When you see all the new DirectX10 titles coming out for PC it becomes very easy to overlook the newer DirectX9 titles. Battlefield 2142 is one of these titles, and it most definitely shows itself as proof that DX9 is not dead yet!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that Battlefield 2142 came out almost a year ago now, so it’s not anything new. However, it is new to me! Now, without further ado I will now begin…
I got my hands on a copy of the game Saturday, and I figured it would be a nice change for me since I have never actually played the official Battlefield.
Next on the list was to make sure I had all my drivers up to date. Once I had my computer prepped for installation, I put the disk in and clicked install. I put in my CD-key, got it started and before too long, it was done. But oh wait; it isn’t really done! The installer prompted me to register with EA, which I had to do since I waned to play online.
I started registering, and it went rather smoothly until the last step where it asked for my CD-key. Normally one might think that if it’s picking up a CD-key already (which it was) that CD-key would work, and it wouldn’t give you any more hassle than that. But of course, it didn’t, instead it picked up pretty near random gibberish, and forced me to type my CD-key once again. Call me lazy for even taking note of this minor problem, but there is a reason! Because now I know it was only a precursor of other annoyances to come!
The next part of the installation asked me to install Gamespy Comrade. Which, again I didn’t have a problem with, since it seemed it may make things easier. Gamespy Comrade installed smoothly, ran, and then proceeded to tell me it was outdated and I should download the new version – which I did. Once that was downloaded, I was told that I needed to patch Battlefield 2142. I thought, “Ok, I can do that.” Oh, but it’s not just any patch – it’s 287 MB. Finally after 30 minutes, I got it downloaded.
At this point it’s already 2 in the morning, I started at 11. I’m sorry, but a three hour installation process is just not cool. It really isn’t at all.
On to the next day! I finally get to try it, so I double clicked the icon on my desktop… nothing… I do it again and the splash screen pops up and then I know it worked. But it definitely didn’t work because the splash screen went away, and then nothing happened for 10 minutes. Finally at this point, I checked my task manager and the process wasn’t loading….anything… at all. In fact, it had 3 other dependant processes loaded, which were also idling away and not doing a thing. So I closed it, tried again, and it still did the same thing.
At that point I figured it might be because I had had my computer on for 61 hours. I then proceeded in turning it off letting it rest 10 minutes for everything to cool down completely, and turned it back on. I clicked on Battlefield 2142, and lo and behold! IT WORKS!
In my almost ritual fashion I watched the intro video, and it’s cool. But I realized something, the intro video uses game graphics. You know you have a good game, when the developers actually feel ok with the idea of using in-game graphics for the intro to a game.
It was about this time, it crashed. One would think that a game which has been out for almost a year, and been patched quite actively, WOULD NOT CRASH THIS MUCH! At that point, I tried to start it back up, and guess what! My original problem repeated itself. In fact, it did so three times before I could get it running again. Needless to say, this has become my routine every time I’ve played.
Finally, I managed to get into the game, and logged in, only to find no tutorial. Usually for… well, any game for the most part, there is a tutorial, that way you don’t have to go into the game acting like a n00b. Instead, you enter into the game with a more respectable newb title (for a more formal definition of the difference, see here). Luckily, there is a single player, so you won’t have to be AS embarrassed when you finally get around to online multiplayer.
The gameplay is pretty fun, I eventually realized that it would tell me how to play as I went through the game…but it’s not easy to learn how to play when you’re being shot at! One of the only reasons I learned so fast is because I realized that Battlefield is almost exactly like another game I’ve played called War Rock.
The system Battlefield 2142 uses for upgrades is pretty nice too. Every time you level up it gives you an unlock point and you can put those unlock points into getting new and better gear. Oh and the fun doesn’t end there: You have, “kits,” which are essentially the class you choose at spawn and the gear that goes with it. Whenever you kill an enemy player, or even if an ally dies, their kit gets left behind and you can switch it with yours until you eventually die. This is really great if you are fighting against other players who are much more highly ranked, because you can get their pwnz0ring weapons.
If the maps and weapons in the original game aren’t good enough for you, there is a booster pack. Well, I’m not sure if you could call it that. The booster pack is called, “Northern Strike,” and as far as I can tell the advantages of it probably aren’t really even worth the ten bucks you have to pay for it.
My next subject of interest was the weapons themselves. In the game every gun has kickback, and if you look in the scope you realize your breathing also affects your aim. In many games you won’t have kickback on every gun, and sometimes you won’t even have it at all. Besides that, it’s even more rare that you will see a game with a breathing effect (what I mean is actually that the scope moves up and down with your breathing) when you’re sniping.
I also noticed that this game has a pretty good minimize command. If you press Ctrl+Shift+Esc the game will minimize, however, it doesn’t do this without serious lag, but it’s still the next best thing to having a window mode (note: I couldn’t find an easy to use window mode anywhere in the options, although I know it can be forced other ways).
In the game there are two main types of play: titan and conquest. Essentially, they’re both based on the same idea. In conquest, your squads will need to capture and hold strategic points around the map. Whereas in titan mode you are essentially using a big giant mothership-looking, “titan,” as your base, and the objective is to smash the other team’s titan while keeping yours in the sky.
On the ground you capture strategically placed missile silos (don’t ask me what they’re doing there, or why it’s so easy to capture them) which will fire missiles at your enemy’s titan until it’s shields and hull are destroyed. The other way to win is to get their shields down and then board their titan and destroy the reactor. Now no matter how you do this, the end cinematic looks the same, and by that I mean cheesy. The titan goes through this long phrase of explosions all the while staying IN THE SAME PLACE. It doesn’t budge, nothing blows off, nothing gets shredded, it just sits there. I mean that just seemed… wrong to me. It’s strange to see a huge boom that makes the screen go white… and then see it still in the same place. But oh well.
I just wish 2142 had other game modes. It would make playing far more interesting.
The graphics are pretty good, and the frame rate is pretty good with my card. In game I usually managed somewhere around 40-60 FPS, which is pretty good for high graphics at 1600×1200. I call that especially good considering that my hardware is probably somewhat overheated (I’ll be explaining why it’s overheating in my next review).
Honestly, I think it’s a great game. However, Battlefield 2142 is something I could probably get quite bored playing before too long. That said, it’s a good thing I still have 2 more reviews backlogged, that I can switch my time to before I lose interest.
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.2 GHz (it’s usually running at 2.8 GHz or higher, I had to slow it down for reasons unrelated to this review)
RAM: 1 GB DDR2
Video Card: ATi Radeon x1950 PRO
Sound: Integrated AC’97 audio (by the way, the game’s sound isn’t… too bad, unless it’s on default)
Will’s Rating: 8 (Not too bad, but seems to be missing a few things)
Battlefield 2142 is available at EA’s online store, amazon.com, and just about any place that sells computer programs and games.
MSRP: $39.95 (or $29.95 from Amazon, it’s your choice) and $9.99 for the booster
What I like: Good graphics for DX9 + great game play = a great choice in my book.
What needs improvement: Launching bugs, hardware finickiness (which caused the launch problems), and a strange registration process knock this game down a full point. Maybe a capture the flag, king of the hill, or some other play modes would be nice.
How I Rate/Review
I like to stick to a 10 base rating system. It gives the reader more information on my actual thoughts about the product, and it helps those who are too lazy to read the article. I would give a 0 rating to something that doesn’t do what it says it’s supposed to, and instead does something else, which it also can’t do; in other words, anything that gives technology a bad name. I call a 10 rating the most amazing thing I ever seen in that category, for example, I’d give cheese a 10 because it’s the greatest thing since the beginning of time. This game got a solid 8 so I consider that quite good. But, it still needs patching, but I also didn’t try the 1.40 beta patch. The way I see it, a BETA patch defeats the purpose of patching, and as such I didn’t find it necessary.