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Battlefield 2142 is my least favorite entry in the otherwise wonderful Battlefield series from EA Games. It all started with Battlefield 1942, which was set during World War II, then moved on to Battlefield 2, which was set in more modern times. Although it probably sounded like a good idea during the development stages, this futuristic warfare simulator just doesn’t measure up to the two previous titles. The fact that they used the same graphic engine as they did for Battlefield 2, which doesn’t support widescreen monitors, makes it seem even more outdated.
I’ve read quite a few other reviews of this game and the main general complaint is that it plays more like a mod for Battlefield 2 than a whole new game. I have to agree with this sentiment. The whole game is just like BF2 with a facelift. The infantry weapons look different but perform basically the same, and likewise the vehicles may look different but perform basically the same. Sure, there are a few tweaks and add-ons, but it just isn’t enough to warrant selling this as a whole new game. I had already grown tired of playing BF2 years ago, and this game felt like I was back in it all over again.
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Graphics and Sound
Another thing that made it hard for me to get into this game was the graphics. It uses the same outdated engine from BF2, and it doesn’t even support widescreen resolutions. On my 22” widescreen monitor, everything looks a little stretched and weird. On top of that, the year 2142 is depicted in this game as very bleak and bland, with a lot of simple flat surfaces and very little texture. It just doesn’t look very good or even interesting. The sound is pretty well done with lots of gun effects and voices, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that this game looks older than it really is.
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Despite its age and waning popularity, there are still plenty of people to be found online playing multiplayer matches. At least you won’t have to worry about finding people to play with, though there are still plenty of people playing BF2 and BF 1942, as well. The game employs an online ranking system that is kind of cool in that it lets you unlock certain upgrades as you advance in level. This leveling system will compel you to keep playing longer just to see what becomes available as you progress. Otherwise, I probably would have stopped playing a lot sooner.
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This Deluxe Edition of Battlefield 2142 features the original game plus the Northern Strike booster pack. It says so right on the back of the box. For most people, you’d think this would imply that the Northern Strike booster pack was included on the DVD, but it is not. Instead, Electronic Arts gives you an activation code for Northern Strike and then makes you go download it yourself, but not before jumping through a couple of hoops and patching the original game not once, but twice.
It’s almost like EA Games doesn’t want you to play Northern Strike at all. I was very disappointed by the way EA handled this Deluxe Edition. They made it overly difficult to get the extra content that should have just been included in the package. A Google search for ‘Northern Strike problem’ yields over 6,800,000 results. Needless to say, I’m not the only one who had problems getting it to work. The basic fix for it is to patch the original Battlefield 2142 game, install Northern Strike, then run the patch again. EA really dropped the ball on this one.
So if you’re one of the lucky ones who actually got Northern Strike to work properly, you will get a few extras to beef up the game. First, you get two new vehicles which are actually very cool. One is called a Goliath and is basically a big Mechwarrior type walking tank, and the other is a hovertank called a Hachimoto. Second, this booster pack gives you three new maps that feature snow-covered settings, hence the name. There are some new rewards you can earn, new weapons to unlock, and a few other features. The developers also made a few slight changes to the gameplay, including an Epic Titan mode. It really is a pretty cool add-on to the game, but I wish EA hadn’t made it so difficult to install.
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In the end, I got bored with this Battlefield 2142 Deluxe Edition very quickly. I played through all the maps several times in online multiplayer matches and unlocked quite a few new things, but I never really felt like I was playing a new game. Even worse, I still think Battlefield 2 was superior in every regard. It’s like EA Games took BF2 and tried to expand upon it, but lost some of the fun along the way. Don’t waste your money on this one.
Battlefield is one of the most popular action/strategy war games on the market, with on line and single player options that have brought millions of hours of gaming fun and enjoyment to millions of gamers.