Shooting your friends

Whether it’s a dust-up over the last Cheetoe in the bag or making eyes at your fourteen year old sister, everyone has wanted to shoot their friends with a manner of different assault weapons. While EA Games’ Battlefield series of on-line blast-a-thons certainly weren’t the first games to let you exact this fantasy, they’ve been among the best available upon their successive releases, and continue to be today.

Battlefield 2142 still lets you shoot your friends with all manner of assault weapons, but now they’re mounted on walking tanks. It’s hard not to call that an improvement. At this point, the Gauntlet has only been able to sit down with a late beta of the game, but smashing around a ruined city in something out of a bad science fiction movie is just about as much fun as it sounds.

As the name would suggest, Battlefield 2142 parallels its older brother, Battlefield 1942 in a number of ways. The two opposing teams players are able to choose from are very clear thematic parallels to both the Allies and the Nazis, who starred in the first game. The EU dress in urban camouflage, use very bulky, hard-hitting weaponry and speak with English accents. Conversely, the PAX speak in an indecipherable foreign language, tote sleek, high tech guns and are uniformed entirely in black.

The historical parallels and nods to the first game of the series might be integral to the setting and back story of the game, but they don’t extend far into the gameplay. Battlefield 2142 uses the same formula that the past three games have: two teams of up to 16 players each, one massive map, opposing objectives and players equipped upon spawn for a variety of different roles on the team. The system wasn’t broken, the developers didn’t try to fix it, so good for them. They did, however, add the necessary cosmetics to bring it up to par with the new generation of PC games, such as improved rag-doll physics and a ‘tunnel vision’ effect when something really intense is going on.

At least one new game mode has been added as well. Aptly named “Titan Assault,” the game equips both sides with a heavily armed, massive airship called–you guessed it–a Titan. It’s each team’s job to capture different anti-Titan missile silos on the ground, and blow their opposition out of the sky. Players can add points to their profile by capturing silos, killing or wounding enemy players or assaulting the reactor core of the enemy Titan. These points are then automatically used to unlock new player ranks, weapons and secrets.

With its many improvements and classic team-deathmatch stylings, Battlefield 2142 will definitely be one to watch out for when it’s released in October. It’s still a bit of a wait, but the next time your best friend goes for the last cheetoe or your little sister, you can introduce him to the business end of a pulse rifle. Hoo-ah.

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