Battlefield 2142 Northern Strike Review
|Developer:||Digital Illusions CE|
|Genre:||First Person Shooter|
|Release Date:||March 9th, 2007 (UK)|
|Reviewer:||Craig Dudley (Mani)|
Whilst I'm still not completely sold on the idea of booster packs, they do have the habit of fragmenting communities; their price should most definitely not be a barrier. At just £5.99 it's more or less impossible to say that Northern Strike isn't at least reasonable value. Three new maps, a new game mode, two new vehicles and a bunch of new un-locks and awards for about the price of a cinema ticket can't really be sniffed at; I know I've already had more than a couple of hours of enjoyment out of it.
Let's take each of the additions in turn, firstly the new gameplay mode Conquest: Assault Lines. It's very much the same as the much loved Battlefield trademark mode Conquest but for one important change, you cannot capture the enemy home base until all other bases are fully under your control. So far I'd have to say it has a small positive effect by way of compressing the action slightly, the maps are however larger and wider than most previous urban maps and the extra space does somewhat negate the effect.
That brings us neatly to the three new maps. They are:
Bridge at Remagen; a large urban map with many open spaces in which the attacking EU start on the other side of the frozen river Rhine and must cross the Remagen bridge as the name suggests. It's playable in both Titan mode and the new Conquest: Assault Lines mode. My issue with this map is entirely size related; it just feels too big to me, even with a full complement of players involved.
Port Bavaria; a Titan resupply base high up in the Alps, the EU team start at the bottom on the valley with access to several APC's, driving these up-to the extremely steep cliff face below the Titan base will allow pod launches up to the plateau above, it's very difficult to get up on foot, though it is possible. Once on top of the cliff, this is perhaps the tightest of the maps and can be great fun for infantry. Gaining a foothold on the upper level can be a pain though and vehicles certainly do play a part, even once in the base itself. Once the EU team does manage to grab a flag or two on the upper tier, Port Bavaria is good fun.
Liberation of Leipzig; the first night time map in Battlefield 2142 and again a large urban map, this time there's no Titan mode though which I personally don't think is much of a loss. This is my favourite map of the three by far; I would however have preferred it had been a little narrower.
All three maps are beautifully constructed, the best looking three maps in the game by far in my opinion and don't run slowly at all. From a personal point of view though, they are all too big and suit vehicles much more than infantry combat, although the there are plenty of places to hide and set up ambushes. I was hoping assault lines mode would massively concentrate the action taking an already intense experience on some maps to a whole new level, unfortunately it hasn't quite happened. I would definitely like to see assault lines as an option on some other maps though, specifically Camp Gibraltar, maybe that will be possible in a future patch.
This booster pack has also added a pair of new vehicles, for the EU forces we get a lumbering giant APC that can repair itself, the IFV Goliath. It features six repair units, two on each side and two on the back, destroy all of these are the vehicle becomes very vulnerable, getting them all will of course take serious co-ordination and effort and until then it's more or less unstoppable. The PAC team get the super fast but lightly armed hover-speeder, the Hachimoto. It's somewhat limited on the armour front but is exceptionally fast and the gunner has both anti personal and anti vehicle weaponry.
Of course, a bunch of new badges, ribbons and un-locks have been added, all of which work in the retail game if you've purchased the booster pack. I'm not sure whether that's a marketing tactic or not but it's definitely sure to annoy some people.
Northern Strike can be quite easily summed up as three wonderfully crafted maps that are a bit on the large side for my liking, with a new game mode which certainly has the potential to be great fun on the right map; I don't feel any of the included three are that map though. They do however suit the two new vehicles quite well and that was perhaps the point. I always have and always will prefer infantry combat and that's why Northern Strike doesn't quite push all of my buttons, I'm glad I bought it though and would recommend it to any Battlefield 2142 fan.
- Beautifully made maps
- Potentially great new game-play mode
- New vehicles work well
- More unlocks and awards
- Low cost
Not so good stuff
- Maps are a bit large
- Booster packs split the community
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