Battlefield 2042 is EA Dice’s latest foray into the realm of modern military first-person shooters. This time around the developer has doubled down on the multiplayer component removing the single player campaign. The signature multiplayer experience has returned with some new additions and old favourites. Battlefield 2042 now supports 128 players, offering multiplayer battles on an unprecedented scale.
The experience pushes you to use your team and the cutting-edge arsenal. You’ll need to adapt and overcome dynamic battlefields. From tornadoes, to building collapses there are a lot more hazards to content with. Dice has taken a gamble forgoing the tradition Battlefield formula, but has it paid off? Let’s get our boots on the ground for an in-depth look at the latest entry.
Battlefield 2042 details
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Modes: Online Multiplayer Only
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Battlefield’s dystopian future
The game is set in an alternate future where the world is divided up between coalitions fighting over scare resources. There is no single player campaign, so the entire story is told through multiplayer. Unfortunately, the future isn’t looking very bright in 2042. Decades of economic and environmental collapse has lead to global geo-political destabilization.
No Pats fight for their future
Many nations, including world superpowers like Germany have ceased to exist. Leaving marooned citizens falling under the umbrella “No-Pats.” To add to all of this strife in 2040 the “Kessler Syndrome” takes place, causing the majority of orbiting satellites to crash to Earth. The global blackout leads to growing tensions between the United States and Russia. This builds to all out war. No-Pats need to pick a side and fight for their future. Their war is where your story begins through their eyes.
Specialists of Battlefield
As the conflict hits a boiling point, it is told from the perspective of individual soldiers or, “specialists.” At launch the game features 10 specialists that each have their own unique skill set. For example, there is Webster Mackay, who is a traversal expert equipped with a grappling hook. Battlefield 4 mainstay Kimble “Irish” Graves returns, able to deploy a bulletproof shield.
The inclusion of these specialists helps players to choose the play style that bests suits them. Along with these skills players can equip additional tools to give them more abilities. Unfortunately, these tools make specialists on the battlefield too similar. This eliminates specific roles and removes the need for teamwork. This unfortunately hurts the overall experience.
Epic maps, massive battles
Battlefield 2042 packs 7 massive dynamic maps out of the gate. More have been promised by DICE through upcoming DLC. The environments now support 128 players on next-gen hardware. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 can handle up to 64 players due to technical limitations.
The maps are massive, supporting a variety of ground, sea and air warfare. The maps are Hourglass, Discarded, Manifest, Kaleidoscope, Orbital, Breakaway and Renewal. Hourglasses’ massive skyscrapers that are slammed by sand storms during battle. Where Manifest’s maze-like setup and tornadoes provide adrenaline inducing moments. The graphics look good on next-gen consoles but I found some the environments sparse.
2042 map impressions
The maps are fun to play offering some incredibly unique showdowns, especially when it comes to weather events. In maps like Manifest where massive tropical tornadoes rip through and really change the dynamic of the battle. The weather and other destructive events on the maps add a new unpredictable level to the game and its a great addition. The one issue with such a massive map is when you get caught navigating it on foot. Getting from one area to another simply hoofing it can really drag down the action.
Classic Battlefield maps
In addition to the modern 2042 modern environments, classic maps from older Battlefield multiplayer experiences make a return. They come from critically acclaimed games like Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. The selection includes Battle of the Bulge, El Alamein, Arica Harbour, Valparaiso, Caspian Border, and Noshahr Canal. These maps can be used in the new Battlefield Portal mode, which I’ll touch upon later.
Battlefield 2042’s game modes
The new Battlefield experience features modes both completely new and others returning that have been reimagined for a modern experience. They all do a great job doubling down on the sandbox freedom that the series is known for. The three central modes are All-Out Warfare, Battlefield Portal and Battlefield Hazard Zone.
Battlefield All-Out Warfare
All-Out Warfare returns with Conquest and Breakthrough that have had some minor tweaks to their popular formulas. The action in Conquest now centres around sectors consisting of several flags instead of individual control points. Breakthrough returns with two teams of Attackers and Defenders battle it out in objective based gameplay.
This mode allows players to duke it out across the Battlefield universe with maps and weapons from the past and present. You can replay maps from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. Alternatively, you can deploy on these classic maps with 2042’s modern arsenal. I found myself coming back to this mode this most in order to relive some of the series greatest maps. As a Battlefield fan, this was one of the big highlights for me.
Battlefield Hazard Zone
The new mode tasks players with joining a four-person squad and recovering a physical target. Teams must capture Data Drives that have been strewn about the map while also fighting other squads that are trying to hit the same objective. In this high-stakes, “one-life” game, you must collect the Drives and time your extraction before a storm envelopes the area. It’s a far cry from a battle royale mode, but offers similar tactical pressure and fun.
Overall thoughts on Battlefield 2042
The Battlefield 2042 package has a lot to offer, unfortunately it is mired by needlessly large player counts and plenty of bugs. With so much happening on screen and so many allies and opponents it’s hard to strategize. These elements dilute an otherwise really fun experience. When the game is working as intended, it provides incredible multiplayer mayhem. I especially enjoyed the Hazard Zone and Portals modes, spending a majority of my time there. With expansive maps packed with action that support massive battles, Battlefield 2042 is promising, but ultimately frustrating due to technical limitations that hold it back from its true potential.
+New Hazard Zone mode is a welcome addition
+Portal is a lot of fun with big potential and plenty of creative tools
+More dynamic events
-Multiplayer only, no single player campaign
-New specialists almost eliminate the need for team based play
-Game features a lot of bugs and other technical issues
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF BATTLEFIELD 2042
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5