(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASzOzrB-a9E (/ embed)
The next Battlefield game is called Battlefield 2042 and will be released on October 22nd. It’s set in the near future (think Boston Dynamics robot dogs, not laser guns), but for once the environment isn’t the most important thing to talk about. About. In fact, it’s the least interesting of Battlefield 2042, which I might never have said about another Battlefield game. These are the important facts:
- Maximum number of players doubled to 128 on PC and the new consoles
- The 128-player maps are divided into sectors containing groups of checkpoints; captures all the control points of a sector to control it
- Classes (engineer, assault, assistance, etc.) are now categories that contain specialists. Each specialist has a unique background and a unique gadget, but can carry any weapon.
- Gadgets we've seen: A fighting hook, a health / revitalization pistol (think Doc in Rainbow Six Siege), an automatic turret (think Team Fortress 2), a motion sensor (to catch people sneaking in while you shoot)
- 10 launch specialists
- Free / premium battle passes
- Four seasons and four new specialists a year
- Post-launch maps will be free
- "Levolution" is back, girl. What we’ve seen: tornadoes elevate players and vehicles to a vortex, a sandstorm clears the sky, launches a space rocket (or maybe explodes)
EveryoneA boy is wearing a wing suit (Correction: I thought I heard that wing dresses were universal, but EA tells me it's not. It's a gadget from a specialist and this specialist hasn't been revealed yet.)
- Some vehicles have seats (a small detail but I like the sound)
- No real battle, but there are some mysterious fashions
- No single player campaign
- Date of publication: October 22, 2021
- PC Stores: Steam, Epic games store, Origin
- The game's trailer reveals: Sunday 13 June
It’s a lot of information, so it’s probably best for the revealing trailer to focus on having fun rather than telling it all. The video is not so tonally different from the revealing trailer for Battlefield 5: a fast-paced montage of speed and violence, but there is an enthusiastic self-awareness that is safer. The interpretations of stupid tricks on the battlefield are fantastic.
I saw the trailer last week for the first time under NDA when DICE introduced the game to the press and influencers. A small part of the NDA of this event is still valid, but I can talk about all the details of the Battlefield 2042 design shared by DICE (the specialists, modes, maps, etc.), as well as the plans launch and post-launch. Here are all the important details we have so far:
The most significant change is the double player count: 128 per game. This is the first time that Battlefield has strayed from the 64-player standard it set 19 years ago with Battlefield 1942 and placed it in a small club of another 100 players. (Scavengers can make over 9,000 players, but only in an experimental mode, and while it can technically get several hundred people to fight PlanetSide 2, it’s now almost a decade old. Call of Duty: Warzone is more comparable and has reached 200 players, but the experience was not much fun.)
The increase in the number of players is accompanied by larger maps that are divided into sectors. Within each sector, there is basically a mini battlefield game. In standard conquest mode, teams can maintain a sector while maintaining all points inside it. Looks like you could spend all your time hanging out in a section of the map, but there's nothing stopping you from calling a vehicle and going somewhere else. The technology of the near future doesn’t include mechanics (sorry, Nat!), But you can drop a tank from the sky with maneuvering thrusters. And yes, you can drop them on snipers to crush them like the cowardly house flies they are. (Please don’t bother me if I’m pulling ahead).
What is likely to be the most contentious change is the introduction of specialists. They’re a kind of Rainbow Six Siege operator with names, back stories, and special gear and abilities, but they’re more flexible because they can use any weapon you’ve unlocked. Battlefield class archetypes such as "assault" and "reconnaissance" are still there, but now DICE describes them as categories in which specialists will adapt.
It’s a huge change. Battlefield classes so far have been pretty strict: you have themed equipment and only a few categories of weapons. The engineer receives SMG, the reconnaissance receives snipers, the assistance receives LMG, and so on. It's all over. At launch, Battlefield 2042 will include 10 specialists, so these are 10 unique devices and abilities that can be combined with any weapon. You can also change the gun accessories on the fly, which will allow you, for example, to switch from close to long-range optics to a sniper approaching you. It’s a lot more decision-making than ever in a Battlefield game.
So far, DICE has revealed four specialists. Here's who they are and what they do:
Wikus "Casper" Van Daele
Place of birth: South Africa
Speciality: OV-P Recon Drone (the one that sounds, a remote control drone)
Feature: Motion sensor (it is alerted of people sneaking behind it, at least if they move too fast)
Place of birth: Canada
Speciality: Grappling Hook (the "zip and you're there" type, not the swing type)
Feature: Agile (moves fast)
Place of birth: Germany
Speciality: S21 Syrette Pistol (remotely cured or revived, like Doc in Rainbow Six Siege)
Feature: Combat Surgeon (revives peers to total health instead of partial health)
Pyotr "Boris" Guskovsky
Place of birth: Russia
Speciality: SG-36 Sentry Gun (like Team Fortress 2 or Overwatch Turrets)
Feature: Sentinel Operator (Sentinel weapons are most effective when nearby)
So in Battlefield 2042, you can be a fast man with a hook and a sniper rifle, or a remote healer with a machine gun, or a guy with an automatic sentry gun and an assault rifle, or any other combination of gadget and weapon. . It should be interesting! It also sounds like a considerable balancing challenge.
It is possible that Battlefield has finally given in and become a character shooter, but it has not been tempted again by that other modern shooter trend: there is no battle royale mode and no plans to create one. . Firestorm is not back, at least for now. There is also no single player campaign, although you can play multiplayer-style games completely against robots and progress that way, if you wish. Apparently, AI has improved a lot. (I will only agree when I see a robot steal the helicopter I wanted, I crashed it into a hillside and lay down to spit out the rest of the game.)
All-Out Warfare is the term used by DICE to include standard battlefield modes: announced right now, capturing Conquest points, and more linear Breakthrough attack and defense battles.
Beyond All-Out Warfare, there are two mysterious modes. One is called Hazard Zone and will be a high-risk mode focused on the template. That’s all DICE will say right now, but based on that description and name, I think we’re pretty sure assuming the inspiration came from The Division’s Dark Zone, Hunt: Showdown, and Escape from Tarkov. I'd be surprised if it didn't look like those stealth and extraction shooters.
DICE LA has created a third mode, which will be revealed in EA Play Live on July 22nd. It is described as a "love letter" to fans of the Battlefield series. In this case, I really have no idea what it is. Maybe it’s a way back to basics that reintroduces spending half the game running and swimming? A full new version of Battlefield 1942? Something smaller and more experimental?
Configuration and maps
As for the setting, it is in this window of the near future a bit disappointing where the technology has not cooled significantly: drones, robots, meh. The premise is the usual speculation of the brain of galaxies: due to global warming, several countries around the world have collapsed, leaving large parts of the Earth's population stateless. Naturally, stateless people ("non-patriots" or "landlords") have formed elite mercenary armies now fighting on behalf of the US and Russia, or perhaps on their own. Without a single player campaign, everything will be explored through seasonal updates.
The maps look great and have great pieces of destruction gameplay, such as the rocket in Orbital, which can have a smooth launch or a not-so-smooth launch. (I asked if the players could affect that result and I didn’t get an answer, but probably did).
Here are the seven All-Out Warfare maps that will be presented at launch, described in EA’s words:
- Kaleidoscopes: Set in Sogdo, South Korea. Forces here will clash to control a disinformation center with quantum energy after an attack threatens the global network.
- Manifesto: Set on Brani Island, Singapore. Players will see a strategic flashpoint emerge as world trade suffocates this location that is vital to U.S. supply lines.
- Orbital: Set in Kourou, French Guiana. The battle here is for a rocket launch site, as a controversial space launch becomes a race against time.
- Discarded: Set in Alang, India. Here you see the shipwreckers facing the ends of the tides as factions struggle to secure rogue nuclear assets.
- Renewal: Located in the Eastern Desert, Egypt. Players will fight for an innovative agricultural technology center in the Egyptian desert.
- Sand clock: Set in Doha, Qatar. Changing sands and a convoy of lost ships tear the city center apart.
- Getaway: Set in the land of Queen Maud, Antarctica. Fight for oil and gas pushing soldiers to shore as industry clashes with nature and ice gives way
Pre-launch and post-launch plans
The next thing we will see is the first game trailer, which will be shown this Sunday, June 13th.
In early July there will be a Battlefield 2042 technical test for "players identified as Battlefield veterans". Therefore, they will be under NDA. Sometime before the release, Hazard Zone will be available to play soon and there will be an open beta for those who have made the reservation.
EA doesn’t seem to be making its old-fashioned launch for subscribers; after the beta versions, Battlefield 2042 will be fully released on October 22nd. As usual, the PC version will be available in EA's Origin store, but this time I'll also be on Steam and the Epic Games Store. It will definitely launch an original mini-client even if you buy it on Steam, but it's still good to have Battlefield there again.
An interesting note about console versions: The PS5 and Xbox Series X / S versions will be the same as the PC version, but the PS4 and Xbox One versions only support 64 players. EA wouldn’t say if a PC / console crossover will be available, but it’s a trendy feature, so it’s possible. If so, I doubt owners of state-of-the-art consoles will be able to join, as they will receive a tight version of the game.