All right, so Battlefield 1943 has been announced. Does that make it “BF3”? It’s hard to say, with all of the “Bad Company” games floating around. I’m cautiously optimistic about this one. Let’s take a look at the main points:
- It’s set in the Pacific, during WWII (obviously). This has been done before, but that won’t matter if it offers an engaging multiplayer experience.
- You can fight “by land, sea, and air.” You could always do this in Battlefield games, but perhaps this means that ships will be able to move around again. That would be nice.
- Three maps: Guadalcanal, Wake Island, and Iwo Jima. All of these appeared in BF:1942.
- Fight with “up to 24 players.” This definitely sounds like 24 players total, not 24 players per side.
- Frostbite-based terrain destruction.
- Available on PC, over Xbox Live Arcade, or the Playstation Network.
That’s really all we know at this point. So where does that put it? The scope of the game is definitely called into question. It only has three maps (versus BF2’s dozen or so), it only supports 24 players (versus BF2’s 64-player support), and it will be distributed over the same service Microsoft uses to release games like “Uno” and “Frogger 2.” What kind of game does that make it? It seems like BF:1943 will be less like “Battlefield 2” or “Battlefield 2142” and more like the upcoming “Battlefield Heroes,” a more casual, noob-friendly game.
Basically, that could suck. It’s far too early to draw drastic conclusions about the quality of the game, but the direction that DICE is taking the series is cause for concern. One has to wonder if they got intimidated by “Call of Duty 4” and decided they’d be safer changing their formula. But people still play BF2, as flawed as it is, so there has to be a market for people who love getting into gritty fights with tons of players and establishing personal vendettas over huge, varied maps. The decision to return to WWII after modern and future combat games is fine in my book, again, if the experience is there.
I’ll wait and see how this one plays out, but I’ve got my eye on you, DICE. Don’t disappoint.
UPDATE: More information here.