The future of war in Battlefield 2142 is a damn inhospitable place. Besides a new ice age and a world war, you've got a lot to do and a great deal of choices to make. From the second your boots hit the ground, you need to start contributing - or you're just adding to the body count of the other team.
Worst of all - there is no basic training in 2142, and the learning curve is steep for fresh recruits. Even for salty online veterans, over 40 unlockable items and weapons mean that there are more paths than ever as you rise through the ranks.
The previous seven classes seen in Battlefield 2 are trimmed down to just four in 2142: Recon, Assault, Engineer and Support. However, there are two distinctly different career paths within each class that further specialize and enhance what each soldier can do. For example, the Recon class diverges into spec ops and sniper roles, with four unlocks each, the last of which being a new weapon.
The good news is that the first 10 unlocks come quickly. Rising to sergeant rank happened after a weekend of dedicated Titan-bashing and allowed us to fully kit out one of the four classes. We also were able to add a couple of player abilities (like grenades and longer sprint time, which stay with you no matter which class you choose). The bad news is that you'll need some key items from the other three classes, if you really want to make a difference.