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Sometimes, Simpler is Better
In an age where multiplayer first-person shooters are king, the most popular games have a myriad of guns, maps, and modes. While choice is always good, in my opinion these games have become too complicated, and the fun has become diluted by developers focusing on quantity over quality.
One of my favorite multiplayer shooters is Battlefield: 1943, the remake of the classic shooter Battlefield: 1942. This downloadable shooter was incredibly simple, with little variety in modes, maps, or guns.
Battlefield: 1943 has only four maps, one of which is exclusively a air combat map. In addition, there are only three classes, that each have two guns, a special item, such as C4 or grenades, and a melee weapon. As a player, one couldn’t even go prone, making hiding and camping much more difficult. And in terms of game modes, there was only one, the classic Conquest mode.
The features in this game seem utterly lacking, but this the quality of the content more than makes up for this deficit. For example, despite effectively having three maps to play on, I was never bored. The maps are all incredibly well made and well-balanced for each side, making it rewarding to know the map and making each game a new and refreshing experience.
Also, I never missed having lots of guns to choose from. In this game, players only have one gun for each purpose, and it makes the whole game much more simple and elegant. For example, there is essentially one sniper rifle, one machine gun, one mid-range rifle, one pistol, and one rocket launcher. This puts all players on an even player field, and therefore makes the game very easy to balance. Additionally, since snipers aren’t able to go prone (only crouch), sniping becomes an even more challenging and rewarding experience.
The sole game mode available, Conquest, is essentially a hybrid of team deathmatch and capture the flag, and never fails to entertain. When playing, I certainly never missed the standard modes in most first-person shooters, as all of the maps were best-suited for Conquest.
While the Call of Dutys and Medal of Honors of the world focus on providing as many options as possible, hopefully more games will follow Battlefield: 1943’s example of simple elegance providing a fantastic and addictive multiplayer experience.