Battlefield 2142 • Page 2

E3: The real cold war is about to begin.

Clash of the Titans

But for now, it's back to the Titan, and the all-new game mode that's been developed around it. Have no fear, Battlefield fans, the Conquest mode is still in here ("Conquest is a very good way of playing the game, without a doubt, and we're not going to strip that out") but Nilsson's confident you'll enjoy Titan mode just as much.

"For a very long time we shipped with conquest... Because we simply couldn't come up with something that we thought would be as compelling as conquest really is. But now we've done it, and we have the future setting to thank for that.

"In the future, countries' power is measured by how many Titans you have - pretty much like nowadays [where] your power is measured by how many aircraft carriers you have," says Nilsson. Put simply, Titan mode works like this: there are two teams, and each has their own Titan. The first team to destroy their opponents' Titan wins. "There are no more flags, no more tickets, no more capture points; it's as easy as taking out the other guy's Titan."

"Even though it might sound very easy, there's a great depth to the whole gameplay - because at the same time you need to defend your Titan, and you also need to make sure that you have control over some key points on the ground."

It's a bit like chess, Nilsson explains, where the main objective is to take out your opponent's king - but you're forced to open up yourself to attack and defend yourself whilst trying to complete that objective. "That's pretty much what you're seeing in Titan mode."

Hard core

See that thing behind the soldier's head? That's a sentry drone, that is.

What we're seeing on the screen right now is that a plucky squad has managed to get itself up onto the body of the enemy Titan. But it's not over yet, by any means; now they'll have to fight their way through the maze of corridors inside, blowing up a series of key consoles along the way. Then it's a matter of finding the Titan's nuclear core and attaching a load of explosives to it - and even then, the war isn't quite won, since if the squad doesn't make it out and off the Titan fast enough, they'll go down in a blaze of glory too.

It's all part of DICE's plan to offer up a more epic ending compared to the type you'd expect at the end of a Conquest match, "Where win-loss comes up on the screen. We wanted to do something special with it."

And they succeeded, Nilsson reckons: "DICE would not offer a new game mode unless we thought it was absolutely fantastic, and I have no doubt that this is the game mode that people will play for months and months after this is released."

Creating a game that people will still want to play long after release day is a key concern for Nilsson. "We know that 780,000 people played BF2 last month. That's nine months after launch. There [are two things] in the game that makes people play - one, it's a very good game, and two, the persistence gives people something to aim for.

"We know the persistence is a driving force, and we want to key in on that and make the persistence system much, much bigger." So you can expect much more persistence with regard to weapons, abilities and equipment, and also rewards - you'll get plenty of medals, badges and the like, and you'll even be awarded with dog tags when you knife someone. Lovely.

Team time

You'll need to keep an eye on the skies as well as an ear to the ground.

DICE also observed the popularity of squads in Battlefield 2, and consequently decided to offer bigger incentives for playing in a squad in 2142. In short, you and your team mates will earn points collectively, which means you can get access to upgrades, weapons and equipment more quickly.

Squad leaders will also get some fancy new toys to play with such as the squad beacon. Team members will spawn wherever the squad beacon is situated, and since beacons can be taken out by the enemy the squad leader will have to use all their tactical skills to work out the best position.

There have also been a few changes to the class system, as Nilsson explains. "This game has four classes to start off with, and they don't have as many items as we've perhaps seen before in other Battlefield titles. But as you rank up, you gain new items; when you've reached the highest rank within this game, you will have more than 1500 different combinations of soldier." Which means that "any time you go into battle, you can tailor your soldiers to the experience that you want."

But the biggest changes, of course, revolve around the game's new setting. Isn't DICE concerned that Battlefield fans won't be so keen on this whole futuristic thing?

Back to the future

A battlewalker at work - and doing a rather good job of things, it seems.

"I think there are concerns. You can read about that in the forums," Nilsson concedes.

"But I remember when we'd done 1942, and we said we were going to do modern day, people went, 'No, don't go to modern day, stay in World War II.' I'm kind of seeing that same thing happen right now - I'm sure that when people get their hands on 2142, they will forget all about not liking us going into the future.

"The future brings so much to us... We can make up stuff for the first time ever, we don't have to rely on things that actually do exist; and for a game like Battlefield, which is based on rock-paper-scissors, it adds very much to the gameplay."

The key, Nilsson reckons, is to get people to play the game. He says 1942 "didn't sell at all until people tried it, and then it exploded... I'm pretty confident that when people get to try Titan mode especially, but 2142 as a product, they will realise the brilliance of it. Because trust me when I say it's very much the most fun Battlefield product so far."

Oh go on then, we'll trust you - for now. And we'll find out if you're right when Battlefield 2142 arrives this autumn...

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

Contributor  |  elliegibson

Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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