After spending several months playing around with Battlefield 2142, i decided i would give the new Northern Strike booster pack from EA a shot and see what all it added to the existing battlefield 2142. However before i could see how good Northern Strike was, i had to get it from EA using the EA-Link software and what a trial of patience that was…

First i went and downloaded the EA-Link software from the EA-Link web site. After getting the 12 meg file i did the install and all was well. Next i loaded the EA-Link software up and was presented with the logon screen. At this point in time i decided i would make a new account for EA-Link because i wasn’t sure if i could use my BF2142 login name and password. So i hit the create new account button and started to fill out all the required fields. Then i came to one field that wanted me to look at image and read the letters/numbers off that image and enter what i see into a text field. The problem i had was i wasn’t seeing any any letters or numbers i was seeing a small red X meaning the image that contained the number and letters was not showing up at all.

At this point in time i figure no big deal i will close the EA-Link software down and restart it that should fix it right? Well after restarting the software i still had no luck at all and was not seeing the image with the numbers and letters. So then i figured maybe i should reboot that has to fix this problem. So i reboot the computer fire the EA-Link software back up again and still the same thing no image showing up. So at this point in time i decided to look on google maybe someone else had this issue and i could see how they fixed it. Well after spending about 30 minutes hunting around on google i come up with nothing. It’s about this point in time I’m starting to get a bit pissed off, so just for the hell of it i try my BF2142 login and password and the program fired up everything was working fine. So for the hell of it i logged out and again tried to make a new account and this time it finally displayed the image with the letters and numbers on it.

So after an hour of screwing around i was finally able to get into the software. Next i purchased the Northern Strike booster and a few minutes latter i was downloading the file. The Northern Strike Booster pack is about 160 megs and didn’t take but a few minutes to download. After it was downloaded i clicked on the file in the EA-Link software and it installed the Booster pack no problems at all.

Now onto what EA gives you for $9.99 U.S..

The Northern Strike booster consist of 3 new maps 2 new vehicles 1 new game mode 10 new unlocks plus numerous badges, ribbons and pins.

The new game mode is called Assault Lines and this is a mode where the defenders have one control point, the attackers can not capture it until they have control of all other control points on the map. If you happened to loose a control point you have to go back and recapture it before you can hit the final control point. This kind of game mode requires a fair bit of team work because you have to work together and keep all the control points and not loose any.

All the maps in the game i think are rather well done. All of them are quite large and all are well laid out. Below is some screen shots of the maps..

Bridge at Remagen.. This map is rather cool, its all centered around this big bridge and there is quite a bit of fighting that takes place near and around the bridge. There are allot of spots for snipers on this map as well. This map supports the following modes of play.. Titan, Conquest, Assault Lines..

Port Bavaria.. This map is another fairly large map and the one base is on top of a mountain. There are two lower spots below the mountain that have capture points as well. You can get up the mountain via the in game hover aircraft and you can also use the Personnel Carrier and shoot your self out in a pod and get up to the base with that as well. This map can get hairy because of all the places you can sit and pick people off. You also have the big Walkers in that base as well so that adds to the hairiness of it. This map supports the following modes of play.. Titan, Conquest, Assault Lines..

Liberation of Leipzig.. This map i like because it has a night time setting and like the other 2 maps it looks fairly well done. Once again there are a lot of little out of the way spots for sniper to wreak major havoc with this map. This map supports the following modes of play.. Conquest, Assault Lines..

Now onto the vehicles and with this booster pack there are only two. The first one up is the A3 GOLIATH this thing is just like the personnel carrier from BF2142 but has some added stuff. First up is its armor can regenerate. It also has loads of guns and launchers on it as well and it also can Heal and rearm nearby troops as well as be a mobile spawn point. Not much will kill the A3 GOLIATH unless you have some anti tank guys and they hit the lit up panels that are on the sides of the A3 GOLIATH. The one negative thing about the GOLIATH is its VERY slow moving. I think you can walk faster then this thing moves. Having said that because its slow its not too over powered in terms of trying to kill the thing so thats not to bad.

Next up is the HACHIMOTO This is a blast to drive. This is yet another Hover Vehicle so its like your moving around on ice. Once you get used to the way it moves though it can be quite deadly in that it moves fairly fast and is also quite well armed. This vehicle can hold 2 people and your fairly exposed to small arms when your in this thing. The driver has access to a simple gun but the passenger has access to a grenade launcher and a remotely guided Anti-Vehicle missile. The one down side to this vehicle is it’s very weak, it don’t take to many direct shots before it explodes.

One thing about this booster pack is the unlocks are carried over to the standard BF2142. So those that buy the booster pack will be able to go terrorize the less fortunate players in the standard BF2142 game with better unlocks. What i would really like to see them do is make the booster pack add vehicles or weapons that are in both the booster packs and the original game. They could make it so you need to have say a certain badge from a booster pack to be able to get inside say a new tank that would be in the original game and the booster pack. I think this would make the overall game a lot better for the people buying these booster packs. EA is sorta already doing this with the unlocks from the booster pack and being able to use them unlocks in the original game. I would like to see them step that up a notch and include vehicles and even better weapons.

The only thing i worry about with these booster packs is that EA may stop giving out free maps with their patches. I think this would be a shame but we all know how hungry EA is for money.

While testing this booster pack out i was getting disconnected a lot from different game servers. This was not a punk buster kick or disconnect, this was me loosing connection to the game sever. The odd part was when i played the standard BF2142 maps i didn’t get disconnected nearly as often. I’m not sure if this was a Internet problem i had them few times or if it something about the new maps thats causing some issues. If it is the new maps i hope EA gets that addressed rather quickly.

In conclusion i do like the maps and the vehicles, and for $9.99 U.S it is fairly cheap for what your getting. As for the EA-Link software, i would like to see EA get off the crack pipe and get that thing to work without all the hassle. It really does blow my mind how a company like EA with the money they have and the talent they have can’t even put a simple program like EA-Link together and have it run smoothly… Should you want to get more information or purchase this booster pack you can go to EA’s Northern Strike site..