Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Budget gaming? Surely not - Battlefield 1943

Given the weird nature of starting a business like Feeding Edge I don't get to buy as many games off the shelf as I used to. (At the moment :) ). So I am finding that I am getting a lot more out of budget games. In particular the brilliant Battlefield 1943 on Xbox Live. (This is also out on the Playstation store too).

In BF1943 you play online matches usually 12 vs 12 on relatively small islands in the South Pacific. Its a capture the flag(s) game and features several player types and lots of vehicles including fighters and bombers.
It is a very fast and frenetic game and the nature of the terrain means there seems to be a lot less camping by snipers so it is very n00by friendly. Still the good players are particularly good, and better when on your side.
The brilliant dynamic that was introduced was that the game type called Air Superiority, which is solely a fighter plane head to head was not unlocked at the start on either PS3 or Xbox. The developers promised to unlock it for the first platform to get a combined score of 43 million kills. Xbox won.
I am a big fan of the fighter plane genre. It sits better with my flowing style, like car racing. I also feel I have better situational awareness and understand the dynamics more than when I am infantry in a field. So it was great to be up in the sky zooming around.
As the game is only online and really only has 4 levels to play on it is considered a budget game, costing £8-10 depending on the system. It also features free to play in that both systems have a demo, so you can just dive into real games and get on with it. It is slightly easier to notice that on the Xbox as all the Live games tend to offer trial downloads, on the PS3 the trial is hidden away and separate from the adverts for the £9.99 version. The PS3 store is also a click away and somewhat aloof, whereas the xbox dashboard pretty much screams at you that 1943 is going on.
So if you have either system down load 1943 and have a go. It really is only the price that makes this a budget game, the production quality, the destruction in the environment and the rush of playing making this brilliant fun.
You will of course get griefers, buy friendly fire tends to be off, though the current trend for AA gunners on boats in Air Superiority to blow up your own planes before you get in them is a bit annoying. Especially if you have to wait for a ride to arrive. Still its all part of the game and being online something they can easily fix or patch without too much impact to us all.
See you in there :)