The demo of BF2142 hit today (or yesterday if you got it from an "EA Partner"), and so I decided to hold off on grabbing the two hour season premiere of Battlestar Galactica and hop on a local server for some gay-time fraggin'.
Gay times were had by all, in both senses. The game is fun. If you liked Battefield 2 or any of the numerous previous iterations, then you'll probably get some jollies from this one. Unfortunately, it is made by the DICE and EA guys, so support is pretty non-existant. Everybody gets drop-outs from the EA Master Server. You can be fraggin' away, top scoring and all of a sudden... BAM, you've been dropped. It looks a lot like it doesn't even TRY to re-establish the connection it's just like OH SHIT MAN, THE FUCKIN CONNECTION TIMED OUT, BETTER FUCKIN DISCONNECT YOU. There's also various connectivity-in-general issues, see figure b (screenshot numero dos).
When you first start the game you're greeted with 2 unskippable movies, you know the usual "EA" logo suspiciously missing the "Challenge Everything" tag. Followed by the really-neat-but-gets-old-fast flashing DICE logo. Then a couple of usual "Title Cards" are shown, telling you what game your playing, incase you've forgotten. Then something really neat happens. A motherfucking tutorial movie. This is what all games need. Get rid of those really fucking cool movies with lots of action and a little mini-story and maybe even a moral or two. I believe this tutorial movie alone is the sole reason why there are hardly any total noobs on the servers. After watching this movie, pretty much everyone knows what they need to do, which is great.
It's been called, and essentially is, a total modifcation of Battlefield 2, so the general gist of things is pretty much the same. This time around you've been thrust severely in to a distant future, if the title of the game is anything to go by, then you're probably in the year 2142. As such, the goal has been stuck in a blender along with various other fruits and vegetables and mixed for three and half hours straight, unless of course you are playing the "conquer" gametype, in which the goal is exactly the same as BF2. The "Titan" mode presents us with an interesting predicament. Your team decided they'd invade a random area that happened to be inhabbited by several missle laucher platforms. The enemy, for reasons unknown, have decided they'd do the same. Both teams have brought with them their 'Titan' ships, a futuristic floating base. To win, you need to capture the missle laucher platforms and defend said missle laucher platforms while they fire (at 2 minute intervals) at the opposing Titan. When the enemies Titan's shield is destroyed you can either wait for the missle launchers to destroy the Titan (takes a pretty long time) or you can board the enemy's ship (now that their shields are down) and destroy it from the inside. When you board the enemy Titan you will need to find and destroy four control panels, this will give you access to their core. Once you have access simply waltz inside and fire at the big shiny thing. Then you'll probably want to evacuate (screenshot numero uno).
The learning curve is pretty good. Like I said above, if you are familiar with the Battlefield franchise than you should have no problem picking this one up. The gunship controls are pretty bizarre though, I think it may have been lag but I just couldn't slow down. No brakes at all. I had to pull up, which in turn started me heading backwards, pulling down made me go forwards again, so I was in some kind of reoccuring back-forward swing in mid-air. I'm sure the enemy was confused and entertained just long enough for several of my team-mates to get the drop on their missle platforms.
The classes are your standard bunch. You have your Scout, equipped with a Sniper Rifle, a pistola and a ka-niffie.
The Assualt class is a mash up of your generic Assualt class and Medic class. He has the usual Assault Rifle, Pistol and Knife, but also sports the fashionable Medpac.
The Engineer is your rocket man and fixer-upperer, and carries a smaller Assault Rifle as a backup. Making him pretty deadly and one of my favourite classes.
The Support guy is your typical ammo-waster. He has a really big fucking gun that shoots lots and kills if it wants to. Also able to re-supply nearby units with some kind of magic box, whose origin is surrounded in mystery. He also has a knife - SNIKT!
One thing that let me down was that the defib. wasn't available to new recruits, it's an unlockable item. This is understandable, and now that I think about it can be quite a valuble asset to higher ranks. This would be perfectly acceptable except for one small thing; Any demo play doesn't count toward your rank. Which in turn is understable I suppose. It is a demo after all and if everything were available in the demo, why bother purchasing the retail? Well, the retail is going to suck anyway, maybe not for the first few months, but it will eventually. You have DICE giving you the fucking patches, this isn't VALVe where they release a new patch every two seconds. DICE/EA is notorious for releasing really bad patches at incredibly long intervals. Got a new bug that won't let you play? No problem! A patch will be released sometime in the next three years. Even then, the patch will only be a beta patch. The bug will be completely gone, but you won't be able to play on any ranked servers. And when the patch finally comes out of beta, the bug will be back! Truely inspiring work, my friends.
In fact, after reviewing the "Customize" (Unfortunately American spelling is still around in the future, I wouldn't be suprised if they still used their own fancy measurement system, those stubborn bunch) menu, it's revealed there are a lot of things to unlock. Three different primary weapons, three different secondaries, and four different tools (grenades, flashbangs, defib., floating sentry turrets) for each class. It would take you three and a half years alone to unlock everything.
The game does have some pretty crazy bugs. Planes occasionally get stuck on various things - and then proceed to blow up because I'd obviously breached some kind of space-time law. Mechs sometimes stop animating, and instead of walking along they just kind of... slide along. The good thing about that bug though is that because you're no longer "walking" it doesn't make the "BOOM... BOOM..." sound when you walk, so you can literally sneak right up on people in massive mechs. A couple of times I managed to get stuck under the missle silos, and I wasn't even trying to break the physical realm that time, I was just trying to get away from the large mech bullets that were penetrating my skin at an alarming rate.
Another time when I my connection was dying there was a hover tank charging toward me. Because the server was no longer updating it was just trying to predict where the tank would continue going. So the tank continues straight towards me, hits a crate and lauches straight in to the fucking sky like a firework and then disppears beyond the horizon.
I wasn't really much of a fan of BF2. I was amazed by the pre-release trailers and walk-through gameplay movies, and was having great fun playing it when I first got it. But something just didn't stick. Whatever it was forced me back to the shadowy, tortured depths of Counter-Strike: Source, which I really only play that because my friends do. I'm such a sheep. This game however appeals to me more. I was always a fan of Sci-Fi, I jumped at Dystopia. Something about large mechs, flying ships, hover-tanks and shiny blue lasers just makes me all warm inside. Seeing two giant Titan ships in the sky firing at each other while several gunships have dog-fights nearby is just awesome.
One of the coolest things though is the little Halo-esque rocket pods. These can be lauched from either transport planes or APCs, and is one of the only ways you can get on board the enemy Titan.
It's pretty obvious the reason this came out as fast as it did is to combat the up and coming Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, which in turn was probably made to infiltrate the Battlefield fanbase. From what I've seen and read of Quake Wars, I'm almost certain it's going to be a better game than this. Maybe I'm a little biased, being a fan of both ET and the Quake Series, and never really liking Battlefield as much. So if your looking for a futuristic multiplayer FPS, I'd wait for Quake Wars.