Thursday, November 02, 2006

First Look: Battlefield 2142 (PC)

I will preface this with the fact that I was in on the Battlefield 2142 beta and played it extensively. I didn't have any major system problems with the beta, but once the demo came out I was getting knocked off the EA Master Server like many other people. I felt the beta showed me enough to warrant a purchase of the game. The Titan mode in and of itself was pretty exciting in the beta and having more maps to play it on sounded pretty cool.

I purchased the game, installed the patch (which was a pain in itself with me having to uninstall and re-install a couple times) and found that sometimes the game would come up when clicked upon and sometimes it would just jump back to desktop with no black screen. Through some voodoo magic I got it to work if I went to a Command Line prompt and ran the executable from there and sometimes it would work when clicking on the icon. Once in the game it moved nice and smooth, probably moreso than Battlefield 2 and I noticed that map loading on my machine with 1GB of RAM was faster than in BF2. The word was that if you had 2GB the maps would load taht much faster, but it looks like they rectified that here.

Early on when the game was released the EA Master Server disconnects were happening frequently for many people, including myself. I ended up shelving the game for a while because Titan just cannot be enjoyed when you can only play 5 minutes and then get kicked off and try to find another server. According to DICE/EA they have fixed the majority of the problems with the disconnects over last weekend so I fired it up earlier this week and found it a much more enjoyable experience.

Now, many forums have been lambasting EA for their little card that came with the game talking about IGA getting information from your computer in order to supply ads inside the game. EA went on to clarify it a number of days later talking about just taking your IP address and geographically putting ads related to your region in the game. I find it kind of funny that people exploded over this simply because this is the way games are moving toward. Microsoft purchased Massive recently and I can only guess Live and any Microsoft Games are going to have these types of ad extraction in it. Many people put Microsoft and EA on the same level of demonization, but other companies (that maybe you love) are going to go down this road as well.

I'll review BF2142 after I get a bit more time with it. With the server disconnects fixed, the game has been far more enjoyable. I still think the Titan mode is worthy enough to purchase this game along with the whole futuristic feeling of the game. I mean, you can ride a mech and drive a hovertank. Granted, there is only 1 mech per side on each map (I think), so in order to enjoy them you'd better run at the sole mech pretty quickly. Even with the ad fiasco I recommend picking this up, I could use a nice squad in this game.