Since Kenny did a good review of 2142, I thought I would add my thoughts to the mix.
Firstly, the setting. Having only played the Sidi Power Plant map, I can’t comment in general. On the plus side, the futuristic setting is quite a change from BF2. The little things are nice, like the audible countdown of missile silos in Titan mode, or the detailing of the flying vehicles. On the negative side, the world seems dark and bland, which fits with the post-apocalyptic theme, but is still a tad dull. Also, the map seems more sparse than its BF2 counterparts. Overall? Interesting in parts, a bit dull, but neither a dealmaker nor a showstopper.
Secondly, the vehicles. The part that shines here is the air transport and attack vehicles. Half jet, half chopper (think of the moths from Hardwar), they are very fun to pilot in and gun from. And yes, Kenny was right when he said they take a bit of getting used to. But then, so did flying in BF2. The ground vehicles are a slightly different affair. You have tanks, APCs and small transport buggies. Now, where have I seen that before? To be fair, we now have
Mechs “walkers”, which are surprisingly powerful and fun to stomp about in. However, to me the vehicle selection reeks of a lack of imagination. This is probably due to the mundane issue of balance, but this is supposed to be 2142! License to go mad! Maybe other maps will have a different vehicle selecton.
Thirdly, gameplay. This is another case of “overall-fun-but-small-things-bug-you”. Titan mode is very cool. It also tries to do something BF2 aimed at and missed: promote teamplay. Attacking bonuses, defending bonuses, following order bonuses, but only 1 point for a kill — very clever. Also, the lack of tickets means that dying won’t directly cost your team — though it will cost your team tactically. The little things that I mentioned are: ‘gun weirdness’ (this may be due to the fact I’m not used to them), which is the old “I shoot you with a full clip, you survive and kill me with 2 bullets” syndrome. The lack of unlocks in the demo is also annoying, because they will change the battles (there is no reviving at the moment, no spec ops, AT mines, etc). And then there’s the usual online teamplay factor: if your team is useless, and the other team half competent, you will lose. Not the game’s fault, of course, but still mildly frustrating. The tactical options Titan mode brings compensates for all of these though. Plus flying is just plain fun now.
ON the subject of glictches and bugs, there are still a significant few around. Crashes to desktop do happen. Kenny lost 75% of his points to teamkills he didnt perpetrate one round. The EA master server is temperamental, even small problems with it can ghostbust you from the server you are on. The servers themselves have significant patchy periods of very noticable lag, even though pings are low. And the words “You have a problem with your connection” seem to crop a lot (or not at all, depending on your luck that round / server / day / phase of moon). In themselves, none of these are showstoppers, but I do think, nay hope, that we will see a patch very soon after the full game is released.
Will I buy the game myself? I’m tempted, but not yet convinced. If I had lots of time free, no question – I would. But the fact is I have prioritised other things higher than gaming, and that may mean BF 2142 suffers. Time will tell.
Now I’m off to play the demo to more to, uh… check that all the things I said are correct. Yeah. That’s it.