GDC 2009: Battlefield 1943 Updated Hands-On

DICE's next Battlefield is a downloadable game coming to consoles and the PC. We try not to get shot in a hands-on session.

SAN FRANCISCO--Stockholm is a long way from San Francisco, but that didn't stop EA from flying out a select number of DICE employees to show off a pair of new Battlefield games at a GDC 2009 event earlier this week. While a teaser demo of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was the star of the show, Battlefield 1943 was on hand to be played by anyone in attendance. We grabbed a controller and gave it a spin and got the chance to see a new map not shown in the game's previous outings.

The new map is based on Iwo Jima and offers a lush island setting cast under a warm sunset. Compared to what has already been shown, Iwo Jima is a relatively small-scale map that focuses more on infantry combat rather than vehicular fighting. Of course, there are still plenty of vehicles to operate; Iwo Jima features fighter jets, jeeps, tanks, and boats. Tanks are a destructive force of nature, able to smash through trees and wooden structures with ease. Planes take a bit of getting used to, but dropping bombs from on high is a blast. Boats provide a good way to transport troops from spawnpoints out on a cruiser at sea, and jeeps, well, they're not the most effective on this map with all the hills and trees getting in your way.

With support for 24 players, this map had a lot going on. We were never hard-pressed to find some sort of scuffle nearby, and the vehicles available to you mean you can find it by land, air, or sea. With three different classes, you can also choose from a few different combat styles. The methodical player can roll as a scout in a ghilli suit, planting remote-detonated explosives on a road and waiting in the bushes until a jeep loaded with enemies comes driving by. The target-practice enthusiast can hop into an antiaircraft gun and shoot at the fighter jets buzzing through the sky, or hop into an air-raid shelter and call in his own assault from on high. Run-and-gunners can just dash around with a machine gun shooting anything running nearby. Bottom line: There are plenty of ways to wage this war.

Battlefield 1943 uses the Frostbite engine, so it looks and feels a lot like the original Bad Company. Those playing the console versions will find that it controls almost identically and offers a level of destruction similar to last year's comedic caper starring B Company. You'll see trees topple over and walls exploding into bits, so any place that seems safe one moment could be the exact opposite a moment later. And though the game's visuals aren't quite as sharp as Bad Company's, they're not far off and still look great for a downloadable game.

1943 looks great for a downloadable game.

As of now, EA hasn't announced any pricing for Battlefield 1943. It's described as a "premium" download, so we'd guess the price will be somewhere in the $15-20 range. Of course, that's just speculation, so we'll have to wait for the official word. Battlefield 1943 will be out this summer for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC.

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Discussion

217 comments
Amz1217
Amz1217

@ jaster333 The release date for BF 1943 is June for the PS3 and 360 and September for PC but in the US the release date is September for all formats

jaster333
jaster333

why does it say Release: September 2009 i hope there not actualy releceing it at that time!!

dexl
dexl

Wow this is amazing, hope they increase the max player cap, and work on a few more maps after release :)

Morbidmassacre
Morbidmassacre

im not a BF fan but i'm really looking forward to this game...

james25118
james25118

I think it uses the same game engine as Bad Company

dasboy1
dasboy1

man i never played batllefield games before but this one looks awesome

skoltz
skoltz

Wow Looks like Dice is moving into the modern era with some physix here. Can't wait.

BiGG_SMiGG
BiGG_SMiGG

i hope they make another 2142, liked the future stuff in it, especially the walkers and the titans, the walkers are the mechs arent they? they were great, and the pods launched from the titans were cool too.

BiGG_SMiGG
BiGG_SMiGG

isnt this like 350MB or something,wow, thats small

Ystergarde
Ystergarde

Looks very interesting! I don't yet have an Xbox 360, but will be getting one in a month and is looking forward to this game..

xxRJxx
xxRJxx

they dont need to fix squads. they need to take it out ! Hell yeah parachute

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

and to anyone comparing this to WaW or calling it a ripoff of WaW do some d@m research you COD fanboys, they made 1942 way before COD 1 existed, this is just an update of their existing game plus improvements the fans wanted.

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

i hope they have an airplane practise/training mode. and to anyone comparing this to WaW or calling it a ripoff of WaW do some d@m research you COD fanboys, they made 1942 way before COD 1 existed, this is just an update of their existing game plus improvements the fans wanted.

snokdruid
snokdruid

I can't believe that people are comparing this to world at war...

eguy34
eguy34

1942 and vietnam are still my favourites in the bf series... until this comes out. Wide open fields, dog fights, battleship/tank warfare, no UAV's, and 64 man carnage + if you coordinate with your friends in a squad its even more fun, there so much strategy involved rather than just running in and depending on reflexes.. I'm guessing there will be a commander position like the other bf's = overhead RTS with cooperative squads (theres always great servers that require/encourage teamwork). If your a lone wolf, this game isn't for you!

FBIoh3
FBIoh3

lol rip of waaaaaaaw? what craziness is this? man i read some of these comments and just shake my head and laugh at the "i know everything" posts that are made.........do some research grasshopper.....;)

madeoftitanium
madeoftitanium

Just for Iwo Jima?Just one goddanmened small island?This isnt great 'premium' value wth

Keitha313
Keitha313

This game just looks like a cheap rip-off of COD-WAW and thats a very bad thing because CODWAW isnt a good game at first i thought it was but deffinetly not... Just cant imagine a game any worse than WAW.... Deffinetly wont be buying it!!.

shawn7324
shawn7324

So will we only get 200 Acheivement Points with this???

Jbentkowski2
Jbentkowski2

Yo flanker, the first battlefield game was 1942, yet they had battles from the entire war. If they only put in battles from one year of the war do you think it would actually be any fun? I wish people would think about what they say before they post it.

Jbentkowski2
Jbentkowski2

Maybe you should brush up on your history some Holyknight... All of the guns in WaW were in order. The only part of your comment thats making any sense at all is the part about the japs using american guns-I can see the confusion there. But you may be talking about the gun that only LOOKS like the british sten.

goldfront45
goldfront45

i was just thinking that they should remake 1943 ......and now i hope for vietnam -_-

holyknight234
holyknight234

hopefully they try to make each faction actually interesting, not like WaW, where the japs used American guns and Russians used German guns...

-Fable-
-Fable-

I need to get me a bigger HD. 20 GB is not enough these days!!

ogs4life
ogs4life

i am joking lol,im still loving to play bf2

Liferow
Liferow

I remember when BF1942 first came out. Talk about being hooked. I'm kinda happy they reduced the amount of players per map though. That makes teamwork much easier and individual skill more noticeable. Spawning with so many people became annoying, especially if you wanted a vehicle. I'm sure the maps are gonna be shrinked and the graphics will be way more intense. I'm grabbing this.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

How is this a WaW wannabe?? Battlefield was around before wayyyy before WaW. Also, I noticed even the dev guy couldnt snipe in this game, which in Bad Company was ridiculously hard..

ogs4life
ogs4life

call of duty world at war wannabe

xnight_ninjax
xnight_ninjax

everyone knows that this is a game right. not history. so it doesnt matter if they alter things. come on now.

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

Games shouldn't be based on history, they just have to alter to much......

DistortedGecko
DistortedGecko

I loved Battlefield 1942, so I will be buying this. Especially since it will cost less.

NicAgent
NicAgent

"Iwo Jima features , jeeps, tanks, and boats." Excuse me, fighter jets in 1943? I hope that was a type-o. The only fighter jet ever to see combat in WWII was the German Messerschmitt Me-262 which obviously didn't see service anywhere NEAR the Pacific, and only came into use in the closing months of the battles in Europe.

Pyromaniac210
Pyromaniac210

I still don't consider a game a true "Battlefield" game unless it has 64-player online support, but I'm willing to give this game a chance if it is still able to offer the intensity of Battlefield 1942, even with less players.

colbertnation1
colbertnation1

It looks like an OK game, definetly not a $50 or cd game but for a cheap download it seems alright! I like the features that you can destroy more stuff. I just hope they keep ranks and different weapon awards like they had in BF2. One thing im not to happy about is this is Pacific only, so I may wait to see how the game is. If they had a German/Russian maps I would definetly buy it.

tigershuffle
tigershuffle

EA do some research......same as we get 'bored' with every game playing out Omaha, you now do a dis-service to Iwo Jima (barren rock and in 1945). The island shouldve been Tarawa or plenty of other islands from 1943. Oh and tanks werent some kind of awesome all terrain crush trees in their paths vehicles. Poor vision, and not at all suited to 'jungle' environments.

eynonz
eynonz

I do agree that it looks decent for a downloadable game.

Neither76
Neither76

So it seems only Multiplayer if im correct? The Marines did have fighters on Iwo Jima that's why they took Okinawa so they could get a secure airbase for the rest of the campaign. The fighters were Corsairs for your history guys. Also if you found a tree on Iwo Jima you were lucky cause the island was dug up for bunkers noted by andy along with being bombed repeatedly for days the Marines thought everything on the island was dead, including grass and trees. The game looks ok but really fake in the sense of enviroment and that their two years off the actuall date and time of the battle at least with the title of the game that could change in game.

zero9167
zero9167

wow looks much better than the last time i saw it

andyyeh123
andyyeh123

Lol, and iwo jima was filled with bunkers and there was barely anything on land, everything was dug up and covered with sulfur.... There was no cover for the marines to hide behind, so this island ingame is not accurate at all.....don't believe gaming history XD

FlankerDFMax
FlankerDFMax

Wow! Glad I din't learn history from EA or game dweebs at GDC. Iwo Jima was fought in Feb/Mar of 1945, not 1943........and while it sounds really interesting........I'm not sure if all those fighter "jets" the reviewer was talking about are in the right time period too. BTW: I second the calls for a worthy successor to BF2.

Netherscourge
Netherscourge

Woo Hoo! Fighter Planes!!! I'm sick of choppers. I can't wait to play this and Bad Company 2.

tyzwain
tyzwain

Nice, loved the Battlefield 1942 series. Cant wait to get my hands on this one!

meconate
meconate

Im getting tired of Battlefield's expansion packs and mods. Futuristic Battlefields or WWII Battlefields, they're all the same. Only Battlefield 2 was actually a great game and rather original.

Deluhathol
Deluhathol

To be perfectly honest, I just wish they would get to work on Battlefield 3 already; most of the Battlefield "spin-off" games have been, in my opinion, pretty bland. I just want a proper sequel to Battlefield 2; and I hope like hell that it stays as hardcore as its predecessors.

joelgargan
joelgargan

Uh oh sorry Didnt mean to say gay bad habit I mean it looks crap.