After a disappointing (by some) but loved (by others) Battlefield 2, DICE wanted to “make up for something”. This time we’re taken to the year 2142 where a new ice age has started and the most powerful alliances (no Americans but this time we get Asians and Europeans) are conducting heavy battles for the last pieces of green soil. (No, it’s got nothing to do with the movie Soilent Green – ed.)
As I said, this is indeed the successor to Battlefield 2, it even runs on the same engine. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any new possibilities though! The biggest innovation is a vehicle called the Battlewalker. A 2-legged verhicle that, as the name says, walks around on the battlefield and makes infantry life extremely sour. Next to that there are of course tons of other vehicles including the hover tank. This has the possibility to strafe and turn around pretty quickly but unfortunately, the firing dome can’t be turned (and when looking at the design of it, you would notice it would probably fall over if you tried). Next to the hover tank there are also the standard transportation means like ordinary tanks, an APC and jeeps that have gone through the necessary renovations.
New weapons and gadgets for infantry couldn’t be left out but luckily we don’t get laser cannons and similar Star Wars-like things so we remain with some form of “possible realism” left contradictory to for instance Quake Wars or Star Wars: Battlefront. Of course there’s plenty of elements still that give the game that futuristic touch like a stealth generator that makes snipers invisible for a while (until they shoot) and the repair gun for the engineers that can repair vehicles from a distance now.
So far for the new arsenal, but what about new gameplay elements? By now, everyone knows of the new mode in BF2142 and I’m indeed talking about the Titan Mode.
Each team has a huge flying ship, called a Titan, which the opposition needs to destroy. To get this done, quite a process needs to be completed. At the start of the map you need to get as many anti-titan rocket silos as quickly as possible. This is done by getting in range of such a silo and waiting for a timer to appear to reach zero. Then it’s your and you can start firing it at the hostile titan. A little tip: the more players inside the capture radius, the quicker you get hold of it.
Good, so I was saying. The silos start shooting to get the damned shield gone and then the entrance to the Titan is free. Or that’s what you might think. First of all you need to get inside and the problem is that it’s hanging a couple hundred meters above the ground.
Solutions: first of all you can get an APC within a certain range and use a launch pad to catapult yourself into the air and inside the huge bugger. Second and most simple way: use a transport airplane, fly over the Titan and just use again a launch pad to get you down onto it.
Good, we’re in. What now??? Well, now you need to destroy 4 consoles and 1 reactor (and that indeed sounds A LOT easier than it actually is). To get to the reactor, the panels need to be destoyed as they keep the doors closed. The first problem is that you need to cross several small corridors and of course there are always some smart guys that defend those with Anti-Personnel Mines and Explosive Packs. The only way to get past those is by setting up a large kamikaze unit to get rid of them.
Hurray! The 4 consoles are destroyed and we’re on our way to the reactor to find ourselves in a similar situation. Kamikazes in front, the rest behind.
So what’s the problem with all this? Don’t expect kamikazes on a public server and certainly not on a ranked one! Luckily the anti-Titan silos get the ship to the ground as well on their own, but it just takes a looooooong time.
Conclusion: if there aren’t any serious players in your team that want to think of the overall objective instead of themselves, you’ll be quickly camping until one of your opponents is stupid enough to show his or her head and willingly catch a bullet with it. The Titan mode as such is a hit but unfortunately all too often ends up in 30 minutes of setting up camp and walking yourself into death.
Next to the Titan maps there’s also of course the standard Conquest ones where you have to conquer the flags and keep them as long as possible to lower the enemy’s tickets. The taking of these flags is exactly the same as with the silos.
Although the entire Battlefield franchise is mostly based on multiplayer, there’s also a single player mode. You’ll fight with bots against the other team (also consisting out of bots) to destroy the titan or capture as many flags as possible. Up to now, the bots in Battlefield have always been incredibly stupid but what about in this title?
Well, I was positively surprised as there’s at least some sort of progression to be found. They won’t just come from behind a corner anymore, and don’t stop in the middle of the street to start shooting. Nope, they look for a safespot but of course this still can’t be compared to the multiplayer portion of the game (since the action, strategy and teamplay of the latter kicks pretty much the ass of the singleplayer with the exact same elements). If you buy this game, it’s to play online, no?
Both on graphics and audio there are no apparent changes to be found, probably because we’re still working with the BF2 engine. The “innovation” is mostly in setting and gameplay.
With Battlefield 2142, DICE has again a top game in their hands thanks to the new Titan mode! The amount of action you get poured over you is incredible. “Intense” is the word! Another good move from the Swedish devs is the keeping of weapons that shoot bullets instead of lasers which gives the game a specific atmosphere that leaves a certain feeling of credibility. All in all I do see BF2142 compete with Quake Wars although we do have to wait until that title arrives in stores to do a decent comparisong