Review by CyberStryke

Reviewed: 10/30/06

The New Battlefield Continues To Dominate!!

Well, looks like DICE (Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment) has done it all now. Starting with World War II (Battlefield 1942), to modern combat (Battlefield 2), and now, 22nd century war (Battlefield 2142), DICE has covered the past, present, and the future of war. A new ice age has just covered the Earth, which now leaves two coalitions battling it out for the last piece of land (There are actually more coalitions, but DICE decided to include only two for now. Helloooo expansions). Players now have to choose between Pan-Asian Coalition, which is mainly formed by Russians, and the European Union, which is mostly formed by Britons. So does the game live up to all the hype surrounding it? Yes it does.

This is of course the best part of the game. I’ll start off with the four different types of classes. DICE decided to cut it down to 4, whereas Battlefield 2 had seven. Does that mean this is bad? No, it’s actually better and more complex. Recons, Assaults, Engineers, and Supports all have their pros and cons. You want to heal teammates? Be assault. You want to take down that tank? Be Engineer. You want to supply teammates? Be support. Or you can be like me, a sniper who likes to play with explosives, and be recon. Each class now has two unlock trees. For example, the recon has two side to the unlock tree, so if you want the gun on the left side, you’ll have to unlock all the items below the gun. You’ll have to work your way up the chain. This game gives players lots of flexibility so players can customize their kit to fit best with the situation. Since each side of the tree has four unlocks, this gives a class eight different type of unlocks. A player is allowed to choose one gun and two equipments. Again, taking recon for example, a player can choose the sniper, then the player can choose the RDX DemoPak (Equivalent of a C4), which is on the right side of the unlock tree, and combine it with the Anti-Personnel Mines, which is on the left side of the unlock tree. My point is, a player can be real creative in the game. Besides the class unlocks, there are also squad leader unlocks and player ability unlocks. Those unlocks will stay with a player no matter what class they choose.

DICE really tried to emphasize teamwork in Battlefield 2142. They notice how much “lone wolfing” was going on in Battlefield 2. They believe in order for the player to have the best experience out of this game, they’ll need to work as a team. So DICE has really gone far with emphasizing squad play. They want to make sure you want to be in a squad (You can choose not to of course). In case anyone is wondering, a squad is basically a small party made up of 2-6 people, working together. So if you’re in a squad, you gain benefits such as more points and field upgrades. When the squad leader gives out an order, it is your job to follow the order. For instance, the squad leader orders you to attack a position. If you do manage to kill someone in the radius, then you get TWO points, while someone lone wolfing will only get one. You get that extra squad point for listening to orders. DICE also implemented field upgrades. When squad members follow enough orders, a gauge bar will fill up which gives everyone in the squad a field upgrade. A field upgrade is basically a temporary unlock. You get to unlock one equipment/weapon (in any class) and you can use it as long as you stay in the server. Sort of like a sneak-peek of the weapon. So you can try it out, and if you don’t like it, then you don’t have to waste an unlock on it. DICE certainly did a great job making squads a NEED, not a want.

You feel like taking charge of the battlefield? Then you need to be the commander. Again, anyone can apply to be a commander (Higher ranked players gets picked first), and the commander controls a lot. They can choose where the Titan moves (I’ll get into Titan mode later), where to drop the supplies, where to attack and defend, and the whole nine yard. A smart commander will definitely help win battles for the team. It’s a very important position and a good commander usually comes out victorious.

Next, I’ll now talk about unlocks. There are now 44 different ranks in the game, starting from Recruit, all the way up to Supreme Commander. Do the ranks affect gameplay? Besides the free unlock that you get every time you rank up, not really. All it does is show off to your opponents (And of course, higher rank means you get first priority when applying for commander). There are now a whole lot of medals, pins, badges, and ribbons. In order to achieve certain awards, players must complete the requirements needed to achieve them. So for example, in a single round, if a player kills 12 enemies with the support kit, the player will get the “Basic Support Service Badge”. DICE really went far with the awards, so players will be busy unlocking a whole lot of crap. Do awards affect gameplay? Well, awards gives you Global Points, which does go toward your rank-up, meaning a new unlock. So yeah, I guess it sort of does and it also gives you bragging rights.

Anyways, now I’m finally going to get to the weapons and vehicles. For weapons, there really are no complaints. In general, the weapons are really balanced out. Yes, this gun might have bad long-range accuracy, but it might be balanced out by having a larger clip size than other guns. So there are always pros and cons to each weapon. Of course, the weapons that need to be unlocked tend to be better than the default weapons. On a side note, I would just like to mention DICE included dog tags. When a player knives an enemy, the player will get the enemies dog tag. Basically, it’s just a bragging right, again. So you can go tell everyone, “Oh look, I knifed the guy ranked #1 overall and I got proof this time”. For vehicles, I must say there is a decline compared to previous Battlefield games. Each class gets their own type of “buggy” (I guess you can call it that), one APC, one tank, one battle walker (Mechs), and two planes. Sad to say, they took out jets in this game, and replaced it with a semi-jet, semi-copter, and sort of a hybrid plane. Still, flying is fun and all, but it’s really hard to stay in the air long enough. There’s just so many anti-air weapons players can use, a copter really doesn’t last that long in the air.

Finally, we get to the two different types of modes in the game. There is still good ol’ Conquest mode, and they now added the new Titan mode. In Conquest mode, each team must lower their opponents “tickets” to zero. Every time you kill an enemy, they lose one ticket. A faster way to make enemies lose ticket is to capture as much of the control points as you possibly can. The more control points you capture, the faster your opponents tickets will drop. If you’re tired of that mode, you can try Titan mode. The object of the game is to destroy the enemy Titan. In order to do this, teams must first capture missile silos located throughout the map. There are five solos in every map, so it usually comes down to a fight for that fifth silo (Yes, usually, because if your team sucks, you’d be lucky if you’re holding on to one silo). When your team captures a silo, the missiles will launch on to the enemy titan. (With 2 minute intervals at every launch). Silos are meant to destroy the shield of the titan. When the shield of the titan is down, it is your team’s job to either a) keep hold onto the silos and eventually let the silos take down the titan, or b) your team boards the enemy titan and take out the core. Option b is the faster way, but of course, it is the harder way. You can be sure your enemy will be in position and waiting for you to board their titan. Anyways, this pretty much covers most of the gameplay. It’s really hard to tell you how fun the gameplay is, you just got to try it out yourself to find out. On a side note, there is single player. It is 16 players and you just play with bots. It’s on the same maps as multiplayer (only supports conquest), but of course it’s not as fun as playing against other people. You can’t unlock anything either. Single player was meant for players to practice their skills before taking it on to the battlefield.

Since this game is running on the same engine is Battlefield 2, it pretty much got the same graphics as Battlefield 2. Maybe a tweak here and there, but overall, it’s pretty much the same graphics. Is it bad? No, the graphics are still quite nice, but many people just expected more. For sound, I really thought DICE did a good job fitting in the music with the battles. Every map has their own theme song on the loading screen, and this music sort of gives you that motivation to go into battle. I would’ve liked the original theme song from the previous Battlefield series, but these songs are still top notch.

Play Time/ Replayability:
Since there is only multiplayer mode, you can’t really beat the game, which means a hell lot of playing time. You can spend well over hundreds of hours in the game and not get bored. There’s just so much stuff to do. Ranking up keeps you playing for that next rank, and awards keep you playing until you unlock every single one of them. Like previous Battlefield games, this one will last a very long time.

Final Recommendations:
Get it, get it, and get it. If you liked any of the Battlefield series, this game is a must have. If you never tried Battlefield before and want to start, this is the game for you. I would just like to mention, the reason I gave it a nine was because all the bugs and glitches the game had on release. There would always be constant lag when players board the titan and other players seems to be having tons of problems running it with no interruptions (random crash to desktops, PunkBuster kicking them randomly, total freeze, ranks not updating, etc.). Hopefully, DICE fixes all these problems soon so it can be enjoyed by everyone. Overall, when and if the problems are fixed, Battlefield 2142 is going to be one hell of a game.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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