Of course, today’s military would love the kinds of weapons, vehicles and items that are available in Battlefield 2142. Still the game doesn’t really look or feel too far removed from today’s timeline. Yes, there are weapons like EMP rifles and vehicles like a two legged mech like battlewalker, but we think anyone who has played any of the previous games in the series will feel right at home. Some of the same interesting items from Battlefield 2 return in a new form in Battlefield 2142, including the ever popular defibrillator to rescue teammates from near-death. Character classes return in the new game, but have been reduced in number and changed around from previous games in the series, ranging from the brute force assault class that has access to rocket launches and futuristic shotguns (they also have the med packs in the game), to the stealthy recon class with its sniper rifle, and finally the support class with access to a heavy machine gun. My personal favorite is the engineer, who has items like a powerful EMP emplacement that can take out vehicles. One new feature is the ability to have squad leaders in the game which not only makes teamwork more efficient but also gives the squad leader access to unique items (my personal favorite is the floating gun robot). There is also the commander class that can command squads and can even do something else which we will mention later.
Battlefield 2 introduced players to persistent stat tracking that allowed them to be “promoted”; the more and better they played online, the more rewards they received. Battlefield 2142 adds to that feature with 40 unlockable weapons and items. Like the previous game in the series, this gives Battlefield 2142 more of an RPG feeling, since you will be able to load your character with a customized loadout rather than be stuck with whatever your class forces you to take. The game also continues the series’ extensive use of vehicles. You have small and fast jeeps that can’t take a lot of damage to hover and track tanks that are slower moving but use more firepower, and APCs that can take on several people at once. Air vehicles include varieties of VTOL craft that are either small and fast or large troop carrying craft. Our experience with the air vehicles in the beta was actually quite fun and easy, something that has been rather tricky in previous games in the series. Our favorite vehicle is the previously mentioned two legged battlewalker just because we like mech vehicles in general. We were reminded somewhat of games in the Tribes series with some of the new vehicles but while the Tribes games were shiny and slick sci-fi games, Battlefield 2142 has much more of a gritty feel.