Battlefield 2142 - Multiplayer hands-on

Teams find themselves facing enemy squads, inevitably, on their Titan. The machine's defense turrets include downward facing guns and a heavy machine gun ideal for mowing down drop pods, but once one squad beacon is down the enemy can start to move in. Careful leadership becomes crucial as you try to press the attack. Cripple first the four control stations and then the enemy's core reactor, and defend your own Titan from the enemy's identical goal. We've seen similar gameplay in other games, but the sandbox nature of Battlefield helps make Titan mode seem special because the game never forces anyone to anything. A single, determined squad can mop up against an uncoordinated lot fairly easily.

The signature Battle Walker vehicles were rare finds on the map, which was disappointing, but it gave us more time to explore with hover-tanks. Their floating, flying nature was disorienting, but being able to smoothly strafe sideways in a 50-ton beast was an acceptable pay-off. Aircraft seemed not to dominate, but that may simply have been because as many people were running them into things and bailing out as actually flying them. Sheer pleasure resulted after hitting alt-fire and launching ourselves inside an APC assault pod, and navigating it down onto a shieldless Titan. That is, if you manage to both hit the Titan and not get mowed down in the air.

Squad leaders will face choices like including a respawn beacon or a floating gun platform in their kit; the increasingly powerful gun droids require more and more people in the squad to be useable. Integration of multiple roles into one class, such as the Assault troops being the medics of the game, means that each of the four classes feels meatier and filled with more possibilities than BF2's. Evolution, not revolution, seems to be the watchword for Battlefield 2142.