Digg contributor Iced_Eagle has pointed us to an 8.5MB archive of images from the mag, with 9 pages concerned with 2142 and 2 pages having to do with Half-Life 2: Episode 1. If you're interested in knowing "where your unstoppable 20-foot Mech is," then you'd best get to that reading online or off ASAP.
For those still skeptical of any gaming news outlet coming out with such a story in the general vicinity of April Fools' Day, keep in mind that the game appears to not only be the magazine's cover story, but that its coverage also fills up all those pages of print mentioned earlier. EGM merely dedicated a single page with a brief line in the table of contents to its Apple iGame prank this year, so this would seem like a lot of effort on PC Gamer or some extremely dedicated Photoshopper's part to fool the gaming public. Will this fall prove to be the point when the BF franchise finally frags in the future? At this point, it would certainly seem so. Read on for further details about the game; the cover pic links to the scans.
DICE Sweden holds the reins for this futuristic installment of the Battlefield series, where walking Mechs are described as being "packed to the gills with anti-personnel, anti-tank, and anti-air weaponry." Support-class robots will also serve as spotters and extra firepower for Engineers in the planned 2006 release.
War will take place over who gets the best of what's left after a new ice age. While most of the fighting will take place in northern Africa (as only a quarter of the Earth's surface is still livable under these dire circumstances, mostly centered around the equator), it's certainly possible that Far East countries might join in the fun in future expansions. The two factions involved are "the American-European Alliance, made up of the American continents and most of Europe," and the "Pan Asian Coalition, a combination of Russia, the Middle East, and India."
According to PC Gamer, work began on BF 2142 right after Battlefield 2 was completed, but the idea for the new installment "originated about two years ago." DICE has already gotten to the pre-alpha stage with 2142 thanks to its reuse of and revisions to the BF 2 game engine. As far as changes to the gameplay are concerned, Star Wars-style lasers are out, but new weapons (including various ballistic firearms), vehicles (like those two-man Mechs and some sort of fighter jets), and maps are definitely in the offing. Infantry get upgrades as well thanks to "new RPG elements in the class system" (to develop the two sub-categories of each of the game's four available classes), some Star Trek-style cloaking for recon units (where you can't attack when under wraps), and the ability of Squad Leaders to place map beacons for team respawns (so they can join in the fight, too).
A buddy list is now part of the main menu interface, which has been rebuilt to aid players in online matchmaking. Also joining this game this century year will be a new game mode, "new Commander features," and "the ability to play co-op with your friends against an AI team." Check out the pages of PC Gamer yourself for further details, or wait till E3 when much more will be revealed.
- Battlefield 2142 allegedly confirmed by PC Gamer
- Apple's iGame is totally iFake
- Half-Life 2: Episode 1 -- HL2 not required