Let's Cut To the chase here, people. This is the new Battlefield game and it's migrated back from a world of big stompy mech things to the more familiar environs of World War II. Despite my much-publicised exasperation with the continued overuse of this scenario, it's welcome in this case. I've never got on with mechs and futuristic settings for pseudo-realistic shooters - there's just something more satisfying about rending a Nazi's flesh from his bones than taking down a robot.
So the news of Battlefields return to Wake Island and other familiar locales is welcome. But will it live up to the expectations of the people who even now are plugging away on the original game? A difficult question, answerable only by DICE themselves. Fortunately, we just happened to have a representative from DICE right next to us when we had a go on the game.
Patrick Liu, lead producer on Battlefield 1943: Pacific, spoke to us about how the community has reacted: I've been watching the forums since the announcement, and I think they're split. Mostly the people that don't like it, or rather the people who think they don't like it, aren't that well informed on what kind of game it is. They assume that if it's a cheap small game that it's going to be casual. But it isn't.
I think that once you actually try it you'll really like it With that said we have slimmed things down. You know we have only three maps, only three classes, regenerative health and all that We have seen some complaints about these, but my response is that those systems don't make a game hardcore or casual. It's the whole of the game that makes it hardcore or casual. To be honest I think using those terms is a really bad way of defining what a game is."
As Liu says, the game has been streamlined and tweaked to be less Intimidating to new players. However, it'll also feature what some could describe as console concessions, like Unlimited' ammunition and Call of Duty-style regenerating health. Some won't see this as a problem, but there are potential issues (unmovable snipers, impregnable defences) that might arise from these implementations.
I "We're going to support 24 players, there are going to be three maps, one of them being Wake Island. I wouldn't call it a remake of 1942, but it's strongly inspired by it If you played Wake Island before, you'll recognise it in 1943. "Battlefield is a bit more accessi ble now, a more streamlined experience and a more focused game, so I think if you're new to Battlefield, it should still be fairly easy to get into it." Graphically, the game looks very colourful and vivid, which will mark a significant change in the art direction from BF1942 (and the other games, to lesser degrees).
This is possible by using the Frostbite engine, developed for Bad Company on consoles. Liu says the game, despite being "competitively priced", won't be skimping on the graphical detail.
"We're aiming for the high-end PC market, though I hope we're not pushing for, you know, the spectrum of where Crysis went, because that was a bit too high. We don't want to lose players because they can't play the game." Judging from the game we saw running, which was still pre-alpha code, it would be fair to say that the game will run comfortably on mid-spec PCs, so anyone out there who is concerned about ridiculous system requirements doesn't need to be unduly concerned about this.
What you might be concerned about is the lack of any single-player element The tutorial level will, currently, teach you the game in the absence of any other players or bots. Mind you, bots won't feature in the final version of the game either.
Everything else you'd expect from a Battlefield game is present and correct -cars, planes, boats, explosions and so on. It's just all been streamlined to make it less complicated. For example, there are now only three character classes -rifleman, soldier and scout. Engineering and anti-tank abilities have been shifted over to the rifleman and soldier classes, while the scout now has demolitions duties to perform. There's also no medic, because of the regenerative health system. Which is kind of sad, because I always liked trying to kill people with my defibrillators.
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