It could be one of the controversial and most talked about games of 2006 and itís shipping to stores this week. Nope we are not talking about Bully, but Battlefield 2142. The sci-fi multiplayer shooter is the fourth PC game in the successful series from developer Digital Illusions and publisher Electronic Arts, but many fans of the previous three games in the series seemed to have already written it off as a Battlefield 2 mod (the game does use the Battlefield 2 engine as its basis). Thereís also some worry that the game itself might be full of bugs due to previous support of Battlefield 2. But will the game be as bad as some of the doomsayers would have people believe? FiringSquad got the full retail version of the game a few days ago and have put it through its paces ahead of this weekís shipment to stores on Tuesday (along with its same day release via download on EAís Downloader program).
If you have been reading FiringSquad for the past couple of months you know that we have done interviews about the game, given our impressions of the multiplayer beta and also written some extensive articles on how the multiplayer beta ran on various video and PC processor set-ups. So we wonít bore you with an extensive look at the gameís various features. To quickly sum up, Battlefield 2142 takes place nearly 150 years in the future where a new ice age has occurred and the super powers of the time are battling it out with slightly futuristic weapons. The storyline is just an excuse to come up with the looks of the maps and the various weapons, vehicles and items that Battlefield 2142 possesses.
While the Battlefield series has emphasized multiplayer online play over single player play, it takes even more precedence in Battlefield 2142. Thatís because of the new online Titan mode that been added to the new game. While Conquest mode is still a part of the game its only support for five of the 10 maps in the full game. Conquest is also the only mode that supports the gameís offline bots. That means only five maps are available for single player play. Titan mode is multiplayer only, so you canít get any offline ďtrainingĒ for it out of the box. You have to play it online from the start. Of course, some enterprising mod author is sure to work on a third party mod for Titan mode at some point. We played Conquest mode against the bots and, well, they pretty much act like they have for the previous games in the series; that is to say, they run around like headless chickens somewhat in the direction of the objective. The game also allows players to fight against AI bots in Conquest co-op mode.
The new Titan mode supports 64 players online and in our time playing the game online it was about as fun as our experience playing the multiplayer beta, but without all of the crashes to desktop bugs and long loading times. In other words the retail version of Battlefield 2142 is a lot more stable and a lot more playable than its early appearance (as it should be). Titan, as we mentioned, before, is an interesting mix of Conquest mode in previous games combined with UT 2004ís Assault mode as team capture missile silo points that fire rockets up to the massive Titan battle stations that float above. Once the Titanís shields go down after a number of missiles strikes, its up to team members to get in the air to board the Titan, knock out four power stations inside and finally destroy the Titanís reactor to end the round.