Battlefield 2142 – PC – Review

Battlefield has
been a long-running series, complete with its ups and downs. Despite bugs and
flaws it has still managed to grasp a large fan base and hold tight. The newest
game of the series, Battlefield 2142, advances in certain areas while seeming to
take steps back in others. But in the end it’s still Battlefield, and there’s a
reason the series is so popular.

2142 takes place in the future, as the name implies. To emulate the feel of the
future, DICE and EA have made many tweaks to the environment, weapons, vehicles,
and even the soldiers themselves. Some of these are good tweaks, while others
almost feel like they limit play compared to previous Battlefields.

2142 is a first-person shooter that is played across a huge battlefield. While
most first-person shooters restrict the player to a small area and only allow
them to travel by foot, the Battlefield series has expanded war simulation to
the size of an actual battle rather than a skirmish. The maps are huge and
support up to 64 players at a time while providing vehicles and aircraft that
players can use.

Conquest still
exists in Battlefield 2142, where players fight over spawn points across the
battlefield. The new Titan mode, however, is a fresh spin on the Battlefield
gameplay. In Titan mode, spawn points are replaced by missile silos. Players
still spawn at these missile silos while their team has control over them, but
they serve more purpose than just a spawn point. While under a team’s control,
the silo will constantly fire missiles at the opposing team’s Titan.

The point of a
Titan game is to take down the opposing team’s Titan. This can be accomplished
by holding all the silos for the entire game and just letting the missiles do
all the work. Or, once the shields are down, players can man little launch pods
and board the other team’s Titan. Fighting their way inside and destroying the
main energy core will immediately end the game.

2142 has a vastly improved menu structure since Battlefield 2. The menus
navigate quickly and smoothly, and there’s now a functioning friends list and
favorite server feature.

Also, when switching between servers, the game will ask if you want it to
disconnect from the last instead of making you do it manually.
There’s a headquarters section very similar to Battlefield 2, where players can
review their awards, combat points, and the progress of their unlocks.

Unlocks are
rewarded a lot more frequently in Battlefield 2142. This is most likely due to
the increased amount of unlocks since Battlefield 2. Cool, right?  Well,
there are more unlocks because 2142 requires players to unlock certain features
that were readily available in Battlefield 2.

The defibrillator now needs to be unlocked, as well as grenades, C4, and

Another reason
there are so many unlocks is because the amount of available kits have been
reduced to four. Features of the kits that have been removed were given to one
of the four surviving kits. Assault now acts as the medic, carrying around the
healing box and the unlockable defibrillator. Snipers can now carry C4 since
there are no more Spec Ops, and all classes can have grenades once they’ve been

The unlock
system is designed as sort of an unlock tree. The new weapon unlocks are at the
top of the tree, but to get to them you must start from the bottom and work your
way up. Each kit has its own tree, and there are some unlocks that affect every
kit. Reaching your first weapon unlock isn’t too difficult, but you sort of have
to focus on a single kit to do it. Later on you don’t earn enough points to
pound out the unlocks as you do in the beginning, so if you don’t aim for a
weapon unlock early it may be a long time until you get your new toy to play

There are also brand new things to unlock in BF2142. Squad leaders can now
unlock helper drones, or even a

spawn point that can be placed on the ground. While most unlocks are

weapons or objects to use, there are also some soldier augmentations to
unlock. Things that will stabilize a sniper’s aim or increase a player’s sprint
duration can be unlocked, among others.

The vehicles
and weapons haven’t changed a whole lot, aside from the color of the muzzle
flash and the sounds they make. The inclusion of a hover tank with the ability
to strafe is pretty cool, and helicopters have been replaced with a sort of
miniature space ship. Walking tanks have also been added.

The maps seemed
to have been taken down a notch. There weren’t a whole lot of levels I found
exceptionally fun to play within. They all have a very bland palette and not
much to see. There are still urban maps versus broader vehicle-based maps, so
you can kind of decide which style of play you like and stick to those levels.

2142, despite the changes, still plays very much like past Battlefield titles.
So if you were a fan then, you’ll most likely have fun with 2142. Since it still
uses the same gameplay formula that the Battlefield series has adopted, there
can be some very intense firefights and some awesome moments. With the unlock
system you’ll have to invest some time to fully enjoy the game, though, and the
new vehicles and weapons don’t feel much like upgrades as they do minor changes.

Review Scoring Details for Battlefield 2142

Gameplay: 8.2
Gameplay improves as
you get more unlocks to play with, but at first you will feel your choices are
very limited. With the locking of features from Battlefield 2, 2142 can feel
like a step backwards at first. Otherwise, the gameplay is very Battlefield and
a lot of fun.

Graphics: 8.6 
Battlefield 2142 has
great graphics, but the level design is so bland at times that it’s hard to
notice. You really see it in soldier and vehicle models, though.

Sound: 8.5
The weapons actually
sound a little weaker than previous BF games. Other than that, combat ambience
is great as usual, since it’s all real-time combat going on around you.

Difficulty: Easy-Hard
It all depends on
who you’re playing and your relative skill level. You can play against a very
organized team that uses squads and get destroyed, then turn around dominate an
unorganized team.

Concept: 7.0 
There wasn’t really
anywhere left for Battlefield to go after BF2. The future was pretty likely,
since it seems to be a popular theme in games these days. Unfortunately in this
case the future is very ugly and plain. However, the absence of aliens and
lasers is refreshing.

Multiplayer: 8.5
Battlefield was made
for multiplayer. I would actually go as far as not recommending this game if you
don’t plan on playing it either with friends or online.

Overall: 8.0
I can’t help but
feel this is a slight step backwards from Battlefield 2. Removing features
players are used to just seems strange to me, and the levels don’t really
provide an interesting backdrop. But the improved interface is a plus, and with
traditional Battlefield gameplay you really can’t go wrong. Just be prepared to
earn back certain weapons and tools you’re used to.

11/24/06 – the
above review has been edited due to inaccuracies in the original review.