At New York Comic Con, Multiplayer intern Sal Basile got a chance to check out "Battlefield 1943: Pacific." As a fan of the series, here are his impressions and notes on some of the changes made in the game.
By Sal Basile
"Battlefield 1943 Pacific" is a remake of 2002's critically-acclaimed "Battlefield 1942" but with a more casual, pick-up-and-play style. In "1942," players could choose from five classes -- Assault, Anti-Tank, Engineer, Scout, Medic -- each with their own advantages and weaknesses.
I really enjoyed the teamwork-oriented gameplay in "1942." I loved how players needed to step up, assess the situation, and decide what they should be. If everyone was playing as Assault, our team would be demolished by vehicles. If everyone played as Medics, our team would be sniped from afar by Scouts. Although I loved playing as a Medic to help out my teammates, there were times where I had to look at the scoreboard, see where my team was weak, and change my playstyle.
However, in the new title, developer DICE has changed many of the revered gameplay mechanics. "Pacific" has cut back on the amount of classes, leaving only Infantry, Rifleman and Scout. My favorite class, Medic, has been removed to make way for regenerating health "Halo"-style. The Anti-Tank class has been replaced by giving all classes a rocket launcher.
Following the trend of making games more accessible, DICE has also given all players infinite ammo in "Pacific." The developer stated that the action of "Pacific" will be different than "1942," with no need to yell for a med pack or look for ammo. Although this makes the game easier to play, it also makes the game less tense. I loved worrying if my last bullet would count, or dodging in and out of firefights to dive into a med pack.
In addition to these new mechanics, DICE has upgraded the physics and map destructibility. Playing on the very recognizable "Wake Island" map, I hopped into the gunner seat of a friendly tank. While my driver took me for a joy ride, I got to see him mow down trees that enemies were hiding in. I managed to jump out of the tank before a rocket blew it up. I shot a rocket at a building that was housing some enemies in the hopes of avenging my dear friend, the tank driver. Although I was aiming for the open window, I hit a wall instead, which crumbled and revealed the inside of the building.
To be honest, my limited time with "Pacific" has left me in doubt. Although the more accessible mechanics seem like an interesting twist on the "Battlefield" franchise I love, I'm not sure regenerating health or unlimited ammo fits an army game well. For the relatively cheap price point of $15 to $20, "Pacific" should ensure a delightful experience for anyone looking to hop in on the first-person shooter multiplayer fun, but I hope future "Battlefield" titles go back to the mechanics that made them stand out.
"Battlefield 1943: Pacific" is scheduled for a release this summer on XBLA, PSN and PC.