God, Battlefield 2142 takes a really long time to install. It takes an even longer time to patch (a good 20-odd minutes for the most recent one), which makes me shout “so exactly what is it that’s so special about you?” at my supposedly super-fruity quad-core CPU. This rather complicated my plan to take a quick look at First Strike, an interesting and just-released Star Wars mod for DICE’s most recent teamshooter. Awful name, of course, but: spaceships!
Every FPS gets a Star Wars mod at some point. It’s the law. It’s also because it’s a breed of science fiction that so very easily translates to conventional shoot-shooty-shoot-shoot. Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels, for instance, though brimming with a thousand better ideas, rarely present conflict so simple as a man shooting another man with a gun. Regrowing bodies onto severed heads and Knife-Missiles could certainly make for an awesome game, but it’s a lot to ask of modders, frankly. Rebel versus Stormtrooper is thus an understandably obvious way to convert one’s favourite game to one’s favourite fictional universe. Battlefield 2142 makes particular sense because it’s already got Mechs in it, so AT-ST Scout Walkers are a perfect fit. Like, obv.
First Strike seems to be largely an artful reskin of 2142 – the Battlefield dynamics appear unchanged. But now it’s with Star Wars troops, vehicles and locales, rather than the bland, boxy sci-fi of DICE’s own approach, which frankly never looked like it was really set over a century in the future. This first release has only a few bits and bobs in, but the planned eventual content is impressively comprehensive. Tragically, Titans (big, base spaceships) haven’t been replaced with Death Stars; without that, all manner of that’s-no-moon gaggery will be left unspoken.
And, well, I’d love to tell you more, but after all that installing and patching the sum total of my experience of First Strike thus far has been it a) crashing b) listing only one server, which is perpetually full or c) crashing when I try to connect to that server anyway. ANGRY. I’ll check back again some time soon when the bubbling frustration of this morning’s efforts has subsided, but meantime you may have more luck than I did. Downloady here.