Reviewed: March 13, 2007
Released: March 8, 2007
Battlefield 2142 Core Game
EA Downloader and Internet access
EA games has released the first expansion pack for Battlefield 2142 with new maps, gadgets and a new game type. I have been an avid player of Battlefield 2142 since the much anticipated hour of its release several months ago and this expansion pack only adds to the games great multiplayer action.
There may not be any ground breaking additions in Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike but the addition of three new maps and a bunch of new high tech gadgets make your fight better as well as being worth the $9.99 price tag. I do have to warn gamers that this expansion is only available from the EA Downloader and is currently not available in retail stores.
Battlefield 2142 is a fantastic game and is one of the few games that I have continued to play voraciously for many months after receiving it. I just love the gameplay experience that it brings to the first person shooter genre and really enjoy the variety in the Titan missions. Going from point capture of the missile silos and then having the choices of either defending your Titan ship or attempting to blow up your opponents is great.
Now you can add a new game type and three new game maps to give you five new game styles in the Northern Strike expansion pack. Two new maps are close in fighting styles using a cityscape with one having a river running through the middle. The Port Bavaria map offers an even better fight in the Titan mode but still a challenge in capture the flag with easily half the map being wide open ground.
I really like the concept they have added using the Port Bavaria map and a story line insight to the game. The Port Bavaria map is three or four docking stations for the Titans to dock and re-supply perched on cliffs to make the docking accessible to the huge hovering troop and supply ships. The other maps are also nicely done but don't add as much to the story of the game.
The new high tech toys you can unlock in gameplay consist of ten new unlocks, one on top of each weapon class tree. So if you want to play with the new toys such as shock absorber boots for better cushioning when landing from jumps or the explosive sticky projectile you need to work at getting to the top of any particular weapon class. I was lucky enough in being close to my next unlock when receiving the expansion and worked feverishly over the weekend to see what some of the unlocks do.
The boots are interesting as they both add to your stamina when recovering from sprinting and you take less damage when landing from a height. There are others like a mine attractor, a sniper decoy, infantry sonar and a sonar smoke grenade combination. The rest of the upgrades are either upgraded previous gadgets or clip extensions but still all very useful in combat.
There are also two new vehicles in the Northern Strike expansion that add to the gameplay fun, the IFV Goliath heavy APC and the light IFV Hachimoto fast attack car. The Goliath is a huge very slow moving armored personnel carrier that gets you from here to there in relative comfort and ease for a leisurely stroll from one objective to another.
For the guys fighting against the heavy APC your friend is its slow speed, giving you plenty of time to deploy explosives and mines in front of the beast when you know where its headed. The Goliath acts as a rearming point and re-supplies troops nearby as well as regenerating its own armor after taking damage. The most effective attacks against it are anti vehicle weapons but enough mines and other explosives do destroy the vehicle.
The other small addition is about as much fun as you can have in a combat zone, the fast attack vehicle. More like a speeder with cannons, the driver has the task of driving the hovering vehicle and shooting a small cannon like projectile where the car is pointing. The passenger that is dangerously open on the back of the machine gets a grenade launcher and anti vehicle rocket. Each of these new vehicles is only available to one side of the fight and on different maps.
The new game type is along the lines of the conquest game of the core Battlefield 2142 but with an added twist. In order for one side in the conquest game to win before the points go down they needed to capture all bases and then kill all opponents. Now in the conquest assault game they need to capture all the bases before they can attempt to capture the main base. This just adds a last line of defense to the team that is losing their bases to the onslaught.
The gameplay is pretty much the same as the core game but with more of a variety to the style and fun you can get. The maps are very well designed with plenty of cover for the most part but there are the open areas of the Port Bavaria map to contend with. The games general feel and overall style has been enhanced and made better with the addition of the new toys and gadgets but no one vehicle or unlock will make any player that much more invincible.
The general well made textures and designs of the maps and vehicles that were the standard of the core game have been preserved in the Northern Strike expansion. The games overall feel of a futuristic combat zone has been kept and broadened by the addition of a cityscape wracked by war in the two city maps. I really do like the Port Bavaria map with its docks perched on the cliffs and support buildings outside the entry to each dock area.
The details they have been so well in keeping from the core game have been used in the expansion with good texture quality and a careful attention to the realism of the designs for the weapons, vehicles and just about everything you have. You can really see these items and vehicles being produced in our future as they do have good use of common sense things about them. Overall they have kept the games graphics and images to the same high standard as the core of Battlefield 2142.
The Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike expansion has used what would be appropriate to the vehicles and other sounds well. The Goliath sounds like a huge beast of war but the sounds of bullets and explosions are muffled, as you would expect in a heavily armored vehicle. The fast attack vehicle which has the same propulsion as the hover tank sounds very similar to that tank and is a joy to ride in or drive.
The gadgets and weapons have the quality sound you have come to expect just like the rest of the game. The games overall sound effects are very well done and add to the overall enjoyment of Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike.
I have spent more money on a meal than this expansion and had less to show for it. For $9.99 you can't go wrong here for the added fun and enjoyment you will get for Battlefield 2142. I enjoy the additions to the core game and cannot find any fault at spending this amount of money on an expansion.
Battlefield 2142 had some problems when it was released with bugs and glitches but most of them have been ironed out. The core game is a very enjoyable multiplayer first person shooter and the Northern Strike expansion is a very good addition to the fun and excitement.
I really cannot see any reason not to buy the expansion as it only takes a short time to download via the EA Download and adds so much fun to the game. Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike is well worth it and a great expansion to the core game.