Battlefield 1943 Review - July 16th 2009

WWII goes on holiday in this, the latest from the Bad Company team. Read our review here.

As one of the largest, most impressive, and most visually stunning download-only titles ever, you'd be forgiven for thinking the folks behind Battlefield 1943, DICE, would drop the ball somewhere . How about the maps? No- each level, be it blue-skied, dawn-drench, or earthy and intense, combine into an incredibly varied experience.

The graphics are beautiful, and the vehicles satisfying to drive.

Gameplay suck? Nope - with the help of the impressive Frostbite engine debuted in Battlefield: Bad Company, you'll blow chunks out of walls, scatter sandbags, and send American or Japanese troops flailing like ragdolls, all the while asking yourself how this could have fit into a 1200-point download, let alone support 24 players.

Limited appeal? Nuh-uh - you see, Battlefield 1943 isn't spread thinly across a dithering campaign or shoe-horned co-op mode: simply select infantry, rifleman, or scout, and BOOM - it's off to war.
Though, it's not perfect. Playing with mates gives incentive for tactical play, but play without and the action gets brainless, shooting anything that moves as you capture and defend various strongholds. Worse - criminal, even, for a multiplayer-only game - an underestimation at the amount of potential players meant too few servers at launch, rendering many unable to join matches. However, since then DICE have added extra servers.

Aeroplanes are hard to master, but can be deadly in the right hands.

It doesn't come on a game disc, but Battlefield 1943 is one of the purest videogame experiences you'll play. By trimming the fat off modern-day shooters we've all become a little bloated on, the result is a sleek, streamlined experience as essential to your online multiplayer go-to-games as Warhawk, Halo, and Call of Duty 4.

Pure, focused, accessible - and no disc!
Huge player-base - find matches fast.
Sandbox-style maps are a breath of fresh air.
Accommodates both loners and teams...
...But playing alone gets older, faster.