DICE’s Battlefield series rarely ventured into the future (at least until Battlefield 2042). Prior to this, only one game was based in the ‘far’ future, 2006’s Battlefield 2142, which was set amongst the backdrop of a third ice age that began in 2106 and a scarcity of resources that led the world to war.
This hundred-plus-year gap allowed the game to be more separated from the reality of today’s warfare, primarily in a technological sense. The game featured futuristic helicopters, hover tanks, walking assault mech’s, and laser shields.
My favourite was the game mode Titan, which was ‘capture the flag’ cross ‘defended the payload’.
Each team had its own Titan, a battleship that floated two-hundred-odd meters above the battlefield, while the capture points on the ground were missile silos. If you possessed a capture point, the missiles hit the enemy’s Titan, first depleting its shield then working away at the Titan’s overall health.
Players could request to be the Titans Commander and be responsible for moving the Titan around the map and rendering air support to troops on the ground. The Titan also operated at a spawn point, allowing players to travel to the ground in a drop pod or by jumping into a helicopter located in the hangar bay.
The first half of the gameplay was focused on holding as many missile silos as possible. Ensuring that the enemy Titans shield yielded first and then once the shield was down, the real fun began.
Once an enemy Titan’s shield was down, you could board the enemy Titan and attempt to destroy its Reactor to clinch the win.
Destroying the enemy’s Reactor was a complicated business. First, you had to get onto the flying ship via Helicopter or a drop pod that could be launched from a player-controlled vehicle on the ground. Alternatively, if a player had unlocked it, they could place a spawn beacon on the Titan, allowing you to be spawned in a drop pod. The catch here was that you spawned in-flight, leaving you to stick the landing yourself, meaning sometimes you missed the Titan.
Then once aboard, you had to defeat whoever was left defending the Titan. With 32 people per team, a defending team of 6–8 players could hold the tight internal corridors sufficiently well. One of my favourite things was to be the Support class who had a heavy machine gun, a laser wall to hide behind, and an ammo replenisher. I had moments where I held off entire teams.
There were four corridors, each with its own control panel; the invading team had to destroy all four corridors before accessing the main Reactor and finishing the job.
Once the Reactor was destroyed, players had thirty seconds to vacate the Titan before it exploded, taking the successful attackers with it.
The second half of this game mode was frantic, in the best way possible. Sometimes you never survived landing on the Titan. Sometimes, you walked onto the Titan alone without any resistance, the enemies’ forces occupied elsewhere.
Helicopters rained from the skies as pilots abandoned them mid-flight in an attempt to land on the Titan, and sometimes it was just you, sitting alone in the Reactor room waiting for the invading force to show up.
Needless to say, I would jump at the chance to play a modern version of this game mode. When the announcement of Battlefield 2042 was dropped, I held a glimmer of hope that some of the best bits of 2142 would be making a return given the similarities in the naming, but alas, 2042 is more of a near-future game.
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