Battlefield 2142 PC DVD-ROM

Published by Electronic Arts
Developed by Digital Illusions CE
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £34.99

Battlefield 2142, an introduction.

Whilst there are many different kinds of PC games played online the genre that stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to popularity is the FPS genre. Two of the more popular titles in recent times have been Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2. The former being based in a World War II Axis vs. Allies environment and the latter using a fictional modern day scenario. It makes sense then that the next title in the series would be set in the future.

What’s the game’s story?

The twenty-second century is certainly going to be bleak if Battlefield 2142 is anything to go by. The story goes that in 2106 the world froze. Global warming had triggered a new Ice Age. As countries became encased in ice the amount of living space in the world drastically diminished and in typical human style battles broke out to see who could claim the remaining territories. Two new superpowers emerged. The European led EU forces and the Pan Asian Coalition. Needless to say that technology has evolved since the twenty-first century and warfare is a little more advanced. Of course the goals haven’t changed and each side is desperate to wipe out the enemy.

What’s good about the game?

Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2 were very popular titles because they offered enjoyable online play with a solid single-player experience and Battlefield 2142 continues this pattern. You can play as one of four classes: Recon, Assault, Engineer and Support. These class kits are initially quite limited. By earning career points playing on ranked servers you will be able to gain new ranks and unlock new weaponry. This means you’re encouraged to invest time in playing online regularly. Of course it also means you’ll be underpowered if you only play online from time to time. Vehicles are of course present in Battlefield 2142 and whilst some are very similar, some are quite different. The mech-like Battlewalkers are quite unlike anything you’ll have encountered in Battlefield 2. Then you have the Titans, huge warships that have devastating fire power.

While some aspects such as Commander Mode, squads and the familiar multiplayer modes make a welcome return, there are a few differences in Battlefield 2142. You’ll give orders via the Commo Rose. The Commo Rose (activated by holding down the Q key) is basically a menu of commands you select from. Right clicking on the Spotted command brings up another menu that allows you to select what you’ve spotted. Perhaps the main new feature has to be the Titan Mode. Titan Mode is a multiplayer only mode that pits two Titan warships against each other. The goal is to destroy your rival Titan whilst protecting your own. Destroying a Titan isn’t easy though and there are several things you’ll need to do. First of all missile silos must be captured. You’ll also need to board the rival Titan and gain access to its core in order to destroy it. The Titan mode is certainly very enjoyable and it’s really a worthwhile addition to the game.

What’s bad about the game?

The game may be set 136 years in the future but the game doesn’t feel as futuristic as you might expect. There are no laser guns or cannons. The weapons are quite similar to modern day ones too which is a little disappointing. Many of the problems with Battlefield 2 still persist. The very long loading times are still present. Pressing the Esc key during a battle to bring up the menu still takes a few seconds for the menu to appear. The game doesn’t support the now standard 1280×1024 or widescreen resolutions (at least not by default). These are all problems that were complained about with Battlefield 2, and it’s a shame they’ve been ignored.

How does it look?

Graphically the game is of the same quality as Battlefield 2. In some respects that’s a little disappointing but in others it’s something of a relief as it means that if your PC coped with Battlefield 2 then you can comfortably run Battlefield 2142. Despite having a ‘futuristic’ sheen to the look of the game it doesn’t look as different as you might expect it to. Whilst the graphics certainly look good they are starting to show their age a little. That said there are some rather nice visual effects on display especially the ones that impair your vision when you are hit.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Battlefield 2142, as we’ve already stated, is similar to Battlefield 2 in many ways and in regards to its deaf gamer friendliness, it’s also practically identical. Tutorial messages are shown in text and are delivered in a sensible fashion. When you first encounter new situations you’ll have text appear at the top of the screen giving you instructions. You’re never given too much information at once that could spoil the flow of the game. Messages you receive from your fellow soldiers appear on the top left side of the screen (as in Battlefield 2). The Commo Rose commands are all in text so in the single-player game you’ll be fine. There could be problems with the multiplayer game if you’re playing against players who are using voice communications though.

Final thoughts.

If you’re a fan of the Battlefield series then there’s no question you’re going to enjoy Battlefield 2142. The experience is pretty much the same as it was in Battlefield 2, which is no bad thing, and if you’ve played that game you’ll feel pretty much at home with Battlefield 2142 immediately. In fact you could even argue that this could have been an expansion given the similarities between the games and it definitely feels like more of a sidestep rather than a step forward. Battlefield fans will love it of course and essentially that’s all that matters. It’s just a shame the developers couldn’t have been a bit more imaginative about the future.

Overall Game Rating: 8.2/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Underneath the futuristic veneer Battlefield 2142 is not all that different from Battlefield 2. That said Battlefield 2 was an impressive game and Battlefield 2142 only disappoints because it’s not really advanced the series as much as a sequel should.