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Why We're Not Reviewing Battlefield 1943 Yet

A cautionary tale.


Great fun, when it works. 
Great fun, when it works. 
With only three maps and three player classes, you wouldn't think it would take us long to play Battlefield 1943 and deliver a full review. Under normal circumstances, you'd be right, but the two days since 1943's launch have been anything but normal.

In case you haven't heard, the online situation for EA and DICE's new downloadable shooter on Xbox Live is a bit of a mess right now. The problems seem to be mostly focused on server capacity and the inability to join games, so far. EA says it's doubled the number of servers in use since the game launched on Wednesday, but I've still spent more time looking at "unable to join game" error messages than I have actually playing. A separate issue is making it all but impossible to join games with your friends.  

It's worth pointing out that, anecdotally at least, it sounds like no such problems exist with the PlayStation Network version so far. The game has quite honestly been fun as heck when it's worked right, so if you're dying to play the game this weekend and have a choice of platform, you ought to consider the PSN game. Though, since '43 is built around small squads and friend-invite options, the biggest factor in your decision should really be which console most of your friends are playing on, and for me, that's the Xbox.

DICE is running a Twitter feed with frequent updates on the team's progress stabilizing the game, and a forum post over on the game's official forums features more in-depth info about what's being fixed, as well as some interesting trivia about the troubled launch.

Server Locations

Xbox 360: Amsterdam, Miami, Fremont CA, and Tokyo. We are adding more locations as we to spread the load of players.
PS3: Amsterdam, Virginia, L.A., and Tokyo. We are adding more locations as we to spread the load of players. 

Fun Facts

I need to share something fun and cheery now. And even though many can't get in, many have and played a lot of games already.
  • On Day 1 there were 29.45 years of gameplay completed on Xbox 360
  • Over 5 millions kills in the first day!

Amusingly, DICE has ratcheted up the console wars with an Xbox-versus-PlayStation race to 43 million kills. The first platform to hit that number will be the first to unlock the fourth map, Coral Sea, and a new plane-specific Air Superiority mode. The devs are just throwing fuel on the fire by posting the actual kill statistics as they rack up in what seems like real time. The Xbox is ahead by roughly 1.5 to 1, so it's actually a closer race than I thought it would be.


Way to go, DICE. You're part of the problem.
Way to go, DICE. You're part of the problem.

We'll be back early next week with a real review of the game--provided EA gets everything ironed out over the weekend and we can play without problems--but for now, here's what Battlefield 1943 might look like if you were to play it...

 
Brad Shoemaker on Google+