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More streamlining than dumbing down – Battlefield 1943.

July 14, 2009

I’ve seen a lot of people talking about last week’s XBLA release, Battlefield 1943, for a good week now and whilst the comments were initially ‘best spinning arrow game ever’ or ‘I can’t believe I paid 1200 points for a game I can’t even play’ DICE sorted out their unforgivable short sightedness fairly swiftly and now that everyone can play the game a lot of people, mainly PC playing Battlefield elitists, have been calling the game an intense dumbing down of the classic title.

Dumbing down is a comment used most frequently when talking about the effect of Skins on the quality of British Television, or the influence of Jaqueline Wilson on female literature; it is most definitely not a comment that can be aimed at DICE’s recreation of their first Battlefield title.

Even with 24 players the action gets intense

Even with 24 players the action gets intense

So you can’t go prone? You can crouch and, let’s be honest, going prone just makes being a sniper incredibly cheeky. Also, next time you’re playing, count how many times you need to go prone, as long as you play cleverly and not in an attempt to spite me. You can crouch behind fences in sniper towers, aim over the apex of hills, run around hills, it’s just a new style of play. Furthermore, going prone wouldn’t help as much now anyway thanks to the arrows of doom…

But they aren’t game breaking, little arrows that just help you notice an enemy on high if you spot them, I’ve surprisingly not seen that addition come under fire. Infinite ammo and regenerating health (and the removal of the medic as a result) have done however but let’s think of this reasonably, there’s nothing worse than being abandoned in the field with no ammo, especially in a little arcade game you boot up for some fun, and likewise it’s not cool to be wandering around on critical health. The lower player counts also mean less people would be around to go medic, so that would be irritating as well.

Tanks win in a lot of situations, until a bomb hits them

Tanks win in a lot of situations, until a bomb hits them

These are the main points I’ve seen come under fire in what I’d call an essential game, save for a few balancing issues – the SMG is rubbish – and some rare graphical glitches the game will give back a lot of entertainment for a little price and will probably make you question just how much full price retail games will need to do to justify their price after just a few hours of playing as planes whip over head, a tank annihilates the building you’re cowering in and you nail a sniper on the hill under all the pressure.

So ignore the naysayers and just enjoy a fantastic re-imagining of one of the best online games ever that, for an arcade game, is making a large impact on the main Xbox live games.

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