Coral Sea: Hands On

Fitting that the first news I bring since our ‘changes’ post is relevant to both systems and brings both good and bad news depending on which you own. The good news for the Xbox 360 owners is that Battlefield 1943 has just opened up its fourth map thanks to the community racking up the 43,000,000 kills in around 4 days. The bad news for the PS3 is that last time I checked the PS3 community has a little over 20,000,000 kills and will be forced to wait a while longer. However there is good news for everyone as we have opened up and announced that Xbox 360 content will indeed be winging its way to the site. Which means I am able to write about our hands on with the Coral Sea map and what it is that the PS3 community have to look forward to.

Firstly you will notice that you now have the “Air Superiority” game mode as a selectable option at the main menu. As it suggests you are to then play a mode where the entire battle takes place above the Coral Sea. You do not start off in a plane though as you will indeed begin the level on an aircraft carrier patiently waiting for a plane to be made available. Planes are quick to spawn and whilst I can’t give an exact figure it seemed that there were around eight planes per side in the sky at its busiest. Should you be bored waiting then you can park your ass on the seat of an AA gun and start giving the enemy some flak. You can still choose a class to play as and run around the carrier with the same weapons that class would normally carry. I actually spent a few moments trying to drop an enemy bird with a bazooka and only discovered that I couldn’t hit water if I fell out a boat.


Once you are in a plane it all falls into place. Using a plane in the other maps and in the normal conquest mode is a difficult task and can see you miss out on a lot of the action. Here over the Coral Sea though you will have plenty to shoot at and plenty of reasons to keep a sharp eye on the tail. Dogfights really come alive and you are constantly watching your six as planes are zipping around like moths to a flame. On many occasions the fights get so close and intense that a collision was the only thing to end what seemed an eternal cat and mouse chase over the lush volcanic island setting. The scene provides hills to twist around and plenty of daring stunts to be performed in the hope of shaking that pesky zero behind that has been spitting lead at you since you took off. It really is intense and the fight isn’t over until it is over! One minute you are running (or rather flying) for your life as you duck, weave, loop and roll your plane out of harms way. The next you manage to execute a sound manoeuvre and get the bugger centred right in your sights before removing his wings with a quick squeeze of the trigger and should you feel the need a crafty “sorry old chap” over the mic. The map and mode is all about air combat, with no electronics or fancy weapons, just plain old school dogfighting.

Air superiority is essentially team deathmatch where you and your team can destroy all the enemy birds to start dropping their tickets. It is a very easy objective but a real work-out to achieve and will test the most skilled of (gaming) pilots out there. Another map and mode available for a fantastic title (albeit an unlockable mode) and a big round of applause to Dice and EA, for implementing such an exciting and rewarding community feature. Though it is tempting to take to the skies – I’ll be seeing you on the PS3 giving it my all to make sure we all get the chance to sample this fun feature. Chocks away…….oh I say – bravo, mission accomplished.

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