It has been fifteen years since Battlefield final had mechs, which suggests it has been about fifteen years since I final cared about Battlefield. With EA making ready to elevate the lid on the subsequent entry in DICE’s mass warfare shooter, my one query is identical because it ever was—will we see something fairly as particular as Battlefield 2142?
The subsequent Battlefield recreation is dipping its toes into the close to future warzones of 2042, a really modern type of warfare that gestures into the long run with robotic canines and local weather disaster. However as chaotic because it all seems to be, I reckon Cube is not wanting almost far forwards sufficient. Allow us to transcend 2042’s acquainted skirmishes, and into the speculative ice age conflicts of the twenty second century.
Following up the fashionable navy skirmishes of Battlefield 2, 2142 introduced the sequence into the speculative warfronts of the long run. It was nonetheless Battlefield, positive. Tanks rolled over hills, helicopters duked it out within the skies, and infantry squads took pot-shots throughout war-torn streets.
However being a century-and-a-bit sooner or later, half of these tanks might hover. Troopers had been backed up by stomping mechs, and plane shared the skies with Titans—huge, floating battleships that fashioned the core of Battlefield’s best-ever gamemode.
See, Battlefield 2142 did not simply use its speculative setting for aesthetics. The longer term introduced an unbelievable playfulness to established Battlefield mechanics, culminating within the recreation’s Titan Mode. Management factors had been now missile silos, and capturing them meant slowly whittling down the opposing Titan’s shields. As soon as these had been down, you can select to maintain whittling away the flying fortress’s well being with missiles. However the true trick was staging a daring boarding motion to carry it down from the within.
Titans that had served as spawn level, touchdown pad and airborne turret batteries through the match out of the blue turned claustrophobic arenas. Invaders would use dropships to land on the ship, or use particular armoured vehicles to fireplace themselves skyward in Halo 3: ODST type drop-pods. Each inch of cargo bay and hall contained in the Titan was hard-fought—however make it via to the core, and you can take down the monstrous craft with one fell swoop.
It is the sort of spectacle that Battlefield has at all times been constructed round, and one which’s by no means fairly been matched. DICE has performed round with comparable concepts since, and Battlefront 2’s Capital Supremacy is visibly a direct successor—if way more inflexible in how its invasions play out. However the magic of Titan mode was how the ships match neatly into the prevailing Battlefield sandbox. An ever-present menace that, with sufficient persistence, might in the end be became a smouldering crash website.
Battlefield has modified loads in 15 years, thoughts, and it is comprehensible (if nonetheless disappointing) that DICE’s priorities for the sequence have modified. Battlefield turned firmly grounded in fashionable fight with 3 and 4, pivoting to historic playground with 1 and V (the numbering on this sequence has been kinda wild recently).
The subsequent Battlefield’s supposed near-future setting might open up area for fancier devices or stranger weapons. However it’s laborious to think about it skewing too far-off from the well-trodden warzones of earlier entries. 2142 was simply far-off sufficient to provide us flying bases, mechs and hovertanks, however not so far-off that the sport wasn’t nonetheless recognisably Battlefield.
The actual crime is that, in 2021, Battlefield’s boldest experiment stays unplayable. Gamespy’s closure killed BF2142’s servers again in 2014—and whereas EA pressured that it could work to preserve video games like BF2142 alive, it shortly deserted that call. Revive, a fan-run effort to maintain the sport working, managed to outlive for roughly a 12 months earlier than EA introduced the hammer down.
It is laborious to think about a lifeless, online-only shooter from 2006 making a significant return anytime quickly. However it’s straightforward to think about what 15 years of progress might do for the sport’s concepts—walkers crashing via Frostbite’s destructible buildings, fashionable DICE’s professional sound design giving these Titan’s a really apocalyptic presence within the skies.
Greater than something, although, I need to really feel genuinely excited by the place Battlefield goes subsequent. Battlefield has been hesitant to let the setting really drive play—Battlefield 1 crowbarred SMGs and assault rifles into World Warfare 1, whereas the oft-maligned Hardline turned a cops ‘n’ robbers pitch into devastating city warfare. Possibly a hypothetical Battlefield 2143 is an excessive amount of to ask. However I would hope no matter Battlefield comes subsequent is ready to as soon as extra give us a peek into the long run.
Particularly if that future comes with bloody good robots.