is that it gives you so many ways to wage war. The maps are packed with vehicles, planes, boats, and gun emplacements and you can take control of any of them. Some vehicles have additional passenger slots, and provide extra weapons such as a heavy machine gun for a passenger to operate. Jeeps are fast and great for quickly getting around the map, but are pretty vulnerable to enemy fire. Tanks are slower but pack a wallop from their main gun, but their inherent lack of quick maneuverability makes them vulnerable to attack from nimble soldiers armed with bazookas. Planes allow you to quickly strike anywhere on the map, but they're open targets to machine guns and antiaircraft gun emplacements. The gun emplacements give a soldier a lot more firepower, but the exposure and lack of mobility make sniper fire an ever-present danger. I'm sure that you get the idea – each vehicle or emplacement has some distinct advantages but they're all kept in check by vulnerabilities to counter-weapons.
All maps feature the US Marines vs. the Imperial Japanese Navy, but the sides are effectively equivalent. There are three playable classes available, and you can switch freely between them when you respawn into the game or by picking up a kit dropped when a player is killed. The first class is the soldier, whose primary weapon is a rifle that is effective at medium range and who also carries grenades that are effective antipersonnel explosives. The infantry class carries a machine gun that is only effective at short range, but also carries a bazooka that is highly effective against vehicles. The infantry class also has the ability to repair damaged vehicles in the field. The final class is the scout which represents the game's sniper class with the added bonus weapon of remotely detonated charges. Each class is fun to play, but walking or spawning into the wrong situation for your current class usually results in a frustratingly quick demise. The game does away with any kind of medic class in favor of the "rest to restore" healing mechanic.