Review by JonWood007

Reviewed: 04/21/09 | Updated: 07/19/10

Excellent game overall, although not perfect

Since I liked Battlefield 2 overall, I decided to try Battlefield 2142. I find it to be a pretty good game that is on par with Battlefield 2 in terms of quality. In some ways I like Battlefield 2142 better, but I have to say Battlefield 2 is better in some respects. However, I have to say that the game does not run as well as advertised. Despite meeting the recommended requirements, I still have issues running this game, which is not a good thing.

Graphics - 9/10

The graphics are decent on high settings, although nothing particularly spectacular. The environment is very detailed and the futuristic setting works for this game well. I have to say the game is somewhat a step up from Battlefield 2's graphics.

Audio - 8/10

Sound effects are also decent. Like the graphics, they are nothing special, but they are not bad at all. The music is pretty good though.

Controls - 10/10

The controls in this game are better than Battlefield 2's in the sense that you can actually map the control scheme the way you want without running into too many problems. This in itself is a big improvement over Battlefield 2. Moreover, some of the functions are easier to use in Battlefield 2142. For example, you can now open your parachute with the same button that you jump with.

Game Play - 7/10

Before I get into the technical issues with this game, I would like to first praise this game and its strong points. The most notable aspect in which this game has improved from Battlefield 2 is its balance. Unlike Battlefield 2, which has a horrid balance at points, 2142's balance is a major improvement, although not perfect. Instead of having seven classes of soldiers like in Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142 have four. Some of the roles from Battlefield 2 were doubled up in this game; special forces are now also snipers, medics now focus on assaulting the enemy, and engineers now can take out vehicles. Vehicles themselves are less powerful in this game than they were in previous games in this series. While ground vehicles are as powerful as ever and perhaps slightly more powerful than those in Battlefield 2, ground vehicles never really were unbalanced in Battlefield. Air vehicles have been seriously modified for the better. The grossly overpowered jets no long exist and the hovercraft helicopters feel weaker and most susceptible to fire from the ground their than counterparts in Battlefield 2. Artillery has also been balanced. In this game, it does not kill in one hit, but it is still deadly enough to be effective. While to an extent, vehicles can be grossly overpowered in the right situations (such as a walker in a predominantly infantry map), they are in general less of an issue than in Battlefield 2.

To an extent, the levels in 2142 are better than those in Battlefield 2, although at the same time they do not look as good. While the environments themselves are good, the level design is questionable. Some maps consist of a couple control points and a lot of barren wasteland. Levels of this type are normally meant for vehicular combat. However, they feel awfully plain and not that fun to play on in my opinion as those in Battlefield 2. On the other hand, some levels appear to be largely urban and meant for infantry combat. However, these seem very small and linear. While there are some battlefields that combine both elements, most maps appear to be one of the two types mentioned above. While at first I was disappointed by this change, I actually think it is for the better. One of my problems with Battlefield 2 is its lack of infantry-based levels. This game has a lot of them. If you want to play a heated infantry battle, there are a number of levels designed for this. If you want to play a vehicle-based level, there are plenty of those too. So while the level design is not as impressive as that in Battlefield 2, in some aspects it is better. The only real issue is when vehicles are used in the infantry-oriented maps. There are few vehicles in these maps, and controlling one of them is basically like having god-mode due to a lack of players playing the engineer class and a general lack of powerful vehicles to fight back with. Those who control heavy vehicles often massacre scores of infantry with little resistance. However, this problem can be avoided simply by joining a server with the same map that is infantry only. Trust me, there are enough servers in this game where it is a viable option.

One problem is that this game is horribly unoptimized on lower end computers, even those that supposedly meet the requirements. I used to run this game on an Athlon XP 3200+, 2 GB RAM, and a HD 3650. This is not the best setup, but it should handle this game like a charm, seeing how it meets the recommended requirements. However, it used to lag majorly for me for some reason. Most of the time it was playable, but it was not pleasant to play on larger servers, even when playing on low settings. However, if you have a more recent computer, expect to run this without issues.

Another minor issue is the "feel" of the game. This game was designed to be slower-paced than Battlefield 2, but when I really think about it, the movement and weapon mechanics are kind of buggy and awkward. They are not that bad, but compared to newer Battlefield games like Bad Company 2, and even compared to its counterpart, Battlefield 2, the game just feels awkward.

Fun Factor - 8/10

I have to say that overall, I have a lot more fun with this than Battlefield 2. That game can be extremely aggravating at times due to serious balancing issues coupled with the fact that the game simply is not give players the tools to fight back against certain vehicles effectively. Since this game is far more balanced than its predecessor, I find it to be a great deal less frustrating. Sure, your team can still be completely owned (like with every game), and there are still situations in which vehicles can be grossly overpowered, but at least these problems are far less severe in this game. The fact that 2142 offers players a large amount of urban maps gives players who prefer infantry combat a lot more material to play with too. However, if you are more of a vehicle person, there are plenty of maps for that too. This game offers fun for all kinds of players..

Replay value - 9/10

There are many levels in this game. It should keep you occupied for many hours.

Learning Curve - 7/10

The learning curve in this game is not that bad. It is a difficult game to pick up if you are new to the Battlefield series, but if you are not, it is is very easy to get used to. As always, expect to be owned if you are new to this kind of game. However, to an extent, it is easier than other Battlefield games to learn because it does not feature jets, which are difficult to learn how to use effectively. Regardless, it will still take a while for players to learn the ropes of the game. Battlefield games are not simple; they are very complex and take a lot of time to learn how to play effectively. However, they are also unique and offer a unique game play experience than cannot be found in other games, so it is worth learning how to play.

Story - 10/10

I have to say that creating a fictional war in the future was a successful venture for the Battlefield series. Normally, EA bases its Battlefield games off of war in a particular time period. For example, Battlefield 1942 covered World War 2 and Battlefield 2 covered modern combat. Making a futuristic game was a very interesting concept.

Overall - 8.5/10

Overall, Battlefield 2142 is more of the same from the Battlefield series. This is a good thing. While I find some of the levels to be a bit dull and others linear, I have to say that the game is still enjoyable and the level design is not all bad; it allows for more infantry-oriented combat that was largely missing from Battlefield 2. If you are trying to decide whether to get this game or Battlefield 2, it all depends on your personal preference. Both games are good in their own ways. This game is far more balanced in terms of game play and features more infantry-oriented levels, but Battlefield 2 has better vehicle combat. If possible, get both. If you have a lower end PC, I would recommend Battlefield 2 though.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Battlefield 2142 (US, 10/17/06)

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