Battlefield: 1943

Battlefield 1943 proves that bigger is not always better.

Battlefield: 1943

Publisher: EA
Price: $15.00
Rated: Teen
Developer: DICE
Platforms: XBLA, PSN
Release Date: 2009-07-01

Compared to its peers, Battlefield 1943 seems like a gimped game. With only three classes, no unlockable weapons, no persistent online character, only three maps, and one game mode (though by now a fourth map and new mode have been added to the game), it simply doesn’t stand up to Halo 3 and Gears of War 2, both of which offer a tremendous amount of multiplayer content. But once you jump into a battle, you quickly realize the only thing that’s missing from this game is the excess. What you have left is a game that strives for no more than what’s necessary to make it fun and succeeds in every way.

The game plays like a traditional Battlefield game. Each match revolves around capturing flags, which act as spawn points, while killing enough enemies to drain that team’s “health bar.” It’s a combination of “Capture the Flag” and “Team Deathmatch” and results in a game with a little something for everyone. Offensive players can capture enemy flags while defensive players can protect their own. Players who prefer deathmath games are free to run around killing others, while players who prefer to capture flags can make that their focus.

Each battle is made up of several small skirmishes centered around the flags. Sometimes these fights are over quick. Other times the skirmish becomes a stalemate and the flag remains the center of battle for the entire match. Since each game revolves around these smaller fights, it’s guaranteed that no match will ever play the same. The ever-changing frontline encourages players to explore every corner of the map, and since there are only three maps in rotation it’s easy to get familiar with the general layout of each one. Once that happens, you’ll start to figure out ways to take advantage of the landscape. Now newcomers have a chance to learn some of the battlefield tricks usually reserved for die hard players. Whether it’s a hilltop perfect for sniping, or a steep slope you can jump up, every player can learn the intricacies of each map without sinking an absurd amount of time into the game specifically because there are only three.

The three classes are perfectly balanced with each one possessing a unique advantage in certain situations. This makes choosing a class an important tactical decision that players must make every time they die. Tank at your base? Spawn as Infantry and use the bazooka. Does that mountaintop have a clear view of the enemy base? Spawn as Scout and snipe. Infantry advancing? Spawn as Rifleman and shoot a rifle-grenade into the group. Because each class is tailored for specific situations, players are encouraged to constantly switch between them, adding another element to the ever-changing battlefield.

As previously stated, a new map and game mode have been added to the game. Players can now play Air Superiority on the map Coral Sea, a map and mode dedicated to air combat. Flying has always been notoriously difficult in Battlefield games, and it’s no different here. What is different here is the tutorial mode, a welcome new feature and necessary for newcomers. With it, anyone can become a proficient pilot.

Dogfighting in Battlefield 1943 is one of the most exciting experiences in any recent shooter. Since you have to take into account the distance and speed of the planes and aim ahead when you shoot, taking one down is a challenge. There’s no exact science behind shooting down a plane, it just takes practice to learn how far you should lead before you open fire. When you do shoot down your first plane it produces a moment of elation, and even as you become an expert, dogfighting still contains similar moments of glee. Whether it’s shooting down your first plane, saving an ally who’s got someone on his tail, parachuting onto an enemy carrier and stealing their plane, or bombing a plane as it takes off, Air Superiority is filled with moments that make you want to throw your fist into the air and shout “Yeah!”

Battlefield 1943 is packed with moments like that. On its surface it seems like a very realistic shooter, but at its core, it’s an over-the-top arcade game filled with spectacularly unrealistic moments that you’ll want to tell your friends about. It has far less content than some of its peers, but what’s there is perfectly balanced so that no class, no gun, and no map stand out as a clear best. You’ll use all of them and love all of them. While other multiplayer games are growing with map pack after map pack, Battlefield 1943 proves that bigger is not always better.


From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

Net Neutrality and the Music Ecosystem: Defending the Last Mile

Still from Whiplash (2014) (Photo by Daniel McFadden - © Courtesy of Sundance Institute) (IMDB)

"...when the history books get written about this era, they'll show that the music community recognized the potential impacts and were strong leaders." An interview with Kevin Erickson of Future of Music Coalition.

Last week, the musician Phil Elverum, a.k.a. Mount Eerie, celebrated the fact that his album A Crow Looked at Me had been ranked #3 on the New York Times' Best of 2017 list. You might expect that high praise from the prestigious newspaper would result in a significant spike in album sales. In a tweet, Elverum divulged that since making the list, he'd sold…six. Six copies.

Keep reading... Show less

Under the lens of cultural and historical context, as well as understanding the reflective nature of popular culture, it's hard not to read this film as a cautionary tale about the limitations of isolationism.

I recently spoke to a class full of students about Plato's "Allegory of the Cave". Actually, I mentioned Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" by prefacing that I understood the likelihood that no one had read it. Fortunately, two students had, which brought mild temporary relief. In an effort to close the gap of understanding (perhaps more a canyon or uncanny valley) I made the popular quick comparison between Plato's often cited work and the Wachowski siblings' cinema spectacle, The Matrix. What I didn't anticipate in that moment was complete and utter dissociation observable in collective wide-eyed stares. Example by comparison lost. Not a single student in a class of undergraduates had partaken of The Matrix in all its Dystopic future shock and CGI kung fu technobabble philosophy. My muted response in that moment: Whoa!

Keep reading... Show less

'The Art of Confession' Ties Together Threads of Performance

Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell at St. Mark's Church in New York City, 23 February 1977

Scholar Christopher Grobe crafts a series of individually satisfying case studies, then shows the strong threads between confessional poetry, performance art, and reality television, with stops along the way.

Tracing a thread from Robert Lowell to reality TV seems like an ominous task, and it is one that Christopher Grobe tackles by laying out several intertwining threads. The history of an idea, like confession, is only linear when we want to create a sensible structure, the "one damn thing after the next" that is the standing critique of creating historical accounts. The organization Grobe employs helps sensemaking.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.