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7 Reviews

Battlefield 2142

Is this really the best Battlefield yet? DICE's vision of futuristic warfare dissected in our definitive review

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Things which might make you want to move away from the silo include but are not limited to: orbital strikes raining hell from the heavens, a really big tank and angry men with guns. The old tactic of hovering right above a control point to capture it isn't advised either, as that's generally the path missiles are intending
to take. Once these missile silos have destroyed the enemy Titan's shield, you're free to board it.

OK, still with us? This is where Titan mode becomes interesting. After either hopping into a pod and launching across from your own Titan to the enemy's (if it's close enough - the team commander can move their Titan slowly about the map), or launching yourself upwards from an APC far below (the most fun way by far), or just landing on the rear deck with your aircraft like a wasp to a piece of jam whose shields you've just destroyed, you're ready to start bringing down the beast.


This is the part of the Titan game mode which everybody thought would be a horrible experience reminiscent of PlanetSide's repetitive interiors. Anybody who's run about the inside of the aircraft carrier in Battlefield 2 will know that previously, the engine handled indoor areas as well as a coma victim handles juggling balls. It was bland, glitchy, and if you ever had the misfortune of coming across an enemy in there, you'd both just nod knowingly before taking your differences outside. Inside the guts of the Titan is a different story, however. It's polished, detailed and seamless. It's no more or less enjoyable than fighting outside, but it's not broken. Thank god, it's actually not broken.

Combat inside the Titan is fast-paced and lethal. Soldiers of the Support class
can deploy turrets to defend corridors, anti-personnel mines reign supreme, and snipers draw the short straw as closequarters combat becomes the norm. Once you've destroyed four strategically placed control panels, the Titan rolls over (metaphorically that is) and exposes its reactor core - then it's pretty much just a matter of shooting at that or loading it with explosives until it (eventually) blows up. Perhaps the cleverer game designers went home early that day.

Finally, as the Titan literally begins to explode around you, you've got a few moments to escape with your life. The quickest way down is a mad dash back to the rear deck and a sky dive over the edge as the crippled Titan puts on an
impressive fireworks display behind you. And yes, it really is as much fun as you're imagining it is.

This brings us back to the issue of teamplay. Titan mode encourages it to the extreme; so much so that it's an awkward experience if you're not in a squad, and worse if you don't have a decent commander. It's like spinning plates - you need a team on the ground keeping those missile silos pointed at the enemy Titan, you need a team in your own Titan to defend it from invading forces, and finally you need a team on the enemy Titan to take it down. It's a triangle of responsibility, and if it's not equilateral it begins to form a horrible isosceles triangle, or even worse, a scalene triangle of irresponsibility (a phrase I'm officially coining).


Titan is designed exclusively for team players who are prepared to do what they're told. It's not like DICE are oblivious to this either. In fact, they've bolstered the incentives to play in a squad by introducing squad points, which are awarded for dutifully following your leader's orders. These points count towards unlockables for squad leaders, including such delights as deployable spawn points and autosentry turrets. Plus, of course, when you're in a squad, enemies that your team-mates can see show up on your HUD - exactly like Advanced Warfighter's CrossCom system. (Except DICE have called it NetBat. Ubisoft must feel very flattered.)

Outside of squad upgrades, Battlefield 2142 boasts even more persistent player features than its predecessor. Unlocks and ranks were and still are a massively popular feature of Battlefield 2, and Battlefield 2142 doesn't shy away from giving players something to work for. The classes have been reduced from seven to four, but now offer the option of customising your kit to your own preference. As you play, you earn points which can be used to buy new items for certain classes, with two separate branches of unlocks leading to two different weapons. Coupled with the ranking system, and the ability to win medals and awards for fulfilling certain quotas (and now pins for achievements within a round), these features put

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