Battlefield 1943 Interview
As battle commences on Xbox Live and PSN, we catch up with Lead Producer Patrick Liu for a chat about "kiddy" gaming, symmetrical maps and the future of Battlefield.
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Battlefield 1943 hit Xbox Live this week for a cool 1200 points and PlayStation Network for ten English bob. If you didn't already know this you're a disgrace to your supposedly cherished hobby, to be blunt, and should we encounter you on the beaches of Iwo Jima, Wake Island or Guadalcanal (a fourth map will be unlocked once the community's chalked up 43 million kills) we'll have no option but to drop a couple of cluster bombs down the neck of your shirt. Assuming you don't roll a grenade into our foxhole first, and assuming we can steer the stupid AI bomber flight successfully.
Having dared the trenches ringing EA's Guildford HQ and cracked its aquatic green glass exterior, Kikizo recently cornered Patrick Liu, Lead Producer for the online-only Battlefield 1942 remake, to discuss key alterations and the future of the franchise. Sick of single player after the hit-and-miss Bad Company campaign? Sorry, but there's a lot more where that came from...
Kikizo: I think the elephant in the room here, inasmuch as it's also an online-only multiplayer shooter flying the Battlefield banner, is Battlefield Heroes. Have you taken any cues from that game for Battlefield 1943?
Patrick Liu: Not an awful lot actually. I think the similarities are more in writing and art direction, and it's a very small game in scope. But that's where the similarities end. Gameplay-wise they're completely different. As I told you earlier, this is not casual in any way...
Kikizo: Yes, you were quite emphatic about that.
Liu: Heroes is third-person, it's more a casual thing, with lots of unlocks. It's almost like Battlefield meets World of Warcraft, with all those classes and abilities. This is definitely a more pure Battlefield game.
Kikizo: Have you fiddled around much with the structure of the three maps you've taken from Battlefield 1942?
Liu: That's an interesting question, actually. If you have played the original maps, you will recognise the general layout. But firstly there are details that have changed. We have much more detail in the vegetation, much more trees and grass, so there are some tweaks to that. And also with the destruction we need to account for that in the base design. And also one thing, if you're really hardcore you will note - we have what we call Head On Assault Conquest mode, a different sort of Conquest, which means that the map is symmetrical.
Each team starts from a carrier and attacks the island, while the original map was one team defending the island while the other attacked it from the carrier. And the reason for making that change was to make it more fair for both teams, especially if we want to cater to a new crowd. A symmetrical map is much more difficult to grasp from without. So for added fairness we're making it symmetrical.