Why can't we be friends?
The future used to be a word that had good connections in our mind. After Battlestar Galactica and Gears of War, it is starting to look more bleak. Battlefield 2142 continues this charge, pitting the remaining scraps of humanity against each other for control of....what? Your not playing online yet? What the hell? Watching the intro movie is for noobs! If the developers were standing over you as you were playing, you get the feeling they would be yelling this in your ear. In many ways this game personifies what is right with shooters today on the PC and what is wrong with shooters on the PC.
First, what they got right. The controls are very good in this game, and the graphics are amazing. Firefights look spectacular and the Titan mode really does blow my mind almost every time I play it. VOIP conversations are crystal-clear and allow teams to develop complex plans that can be acted on quickly. When your Titan gets stormed by a squad walking in formation firing at you before you even knew they were behind you, only then do you see the power of instant contact built into the game.
Also the game builds up characters well. Overall, the unlockables really improve replay and allow players to actively choose a path and master it. The online games are fast and easy to join, and most players are fairly friendly.
What is wrong here then Mat? Well, a lot of things. This game has no single-player game to speak of, and that is unforgivable. As a player, I tend to like to be able to play around with the computer for a few weeks before jumping online. It gets me comfortable with the game. Here, there is no point to it. Also the complete lack of a storyline is a little depressing. How cool would it have been to choose a soldier class and be assigned to a Titan with random missions that would not only be interesting, but allow you to unlock new classes, giving you practice and guidance in choosing what kind of player you want to be. It would also allow you time to practice how to play the game.
When I say play the game, I mean control the vehicles. How can this game still act like learning how to control the vehicles is a secret one must learn from experience? It is a huge mistake, and something that really annoys me. I don't want to make an ass of myself a dozen times, I want the game I paid $50 for to show me how to play it. Now game!
Overall, this is a good game. Its not a great game, nor a genre-defining one. It is forgettable, which is a shame because there is a lot here. With a more fleshed-out single player game, a few servers dedicated to beginning players, and tutorials, this could be an A game. As it stands, this is one for the hardcore players and people who have played Battlefield 2 to death.