Battlefield 2 veterans will recognize most of the visual layout, commands and menu system because, in large part, BF2142 uses the same graphics engine. But building off of BF2's core, instead of starting fresh, has caused pre-emptive criticism that the developers simply "skinned" the original game and charged full price for an expansion pack.
However, once we witnessed the astonishing new battlegrounds, this niggling complaint vanished completely. The development team has lifted the franchise to new heights with the sheer amount of polish and shine they've applied to this sequel. While BF2's modern-day ordnance was faithfully recreated with down-to-the-rivet authenticity, 2142's superb attention to detail is simply breathtaking. 2142 parades you among glimmering skyscrapers in one moment and through bleak tundras littered with mechanical carnage in the next. You'll ride in the most magnificently detailed airships you've ever yet encountered in a game. Even the weapons have a frightening amount of detail and mesmerizing animations.
Unfortunately, 2142 is still the buggy, glitchy mess that we've come to expect from the Battlefield series. While the server interface has been massively improved over the piss-poor Battlefield 2 lag-fest, 2142 still suffers from team name errors, object collision oddities, sound bugs and the occasional system hang. Currently, an annoying bug in Titan mode causes missiles to either do no damage or stop launching or altogether, making for a never-ending round. And still no widescreen support? We have just one word for that: bullshit.