Monday, February 01, 2010

Video game number thirty two: Battlefield 1943

Game review number thirty two in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Battlefield 1943".

According to Major Nelson's game ranking list, this remains one of the top ten most played games on Xbox Live Arcade, several months after the release. It's a remake of a retro PC game and when it was released, it wasn't something I felt I needed to run out and play.

This may sound like sacrilege to some of my gamer friends who might read this review, but you have to keep in mind that I never played the original. I don't have that deep-rooted affection for the original game that some of you might have. You see it remade, new graphics, online multiplayer on a console, achievements and think "awesome!". I've been there. When they remade the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game for Xbox Live Arcade, I was stoked. Same for Street Fighter and other coin-munchers I spent my high school years wasting my money on.

I have no history with this game, and today was the first time I'd ever played or even encountered it. As such, my review is unbiased.

In a nutshell, this game feels like a really old version of Call of Duty, with vehicles. Please don't get mad at me and tell me that the Call of Duty games probably evolved from this, I concede that point in advance....but remember, I played those games first, and I already think they're better by comparison.

I started out on an aircraft carrier parked next to an island. In the distance, I could see nametags for all my teammates. A few of them had communicators, but no one was using them much. There are PT-boats and airplanes on the carrier that spawn at timed intervals, and you can jump into one or the other to get to the island. Everyone seemed to want to fly the planes, so I grabbed a boat and headed for action.

Later, I discovered that you could spawn in your choice of locations, which was cool. Once on the island, you basically are playing a game of "king of the hill", standing near an objective until you can raise your flag and turn it your color. People are trying to kill you from the ground, air and in tanks while you're doing this.

I was able to capture a handful of flags (almost got to 5, which was an achievement) and kill a few people with each class of soldier. Once I figured out how to choose my spawn point, I chose the carrier and finally got into a plane. They are REALLY hard to fly, and I wasn't able to kill anyone but myself while flying it.

I finally got the achievement for parachuting out of my plane, but I wasn't able to land before being sniped by someone.

In my third match (the entire game is online multiplayer), I ranked 3rd or 4th in points out of a team of 10 people. Not too bad.

Overall, I have to give this game a 4/10. If I had teenage ties to this game, it might be a higher score for the nostalgia factor, but standing on it's own...it doesn't even belong in this current generation of console games. Go play Call of Duty, and get an experience that's 10 times richer. You can fly a plane in that game too, it's called the AC-130 and it decimates everyone on the ground. :-)


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