Battlefield 1943

Key events

FeatureBattling to stay online

As worrying details of the next gen emerge, what should we make of the recent Battlefield 1943 outage and EA's tardy response?

I should probably begin with an admission: I'm a little bit addicted to Battlefield 1943. It's my favourite online multiplayer game and I've been playing it fairly heavily ever since it was released as a digital download almost four years ago. Yet even I was surprised - and slightly embarrassed - to discover just how much time I've spent on it. One thousand and sixty hours. That's more than 44 days of solid play.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 21

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 21

Wolf, BF1943, Virtua Tennis, Juarez, GI Joe, Fight Night, UFC, Overlord II.

The cross-platform console games having been gradually piling up over the summer, and it's about time the decks were cleared to best ready ourselves for the upcoming Q4 gaming tsunami. On this particular occasion, eight recent titles are put to the test, including our very first multi-format PSN/XBLA face-off.

As is the norm, the analyses are backed up with a comprehensive range of assets: full 24-bit RGB framebuffer dumps of each game (including 1080p shots where supported on PS3), embedded comparison videos using the very best in h264 compression, along with new high-definition clickthroughs in order to get the full picture. These Eurogamer Face-Off features have been gradually evolving over time, and once more the range of available data has increased: discrete frame-rate and v-sync readings have been added to the HD videos.

Onto the gaming line-up then:

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Battlefield 1943 sells over 600,000

Battlefield 1943 sells over 600,000

Sets records too complicated for headline.

DICE and EA have announced that Battlefield 1943 is the fastest-selling day one and week one downloadable game worldwide in Xbox Live history, and has taken the same accolade on PlayStation Network in North America.

That amounts to more than 600,000 copies sold, apparently. BF1943 costs 1200 Microsoft Points (10.20 / 14.40) on Live and 9.99 / 12.99 on PSN.

What's more, players of both versions of the game have long since hit the requisite 43 million kills that unlock the fourth map, Coral Sea. Xbox 360 owners managed this in five days, while PS3 fans were only a few days slower, doing so in eight.

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29 years of BF1943 gameplay on Weds

29 years of BF1943 gameplay on Weds

Devs update players on stats and fixes.

In an unprecedented blow for relativity, EA and DICE report that there were some 29.45 years of gameplay completed on the Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 1943 last Wednesday, with five million kills recorded.

That's significant because the duo have a clever little gimmick going on where a fourth map, Coral Sea, is unlocked once each of the two groups of players, on PS3 and 360, reaches 43 million kills overall.

(Update: A quick glance at the official site reveals a more up-to-date counter - 27.5 million kills on 360 and nearly 15 million on PS3. Thanks Scott.)

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Battlefield 1943

Battlefield 1943

War is heck.

It's a testament to DICE's original multiplayer war game that even though there's been a spin-off or expansion every year since 2002, many people have been holding out for a proper World War 2 sequel for seven years. That this sequel arrives on consoles first, rather than PC, and as a bargain-priced digital download no less, reveals much about how gaming has changed since we first planted our boots in Battlefield's bloody, muddy soil.

This is undeniably Battlefield stripped down and pared back for a new generation of gamers. Those familiar with the PC original would be forgiven for being taken aback at just how slender the available options are, in almost every area. This ruthless focus is actually one of the game's strengths, at least in the short term, but it remains to be seen how such a skeletal starting point will sustain itself over the coming months.

It's war as Groundhog Day, a neverending series of skirmishes set in the Pacific theatre, but for many players it's getting started that has been the problem. Plagued by server problems and lag in its first 48 hours of public play, such technical sluggishness casts a pall over those all-important first impressions. Spending upwards of 30 minutes hitting the Quick Match button over and over really isn't something we should have to do for an online-only title with this sort of pedigree. Assuming these issues are resolved quickly, however, there's no reason to hold the teething troubles against the game itself. Once you do manage to get past the obstinate "No games found" message, you'll find a marvellously intuitive multiplayer shooter with a commendably balanced design.

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Battlefield 1943 heads PSN update

Battlefield 1943 heads PSN update

Ghostbusters and FUEL demos too.

Battlefield 1943 tops the bill on the PlayStation Store this week, with GBP 10 the asking price for a slice of Pacific World War II online multiplayer madness. There's a free trial to test the waters, and you can expect our final verdict later this morning.

Also up for grabs are Ghostbusters and FUEL demos. We've reviewed both, and prefer the former over the latter.

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift gains tracks, variants, vehicles, characters, paintjobs and Trophies as part of an Adrenaline expansion, while Skate 2 emulates the Maloof Cup skateboarding event through DLC.

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Battlefield 1943 having difficulties

DICE wheeling in more servers to cope.

DICE has been working hard through the night to solve problems affecting Battlefield 1943, which launched on Xbox Live yesterday and should be out for PS3 today.

Battlefield 1943 out next week

Wednesday on Live, Thursday on PSN.

EA has announced that Battlefield 1943 will be released on Xbox Live Arcade next Wednesday and PlayStation Network next Thursday.

No public beta for Battlefield 1943

No public beta for Battlefield 1943

Only a trial. PC version in September.

EA DICE producer Gordon Van Dyke has said a trial version of Battlefield 1943 will be offered to compensate for the lack of a public beta - an inevitability on Xbox Live Arcade, but not always so on PlayStation Network. So that's good news.

"No beta, but we have a trial version that lets you confirm what you already thought - that this game is the best USD 15 I will ever spend!" Van Dyke told Eurogamer readers during a Live Text Q&A.

He wouldn't budge on the "summer" date for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network versions of Battlefield 1943, but the overseeing PR announced that the PC version will arrive later, in September.

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BF1943 gets fourth unlockable map

Accessed by 43 million kills.

EA has announced that Battlefield 1943 comes with four maps, not three, but players will have to register 43 million kills to unlock the fourth.

DICE "feels good" under Riccitiello's EA

"It's definitely the right direction."

Working for Electronic Arts since John Riccitiello returned "feels good", according to DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson, and the chief executive's focus on quality over quantity is "definitely the right direction".

Battlefield 1943

Splatters from Iwo Jima.

Never mind Bad Company - welcome to Dimwit Company. Nobody's talking to one another - hardly surprising, since the guys to either side of me are Italian, French and Spanish - and once the landing craft hit the beach, we've all regressed by about seven years. Italy's landed a biplane upside down on an anti-aircraft gun, and I'm stuck fast in a trench. In a tank.

FeatureBattlefield 1943

Pacific Heights.

The grass is a brilliant green, the sky a perfect blue, and down towards the sandy beaches, with their artfully ragged lines of gently swaying palms, I can just make out a hint of bleached white rock. Looking around, this could be the Greenhill Zone, were it not for a few important distinctions, the first of which is the thick plume of black smoke rising ominously from the distant jungle. And the second? The second is the fact that I'm currently under fairly heavy gunfire. Who knows? Maybe Shadow's knocking about nearby.