Battlefield 2142 Updated Multiplayer Hands-On - Customization Options and Titan Enhancements

With EA and DICE nearing completion on Battlefield 2142, we get our hands on the latest version of this multiplayer action game to check out the future of warfare.

Though other first-person shooters introduced vehicular and infantry combat first, the Battlefield series from EA and developer DICE does it best. In Battlefield, teams of up to 32 players each can fight, drive, fly, and shoot their way across a vast virtual battlefield. Having hit a home run with last year's hit multiplayer action game Battlefield 2, the two companies are now putting the final touches on the next game in the series, Battlefield 2142. With the game scheduled to ship next month, EA gave us a chance to check out the latest work-in-progress version of the game.

Set in the distant future of 2142, the game pits the European Union against the Pan-Asian Coalition for some of the last inhabitable land on Earth. As in all Battlefield games, you select a class to play as, such as assault or support, and that defines what sorts of weapons and equipment you carry in battle. And with our recent play test, we were able to really appreciate the customization options that are introduced in Battlefield 2142.

Each class comes with a main weapon, such as an assault rifle for the assault class, as well as two unlockable weapons that supplant the main weapon, such as a heavy or a light assault rifle. However, you can't simply select each of them as your first unlocks. To unlock either of these, you must work your way up the unlock ladder for each. So, in keeping with the example of the assault class, to get the heavy assault rifle, you'll need to first unlock the shotgun attachment, then the infantry identification system (which lets you gauge an enemy infantry's health), and then the rocket attachment. Meanwhile, to get the light assault rifle, which is useful in the tight confines of a Titan, you must first unlock the defibrillator, then the advanced medical hub, and then the smoke grenade. The unlock progression means that you'll probably want to decide early on what sort of role you want to play on the battlefield that you can tailor your unlocks toward this role.

The familiar Battlefield formula of infantry and vehicle combat goes futuristic in Battlefield 2142.

In addition to weapons and equipment, you can unlock special abilities. These are presented as a ladder as well, so you must start with the bottom unlock and work your way up. The most basic ability is the ability to carry a frag grenade in addition to your other weapons, but then you can unlock enhanced endurance (so you can sprint further), enhanced stamina recover (so you can recover endurance faster from a sprint), max clip (so each magazine can pack more bullets), and then be able to carry an extra grenade. But wait--you're not done yet. Though you might unlock quite a number of items, you can't carry them all into battle, so you must then customize your character's loadout. This involves choosing which weapon to carry, as well as what equipment to take. You also get a choice of outfitting your character in light or heavy armor. As you can probably tell, light armor is great if you want to be able to run for long distances, but it provides less protection than heavy armor.

We played the new Titan mode throughout the session and were able to see some new maps that haven't been seen before, such as Suez Canal. In Titan mode, your job is to find a way to board an enemy Titan, essentially a floating aircraft carrier, and destroy it while defending your own Titan. In order to take out a Titan, you must destroy four security consoles to gain access to the ship's reactor core. What's interesting to note, though, are some of the new tweaks DICE has made to this mode. For example, attacking teams must now destroy the two security consoles on the bottom floor before they can destroy the two consoles on the upper floor. Apparently, having all four consoles in play at the same time made the job much harder for defenders, since they had to spread out across the Titan. Now, defenders can mass at the consoles in play, which should allow for more intense hallway battles. Indeed, in our battles, defenders fought desperately to hold off onrushing attackers, though once an enemy gets a firm foothold on your Titan, you're in trouble. Thanks to the deployable squad beacon, enemies can keep respawning on your Titan, which means that until you take it out, they'll continually apply pressure on you.

The unlock system means that you'll need to play quite a bit to achieve the potential of each class.

Infantry combat is just part of the Battlefield experience, of course. Vehicle combat plays as large a role. Piloting the hover tank is incredibly cool, too, as you can now circle-strafe in a tank by simply holding down the left or right movement key and keeping the reticule on the target. At the same time, it takes a bit of getting used to, because in order to aim the fixed turret, you must maneuver the entire vehicle. On the other hand, the traditional tracked tank has a rotating turret, which lets you aim simply by moving the mouse. And we still get chills whenever we encounter one of the walkers, the two-legged tanks in the game. Being an infantryman, turning the corner, and then looking up at one of these things firing is a pretty awesome sight, though it's not so much fun when it's firing at you. On the other hand, piloting a walker is also a thrill, as you really get the sense you're sitting in this huge war machine and looking down on all your targets. Aircraft, on the other hand, will take some getting used to, as they're nowhere near as fast as the jets in Battlefield 2, which means that you can be picked off pretty easily if you're not careful.

The version that we played exhibited a couple of bugs. At one point, parts of the Titan disappeared entirely from view, and some of the fonts in the interface could distort under certain circumstances. Still, we can expect these bugs to be fixed over the coming weeks, and the rest of the game seemed relatively stable and polished. Lag wasn't so much of an issue, but we were playing on a local area network, and lag isn't much of an issue on those, anyway. Hopefully DICE is making sure the rest of the multiplayer code is optimized at launch. Still, we couldn't escape the feeling that with the sci-fi feel of the combat, Battlefield 2142 is certainly coming into its own now.

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97 comments
cjugo001
cjugo001

best buys offering a weapon unlock when u preorder. that and my veteran promotion and im all good.

Private_Pow
Private_Pow

hehe all ready pro-ordered my, just waiting for the 20th to come and i'm down at eb as soon as poss :P

mikeWILD
mikeWILD

this is already the game of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TectonicTm
TectonicTm

This game looks Horrifically AWESOME! Although I haven't played a BF on Pc I played it on the Playstation 2. Cant wait till the demo comes out.

filurboy
filurboy

i can't wait untill the game comes out!!!! it looks so great!! do there come a demo before it is releashed????

gila_monsta
gila_monsta

There's alot of reaction either way to BF2142. Like ardjolo once i got BF2 installed i've played it pretty much constantly since then. I liked BF1942, i loved BF2 and i'm sure given the experience the guys at EA and Dice have probably had a good long think about BF2142 and will produce a solid product...hey i'll buy it and i'll play it. For those who say it has lots of bugs...like all the others...it's a Beta!...And it's a given that most programs require extensive testing to iron out all the bugs (a program would probably never be released if it got all the testing necessary...what better testing audience than the public!). For those who bag the franchise....there's a simple solution, just don't buy it!. For those who bag the semantics of "why is there bullets in the future"...who cares...as long as they have quasi-futuristic clothes and iridescent things here and there i'm convinced it's the year 20,000.....hey, we're in the 21st Century right now and we havent got flying cars and teleports yet buddy!. At the end of the day, the proof will be in the pudding won't it.....we'll see in a few weeks time.

whitedragondh
whitedragondh

I have a BF2142 beta on my desktop , but i dont have a key ? NEED HELP!

Mr_1234Anderson
Mr_1234Anderson

GRAW was total crap. i can play bf2 no problem. im very good at it. on GRAW i killed about 3 opfor. it was so laggy i couldnt look around without getting frustrated. 2142 will be better the BF2 and GRAW. theyre fixing tons of glitches in the engine.

toomastr
toomastr

BF 2 ruled and I'm sure that 2142 will rule even more... Cant wait to buy it :D

alexrush
alexrush

This Game looks great i cant wait to play it :D Join EUE

ardajolo
ardajolo

why are people so upset at EA and Dice about BF2? I know last year I spend around $400 dollars upgrading my PC to play the game and haven't really played anything else since then. The 2142 beta is not perfect but that is why it is called Beta. From the first time you get someones Dog Tags you are going to be hooked on the game. 59 down and 64,941 to go. lol

ijunc
ijunc

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

quanghuy1708
quanghuy1708

this game is cool but may be a new killer of hardware. hope my "baby" can play it

BlazinDj
BlazinDj

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

DirkBelig
DirkBelig

Could I get an English translation on sarsuk's post, please?

sarsuk
sarsuk

We need FH2 .. This is a unnecessary. ambush... money trap ... dont buy all dont buy where is WWII mod ,Where is FH 2... Moneylover EA... BF2 Full BUG... MONEY LOVERS..

Xelioth1
Xelioth1

"I don't get it, its the future, shouldn't the military be using something other than bullets by now? I dunno, lasers, photonrays, something else besides bullets?"dude, it's 100 years in the future. it's not THAT far ahead. chances ARE good that we'll be still using bullets at that point...granted, really fast and extremely painful bullets but bullets nontheless. we have lasers atm, but they're hardly anything to make weapons out of, and I honestly doubt that that'll change in any short span of time. not to say it's impossible, just that it's debatable, and as such you can't dismiss bullets outright. "With the unlock tree, I take it that's persistent to your character over multiple games? Or is that a per game skill tree? 2) Assuming that's persistant, how long is DICE saying it'll take to max out all the skill trees?"it's persistant, and to give you perspective, I've been playing for something like 30 hours so far and have 8 unlocks. granted, I'm not all that great at the game, so it'll depend on the skill, but I average about 20-30 points or so per game, so that should give you an idea.

genji_glove1
genji_glove1

At least I wont need to upgrade my PC to play it as its based on the bf2 engine. Bf2 ruled and you sholdnt slag off a game that hasnt even been released yet!

ArdaXAri
ArdaXAri

So much of the things seems to be changed! I'm looking for it!

frrrkk
frrrkk

1 word.........nice >)

jdelpozo1
jdelpozo1

Looks Like a big version of FEAR, minus Gore, vehicles... I think BF2 and FEAR can hold me down for another year. Looks good, but it can wait

illuminatirexx
illuminatirexx

just another bf2 with skin changes...not worth the $50...just another reason to wait for Project Offset to come out, and not care about crapy games like this :) lol

chrisivx
chrisivx

Jasper: Allies' names coming up red, having to chose spawn button a few times before spawning, incredibly slow server browser, missiles traveling through tanks... I think this game could be good, but I've heard from a beta tester it is infact just a good mod, and not much more.

Jasper
Jasper

Ive been playing BF2 for a long time now and still havnt found its bugs affect my gameplay... infact ive yet to notice them at all... Ive heard so much of these "bugs" please point out a few.

CaribouLou5
CaribouLou5

This game is gonna rule... Hope it'll keep me busy till Crysis comes out. You who complain are a bunch of negative nancies. They could come out with 'Jesus the Game' and you would still whine.

rallykupo
rallykupo

Eh, this game keeps getting less and less appealing since E3. I'll wait for the reviews to come in.

pathogenb
pathogenb

the more they show off the gameplay vids, the less i wanna waste $50 on what looks a lot like a good mod. i really hope Quake Wars brings it home.

NuclearMage
NuclearMage

Just trying to rip us off.....they really lost their credibity in BF2 and they're hoping some new gameplay and units would buy us...? amazing....

RedWobblyJelly
RedWobblyJelly

new custom PC being built and on it's way, roll on dual core 2GB DDR and 512gfx. Can't wait til October

Sqube
Sqube

Very fascinating to me... but I found it humorous that they expected bugs to be fixed before the game was released. Didn't anyone at GameSpot play Battlefield 2? The bugs will most likely be there or, if those specific bugs aren't there, equally obvious bugs that seem like they should have been fixed but weren't. If they fix the in-game server finding system... I think everything else can be forgiven. Finding servers in BF2 was hell. If it's easy in BF2142, I'll be able to deal with everything else as long as it doesn't completely break the game.

Storm1659076865
Storm1659076865

BlackouTTSniper wrote: "Screw ps3...whoever spends 600 dollars on a machine half as good as the PC is a moron. Battlefield 2 failed and EA can only learn from the mistakes they made in that game. Point of Existence 2 is the game all of you battlefield players should be playing. Battlefield 2142 will kill and so will any mods coming out for it. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2399550896692472316&q=Point+of" Battlefield 2 failed? You are a mega dee dee dee if you think that. Case Closed.

xack10
xack10

lol that was funny... shoud be a mod. Its gonna be awesome!!1

carnie06
carnie06

lol yea it should be a mod...youre retarded dood

awarriorofgamin
awarriorofgamin

this game looks so pwn but looks can be deciving they have a good idea though w/ the multiplayer though the single player is probably gonna be poop

killjoi
killjoi

This should be a mod. Not buying it.

Demonbob
Demonbob

Ehh...I don't know. The upgrade tech tree idea is interesting, but in a multiplayer game like Battlefield, I'm wary. BUT! I'll just have to see.

_Sam_
_Sam_

I can't wait to get this game

BlackouTTSniper
BlackouTTSniper

Screw ps3...whoever spends 600 dollars on a machine half as good as the PC is a moron. Battlefield 2 failed and EA can only learn from the mistakes they made in that game. Point of Existence 2 is the game all of you battlefield players should be playing. Battlefield 2142 will kill and so will any mods coming out for it. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2399550896692472316&q=Point+of+Existence&hl=en

tau1234
tau1234

This game obviosuly has its good sides and bad sides, personnally i think its gonna be a pretty good game but not an AMAZING game, ya know how BF2 vertually made everyone buy new comps just to play multiplayer and stuff. one thing is for sure is that devolopers are gonna need to have a real good idea about what to make next in the battlefield franchise, cause its never really been about lasers and space craft, its been about human wars with bullets and nades :D although i do like the idea of a dinosaur battlefield lol that sounded pretty kool....

rbranma
rbranma

well...i heard sayings by people who are or were by Battlefield 2142 BETA that this game isnt that fun like the Battlefield-2 was.If so,then its VERY SAD xd

Cpl_Headshot
Cpl_Headshot

It looks pretty fun. Now I just have to save up for a new comp to play it.

ddychko
ddychko

What Battlefield really needs is a Godzilla mode where Godzilla and friends run rapid (or fight each other) on a map and your team's job is take them down. Whatever team does this first wins. Flag areas that are captured will have control of a powerful cannon that does heavy damage to the monster(s). This would definitely rule!

datarez
datarez

A couple questions: 1) With the unlock tree, I take it that's persistent to your character over multiple games? Or is that a per game skill tree? 2) Assuming that's persistant, how long is DICE saying it'll take to max out all the skill trees? Sidenote: Saying under the video "Check out some of the intense action of Battlefield 2142." when half the video is a guy getting health isn't exactly a good discription.

Leige_a
Leige_a

The BETA test was AWSOME but since it was only BETA, it had its bugs. Strange that some of the same bugs we saw when BF2 was released, found their way in 2142 but sort of 'upgraded'. I really hope to see the end of the RED TAG bug as would all current BF2 soldier would agree. I guess I can't go into details about the flaws until its final release. Until then, I'll definitly b**ch about it more. Other than that, its pretty much the same game. The only other comparison, would be to imagine Star Wars: Battlefront 2 with BF2 skins. Attacking a capital ship this big from the inside is NOT easy! DAMN THOSE SHIELDS!

DMTyndareus
DMTyndareus

Hey, Gamespot! How about mentioning the appalling patch support that EA and DICE provided for their "homerun" BF2? Oh that's right, previews are pretty much suck up expos. I'd like to see a preview of a sequel that actually takes everything into account, not just how "awesome this game is going to be". If BF2142's support is anything like BF2's has been, it'll be partially the fault of a game's journalism industry that doesn't have the balls to take a big company to task BEFORE the game comes out. You can pan games all you like AFTER they're out, but what the hell good does that do US?