Tristan Kalogeropoulos
03 Nov, 2006

Battlefield 2142 Review

PC Review | The future of war.
The old saying states that death and taxes are the only inevitabilities in this world. However, looking back in time, and at our immediate point in history, it seems that the other thing we can add to that list is war. Battles, both real and imagined, have always been a major source of material for games. And the Battlefield games have drawn from our current and past military stories, adding in a hefty level of detail, and engaging squad-based combat. Now, not content with sticking to the well-worn paths of many other war-based games, DICE, the creators of the Battlefield series, has decided to invent a new world for us in which to test our military skill. Battlefield 2142 is the game which contains that new universe.

The newest edition to the Battlefield saga is set in our own world's future. It's a future in which global warming has finally taken its toll, and a new ice age has begun to spill uninhabitable tundra across much of the globe. As they're gradually surrounded by this frozen wasteland, the members of the European Union and the, mainly Russian, Pan Asian Coalition find themselves struggling over the last few vestiges of habitable land. As with a great deal of wars, the land that they both want is the same, and even in over 100 years from now, humans, being humans, instead of sharing, go to war. As the two opposing sides rush towards Northern Africa, the battles intensify. You can play as either of the two sides within the game, but despite their different cultural backgrounds, they are relatively the same, apart from the radio chatter of the Pan Asian Coalition being in Russian. It is nice to see a title that offers two new opposing forces, and interesting to see that they are well imagined entities.

We're not sure what keeps them in the air, but there's one thing we know about Titans. They're huuuge.

We're not sure what keeps them in the air, but there's one thing we know about Titans. They're huuuge.
Battlefield 2142 controls, and indeed, despite the new setting, looks very similar to Battlefield 2. The previous iteration of Battlefield was, at the time, one of the strongest first person shooters around and 2142 does a great job of continuing the series' tradition. The game engine remains relatively untouched, with a few extra shaders and effects added for good measure. This is both a positive and negative thing. The Battlefield 2 engine is looking a bit dated when compared to many others nowadays, and this means that the game ends up looking a bit like a mod. However, it has been the source of many compelling hours of gameplay, and continues to do a fantastic job in Battlefield 2142.

The battlefields, from the icy, concrete jungles of Europe, to the dusty, arid lands of North Africa, all provide a fantastic backdrop to the action that plays out during the game. The difference in settings manages to keep the game interesting, by placing extremely varied terrains and strategic positions for soldiers to struggle for supremacy. Whilst they look great, the streets that shape your battleground do not look as if they've ever been populated by civilians. Their stark features, either intentionally or through technical limitations, give your surroundings a never-been-lived-in look. It would have been nice to have seen some signs of previous inhabitation, something which would have provided a more realistic feel to the game. This however is a minor irritation, and does not detract greatly from the fun that can be had gunning down enemies on said streets.

Unlike previous Battlefield's, Battlefield 2142 offers two modes of play. The most basic is Conquest mode, which many will be familiar with, in which players must simply scramble to obtain checkpoints and engage in skirmishes to hold these points. Titan mode is a new addition and involves players trying to destroy each other's flying fortress-like battleship. In order to ground these airborne behemoths, the opposing sides must first capture and hold checkpoints which are missile silos, launch missiles and deplete the other teams' Titan's force shield. From there, it's a matter of choice as to whether they continue to attack with the surface-to-air missiles or board the Titan to destroy it from within. It is great to have a reason to be capturing checkpoints, other than them being new places to spawn from, and the mission to destroy the Titans adds a certain frantic nature to the battle, intensifying the action and reducing the chance of a war of attrition.

The ice age comes, and with it war.

The ice age comes, and with it war.
There are four classes to play within Battlefield. These include Recon; a combination of Sniper and Special Ops, Engineer; an anti-tank specialist and vehicle repairer, Assault; a fierce fighter and medic, and Support; who can supply teammates with extra ammunition and deploy auto-defense turrets and other tools. Both the EU and the Pan Asian Coalition have the same classes and indeed look extremely similar. The problem with having two very similar-looking teams is that team-killing is an extremely easy mistake to make. Punishment for a team kill is possible, and it can be very frustrating to have killed what you thought was an enemy, only to find it was your teammate and that you've lost a portion of your health as punishment.

As one would expect from a Battlefield game there are a host of vehicles in which to transport your team's troops or to attack the enemy's. For the most part, these vehicles are very similar to those in other Battlefields, with their aesthetics slightly modified. Regular tanks and personal transporters do not seem to have changed dramatically in the 136 years between the current day and the year 2142. There have been some interesting additions, however. Hover tanks are now available and slide their way across the battleground, delivering decisive blows against the opposition. Aircraft hover also, if required, rather than needing to propel themselves forward. The most striking of 2142's vehicles are the Mechs. Towering above all else, they provide extreme firepower and, if used correctly, are able to leave a trail of carnage in their wake, especially when manned by multiple soldiers allowing for more than one gun to be activated. These formidable weapons are however, able to be defeated, as are all of the vehicles, by a strategic attack from those fighting against them.

DICE has gone all out with unlockables in 2142. After dabbling with them in Battlefield 2 it seems that they came to the conclusion that this is something that keeps players coming back for more, time after time. These include various things such as weapons, shields and skills. You must decide carefully about what to unlock, as almost all are attributed to a certain class, meaning that you will find yourself playing, for the most part, as just the one for which you are aquiring power-ups.

Heel and toe, Heel and toe. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!

Heel and toe, Heel and toe. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!
Unfortunately for those picking the game up early in its life there are a few bugs which, to its credit, EA has acknowledged and is currently in the process of ironing out. This may be the case, but people generally do not purchase products, especially games, on their future potential. When you buy something, you want to reap the benefits of it as soon as it’s reached to your eager little hands. These bugs all add up to some quite annoying problems with the game. Currently, if you die in a Titan and it's moving at the time, your body will be seen gliding across the floor as if sewn to the point on the map where you passed away. This affects your ability to revive other team mates who end up in walls rather than on the floor where they gasped their last breath. Lag also becomes an issue when the Titans are moved, leading to some frustrating difficulties. One of the most irritating bugs is that not all servers seem to track your stats/unlocks effectively. This is especially problematic when one of the key enticements to continue to play the game is the unlockable weapons and the levelling up of your characters.

Film directors and marketing experts often state that the best way to tap into an audience’s imagination is to take something that is familiar to them, modify it slightly, and thus provide a new take on it. Battlefield 2142 has done this well. Whilst not being overly different from the previous Battlefield games it does offer significant improvements and additions to gameplay to make it an extremely good game. A few bugs bring it down a little, and it would have been great if EA had waited to be able to release the game without these, or if the game had been tested better. Despite these issues though, there are many things about Battlefield 2142's gameplay, especially in Titan mode, which will keep players coming back for more if the issues with stats-tracking and lag are patched.
The Score
Battlefield 2142 is a game that should have been great. The bugs that missed being sorted out pre-release hold it back a great deal and diminish its appeal, which is a shame, as without them it would be excellent. Hopefully these get sorted out soon to allow fans of multiplayer FPS's to enjoy it.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Battlefield 2142 Content

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E3 2006: New Battlefield 2142 media
13 May, 2006 Fight the world all over again.
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Review
28 Apr, 2006 Worth a second go?
7 years ago
Yes this game looks awesome. Have played a little bit of it and it was nicely done, but had a few too many bad aspects.
7 years ago
I spyware with my little brown eye something beginning with A and ends with my finger. icon_lol.gif "Advertisements" - they belong in magazines & TV - not in games thanks.

I don't care what the excuse - we won't get lower pricing because of it, and the games wont be more realistic because of it - infact the reason I play games is to escape realism.

They say the usage monitoring is kind of innocent now, but I know that I'll be pushed into giving away more and more each update which will be attached to some new licensing agreement. I can't be stuffed wading through a mountain of small print to see how this will evolve.

Someone please hack this stuff out of BF2142 and I'll be first in line to buy your copy at full RRP. icon_biggrin.gif

Meantime: Crysis, UT2007, or Gothic 3 have in-game-advertising? No? Bad luck EA my money and time are easily spent elsewhere.
7 years ago
i found that it looked and felt like just a BF2 mod...

yes it was still fun to play, and the fighting inside the titans is certainly hectic, but i wouldnt pay full RRP for just a game mod
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