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.