I've recently wanted to play a few older EA PC games. Specifically Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield 2. However, i quickly discovered EA's support for older games is very scattered and you have to do some leg work to get everything needed to support larger widescreen resolutions and patches.

Battlefield 2142

I didn't own a copy of 2142 so grabbed one while it was on offer on EA's new Origin setup (similar to Steam but only for EA games). After download I started the game, but it had no support for widescreen monitors, or the native resolution my monitor supports (2560x1440). Some searching later and I found out via a forum that the game doesn't have native widescreen support, but it could be forced into widescreen by editing the game shortcut and adding the parameters.

For anyone interested I used:

"D:\Origin Games\Battlefield 2142 Deluxe\BF2142.exe" +menu 1 +fullscreen 1 +szx 2560 +szy 1440 +eaAccountName xxx +eaAccountPassword xxx +soldierName xxx

This tells the game the following:

menu 1 = bypass intro and go straight to menu.

To set custom screenmode/widescreen
fullscreen 1 = open full screen and not windowed
szx = custom width of displaymode
szy = custom height of displaymode

To automatically log you into the game every time it launches
eaAccountName = Your account username
eaAccountPassword = Your account password
soldierName = The name of the solider already created in the game you wish to play with

Battlefield 2

Now, with EA now having Origin you would think you could add all your old games to their game manager by inputting the CD-Keys you already own. They have the feature to do this, similar to Steam... but try adding the BF2 key and nope, it isn't supported! Great!

So dig out the old original install disc and install it that way. I suppose I didn't need to download it all via Origin.

After installing the game it obviously was the original version 1.0 and BF2 was going to have some updates.

Latest patch I found on the official EA site was 1.4.1, so I downloaded it and updated the game. Started BF2 and guess what, no widescreen support or support for my monitors native resolution. Quick check on forums and indeed it needs the shortcut paramiters to force it. However, when checking this I discovered there is actually a newer 1.5 patch available that isn't mentioned at all on the official EA site. And even better, this 1.5 patch adds Vista support, widescreen support, even adds a No-CD patch, and lots of additional content, including both original expansion packs.

What's included:

  • Additional support for Windows Vista.
  • Added Highway Tampa as a required map.
  • Added a new map called Operation Blue Pearl.
  • Added Euro Force and Armored Fury as free-to-play content for all Battlefield 2 players.
  • Added Widescreen support.
  • Allowed BF2.exe to use more than 2 gigabytes of RAM.
  • Added support for the Novint Falcon controller (http://www.novint.com).

Gameplay Tweaks

  • Changes made to both the J10 and F35B to make them more balanced.
  • AA targeting tweaked to make it more effective.
  • Added checks to prevent "runway grieving."
  • Various changes made to prevent cheating.
  • Tweaked the hit detection; hits will be more accurate to the model.
  • Error causing occasional connection drops after being on a server for a short while was fixed.
  • Prevented use of mouse wheel to provide speed boost to vehicles.
  • Prevented use of mouse wheel to exploid parachutes.
  • Players can now pass claymores by going prone.
  • Updated the HUD on TV-Guided missiles to increase visibility on maps like Dragon Valley.
  • Added Battlefield 2142-style prone deviation; going prone will now cause reduced accuracy for a brief period.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed the issue where picking up a player's kit would cause CTD.
  • Updated BF2OpenAL.dll from version to version
  • Updated ch_gas_station collision mesh on Dragon Valley to be consistent with other gas station buildings.
  • Fixed the issue where MEC artillery piece on Operation Clean Sweep changes to the USMC's control when they capture the Airfield flag.
  • Updated the Challenger2 HUD to show the correct icon instead of the M1A2 HUD icon.
  • Changed a PLA FAV to MEC FAV on Road to Jalalabad.
  • Tweaked the artillery respawn time on Dragon Valley for to 360 seconds as other artillery uses.
  • Included a delay after weapon switch for the Bizon (PP-19) to 0.666.
  • Updated the F35B's lock delay to 1 second instead of 1.5 seconds to match other aircraft.
  • Changed the Humvee camo on Taraba Quarry to be the correct design.
  • Increased the splash damage of the UH-60 (Black Hawk) guns from 0.25 to 1.5.
  • Updated the G36E HUD to react the same as other weapons during sprint.
I obtained the patch from EA here:


It does also need the 1.4.1 patch installed first before you can install 1.5.


This raises the question about Origin. You can buy a complete copy of Battlefield 2 through Origin and download it, so why can't you use your existing key from the retail product to add the digital version to Origin?

I know Steam has limited support for adding product keys to add games to your Steam library too, but steam is huge in the number of games it supports. Origin is only supporting EAs own games, so why can't they get them all updated to support their new download system? And why do we still need to hunt around for patches?

And why don't they update their software to directly support newer widescreen and higher resolution monitors? Rather than having to hack the game with shortcut parameters to get it to work.

So annoying, frustrating, and broken.

It seems they are really only interested in supporting their current releases, or reselling their old games through Origin. Not supporting those whom already own their older games. And even older games available for download via Origin haven't had anything updated in them to support newer setups.

Although, for that last point I must say Steam is guilty of this too. I recently downloaded the X-Bundle, that includes all 3 games and expansions. X3 ran perfectly as expected, but I've still not managed to get X2 to run, and X1 needed some manual messing around before that would work, and also needed shortcut editing for screenmode support.