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Overview

Cool people don't look at explosions

Battlefield 1943 is a download-only title released for the PC and consoles on PSN and Xbox Live with a 550MB data size. 1943 takes place across three major areas: Wake Island, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima set during the Pacific Theater in World War II. A fourth map, Coral Sea, was put out after the community reached a total of 43 million kills. However, Coral Sea is an aircraft only map that focuses on a dog fighting mode called Air Superiority. The gameplay is the classic Conquest game mode, and uses the Frostbite Engine that was used in Battlefield: Bad Company. Battlefield 1943 supports 24 players and features land, sea and air warfare. The reason the game was released as download-only was, according to DICE, for value and accessibility reasons.

Gameplay

A bombing raid on Iwo Jima, landing on Mount Suribachi

Battlefield 1943 is an online-only multiplayer game with three maps and three soldier classes. The game uses the Conquest mode where players traverse the map capturing flags for their team. Every time a soldier is killed, their team loses a ticket, which is similar to reinforcements. When one team has the majority of flags (at least 3), the other team will slowly begin to lose tickets. Players have three classes to choose from when spawning. The Rifleman class uses a semi-automatic rifle and can shoot rifle grenades. The Infantry class carries a submachine gun and also has an anti-tank weapon for destroying vehicles and structures (thanks to the Frostbite engine). Finally, the Scout class has a sniper rifle for picking off troops and can also plant dynamite along roads to blow up vehicles. A surprising feature of the game is every weapon having unlimited ammo. Rockets, grenades, and dynamite are also unlimited but after the player has exhausted their initial supply they must wait a few seconds for it to respawn. The player can also "reload" their supply of rockets by taking out the rockets and hitting the reload button. In addition to having unlimited ammunition is the regenerating health system that the game uses.

Along with the classes, players have multiple vehicles at their disposal. The newest addition to the console versions of Battlefield is planes. On two of the three maps, both teams start out on aircraft carriers with two planes that respawn after a certain period of time. Because the game is set in World War II, the planes only come equipped with machine guns and bombs to drop on the battlefield. Each map also has an airfield that players can capture that spawns planes and other vehicles. (Should the player need to bail out of their airplane, they can do so safely due to the inclusion of parachutes). The game also includes tanks, which are good for assaulting flags and taking out infantry, and jeeps, which are ideal for getting from one place to another quickly. The aircraft carriers have boats for the players who don't take off in planes, and the occasional boat can be found docked along the islands. Throughout their time with the game, players can earn stamps and postcards based on their performance and for performing certain feats. (Getting 10,000 kills will earn you one). They have no practical use.

Planes can be pretty useful during a match

Another new feature is the ability to launch an air raid. Each of the three maps has a special bunker that a player can enter. When they do, they become invulnerable and get to control a squadron of bombers that fly over the battlefield. While heading towards the island, the player can steer the fleet over a target. Once they are over it, they unleash the bombs, usually taking out several soldiers at once. The bombers can be shot down by enemy planes and AA guns, but it takes many hits. Doing so will lower the amount of bombs that can be dropped. Players may also notice a symbol on the battlefield: two crossed rifles. This is the Frontline icon, and it shows where most of the fighting is. Players can use this to their advantage when calling in an air raid.

Much like previous games, players can join a squad with other teammates. The squad leader can look at a flag and put a bright red circle around it for their squad to see. This is useful for telling teammates who aren't using a headset where they should go.

ClassWeaponEquipmentMelee
RiflemanM1 Garand (USMC), Type 5 (IJN)Rifle grenades, GrenadesBayonet
InfantryThompson (USMC), Type 100 (IJN)Recoilless Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher, GrenadesWrench (also used to repair vehicles)
ScoutSpringfield (USMC), Kar 98k (IJN)M1911 (USMC), Type 14 (IJN), DynamiteSword/Knife

Maps

Wake Island
Wake Island
A fan-favorite from Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2, Wake Island takes place on a beautiful U-shaped island. The teams start out on aircraft carriers on opposite sides of the island and can either fly to the island or drive to it via boat. A massive airfield located on the island is a popular attraction and a strategic base to hold for your team; it gives you access to planes, tanks, jeeps, and an air raid bunker. Other than the airfield, Wake Island lacks distinguishing features other than the island's shape.

Wake Island is used for the 'tutorial' mode, which was not included in Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima
Sporting a unique sepia-style color scheme, Iwo Jima includes a few recognizable landmarks that make it easy to navigate the island. One of these, Mount Suribachi, is a strategic location to capture and is made easy to defend due to the high location and machine gun emplacements. Near the mountain is also a conspicuous lighthouse capture point that players can snipe from. However, passing planes can also destroy the top of the lighthouse, severely hindering the ability to hide up there. Finally, an airport at the opposite end of the island provides the controlling team with airplanes and an air raid bunker.

Mout Suribachi is a common area for snipers to lurk around, but is frequently contested due to the wide sightlines it affords. It is possible to see entirely across the island from atop the peak, meaning that a team in control of the mountain can dominate a match.
Guadalcanal
Guadal Canal
Unlike the other two maps, players do not start out on an aircraft carrier but instead spawn at bases located at opposite ends of Guadalcanal. However, these bases come with airplanes so flight is still possible. A popular choke point is a capture point located high up on a hill. Defenders can easily take care of anyone that dares to run up to the flag, but they are highly vulnerable to enemies on the rocks above them. Another difference in Guadalcanal is the fact that the air raid bunker is not located at a large airfield, but instead is on one side of the island where a tank spawns. Sniping is common although close quarter encounters also occur when opposing players attempt to take a base for their teams at the same time.
Coral Sea
Coral Sea
When players finally hit the 43,000,000 kills goal, the game mode "Air Superiority" was unlocked and uses the map Coral Sea. Completely air based, both teams will always spawn on one of two aircraft carriers belonging to their team (each team has two on this map). To win the game, players must control a "flag" that has a large capture radius in the middle of the map. To control the flag, a team must have more planes in the air than the other team. Several large rocks/mountains make it dangerous to fly low to the ground, and plane collisions are common on this map.

Postcards & Stamps

Postcards

Match Specific
The Pacific Campaign - Win twice on every map as a team
Tour of Duty I - Play fifty matches
Tour of Duty II - Play one hundred thirty matches
The Best - Get the highest score in a match
Truly Elite - Get ten thousand kills
Weapon Specific
Melee Man - Get twenty melee kills
Master of your Domain - Get seventeen kills with each class
Master Blaster - Kill fifty enemies with grenades, rifle grenades, or explosives
Rifleman - Kill fifty enemies with a semi-automatic rifle
Infantyman - Kill fifty enemies with a submachine gun
Sniper! - Kill fifty enemies with a scoped rifle
Vehicle Specific
Motorman - Get twenty five kills with a car, tank, and plane
Parachutist - Use the parachute four times
Milkrun - Fly a plane for twenty minutes
Bomb Run - Launch an air raid killing at least enemy
Wheelman - Get fifty kills using car, tank or boat
Fighter Ace - Get fifty kills using fighter planes
Teamplay Specific
Defender - Defend twenty flags
Attacker - Capture thirty flags
Veteran - Cap fifty enemy flags
Lifer - Reach top rank
Squad Assister - Get one hundred squad assists
Squad Avenger - Avenge one hundred squad members
Best Squad - Be in the best squad three times on each map

Stamps

Weapon Specific
Knife Efficiency - Kill four players with melee weapons
Explosives Efficiency - Kill four enemies with grenades or explosives
AT Efficiency - Kill four enemies with recoilless rifle
Rifle Grenade Efficiency - Kill four enemies with rifle grenades
Pistol Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a pistol
Rifle Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a semi-automatic rifle
SMG Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a submachine gun
Sniper Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a scoped rifle
Vehicle Specific
Vehicle Efficiency - Destroy six vehicles in any fashion
Jeep Efficiency - Get four kills with a car
Tank Efficiency - Get four kills with a tank
Plane Efficiency - Get five kills with a fighter plane
Boat Efficiency - Get two kills with a landing craft
HMG Efficiency - Get four kills with a heavy machine gun
Air Defense Efficiency - Kill two planes with an anti-aircraft gun
Bombing Efficiency - Kill four enemies with air raids
Teamplay Specific
Air Superiority - Shoot down three bombers
Vehicle Assist Efficiency - Get five vehicle assist kills
Leatherneck - Kill at least twenty enemies
Defender Efficiency - Defend five flags
Attacker Efficiency - Capture five enemy flags
Best Squad - Be the best squad of the round
Teamplayer - Get ten squad assists
Squad Excellence! - Each squad member gets any stamp and kills ten enemies

Coral Sea Challenge

On July 14th, 2009, the Xbox 360, hit its mark of 43,000,000 kills. James "jkasapi" from Peterborough, England, was the lucky Xbox user to get the 43,000,000th kill. As part of EA's promotion, he received custom Battlefield 1943 sunglasses, t-shirt, and sneakers. The PlayStation 3 hit the 43 million mark a few days later. This same 'community challenge' system has been reused in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - Vietnam.

Xbox 360 Server Problems

Xbox 360 "Box" Art

The Xbox 360 version of 1943 was plagued by major connection issues in its first week of release. EA stated that they didn't think there would be a high demand had all their servers at full capacity. Many players were unable to connect to matches and those that did experienced lag, bugs and glitches. EA tried to quickly remedy the problem with more servers but the fix took several days.

DICE had expected that they would be able to add servers online than people that purchased the game but did not expect it to sell so well and could not keep up with the high volume of traffic. The games producer, Patrick Liu stated in an interview with the Swedish games podcast Spelradion, that the sales spiked on the first day it wasn't humanly possible to keep up with server demand.

Reception

Despite the network connection issues, Battlefield 1943 became the fastest selling download-only video game on both consoles. The combined sales for the two consoles crossed 600,000 units in the first two weeks. The Xbox Live sales eventually crossed the one million mark. According to DICE, players accumulated over 29.45 years of game time and scored over 5,000,000 kills in the first day. It went on to become to the top selling Xbox LIVE Arcade game of 2009.

At UBS's 39th Annual Media and Communications Conference, an EA executive announced that the game cost "single-digit millions" to create and netted sixteen million dollars for the publisher (after Microsoft & Sony's cuts).

PC Cancellation

On February 3rd, 2011 DICE officially announced that the PC version of Battlefield 1943 is canceled after much speculation and rumors.

Trivia

  • The Japanese 'Scout' does not use a Japanese Type 97 rifle. Rather, he uses a German Karabiner 98. DICE have previously explained that they did not have the time to model a Type 97 rifle for the game and chose to use a recognisable German service rifle in place.
  • On the outside area of 'Iwo Jima', a small island can be found. The words "Haggard was here" are scrawled in the sand. This is a reference to George Haggard, one of the characters in Battlefield: Bad Company's 'B-Company'.

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