Interviews

Battlefield 2142, part two

Squads! 'Mechs! And flying infantrymen! Our chat with producer Jamil Dawsari concludes

Earlier in the week we brought you part one of our Battlefield 2142 interview with producer Jamil Dawsari, and we're know proud to present you with the second and concluding part. Should you have been very naughty and missed part one, then you can play catch-up by hitting this link.

How are you going to reward squad-based gameplay this time around? What incentives and rewards are there?

Jamil Dawsari: This has really grown out of what we've seen with Battlefield 2. We knew we had something really special with the squad mode, but we didn't really have a sense of how to draw it out more. Given that we have a futuristic setting we can really play around with that a lot more. So as an example, the networked battlefield is something that squad mates bring to the table, you also will get more career points in-game in fact, if you do things to help your squad. So as a distinction you have score, which is how the leaderboards are tracked and then you have career points which are based not only your score, but on awards and helping your squad.

You also have something called field upgrades. These are temporary unlocks if you will. Say you're ranked three, what you'll get once the upgrade bar is filled (and that's filled by doing squad-based actions - for example following your squad leader's orders), you'll temporarily unlock the things right above your current level. That field upgrade lasts as long as you're on the server.

Hopefully 'lone wolf' players won't be neglected either...?

Jamil Dawsari: By all means, we will not do that. Again, it's all about choice. We want to reward people for doing things, we never went to punish people for not doing things. So your 'lone wolf', for example, could still be part of a squad. Let's say you set up as a sniper and you love sniping - you could 'spot' and the network battlefield will relay that information. So you have this whole gameplay where you still have this 'lone wolf' game, but you can contribute to the team.

One exciting addition to the game is the 'mechs. What can you tell us about them?

Jamil Dawsari: Ah, the Battle Walkers. Those are a favourite of ours. They were the first vehicles we designed, the idea being 'what reads as future to people? Space ships or big friggin' robots?' So we decided to go with the big friggin' robots, and the benefit for them is they have a lot more manoeuvrability than any other vehicle. So anything a solider can jump over they can walk over - so you may think 'hey here's a tank, I'm going to jump behind this cover, I'm ok'. Well if it's a Battle Walker he just steps over the cover and you're toast.

They're quite strong but they do have weak spots. So as an example, if you manage to get under the Battle Walker there are certain areas where even small arms will do it damage, albeit minimal. Also on the knee joints - if you manage to get a shot in there it will cause it damage. However, as it is Battlefield we have a balance, and the Battle Walker can crouch. So it sacrifices mobility but it does defend those venerable areas.

A lot of emphasis seems to be on Titan Mode. Could you outline that for people who don't know about it and also tell us about some of the other gameplay modes?

Jamil Dawsari: Titan Mode is something we've been working on since 2142, the inception of the design. A new game mode is not something we can take lightly. It's not like standard capture the flag, co-op or deathmatch - you really have to think it through. It had to be true to the Battlefield ethos of sandbox play, freedom of action, whatever you can do.

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