Well, here it is, folks. Battlefield 2042 is the next entry in the franchise, coming after a couple of the series’ most grounded titles to date — namely, Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V. Fans have (understandably) begun to sour as of late, as the unfinished and barebones experience of V pales in comparison to the utter chaos and richness of past games.
I’m happy to report that 2042 looks like a step back in the right direction. It’s not quite a future-war setting, but the post-climate-crisis battlefronts look like quite the spectacle. Rather than fighting for an army, you’ll be one of a number of “no-pats” who are fighting over resources in a catastrophe-ridden future Earth.
The trailer leans into the wacky antics of the best Battlefield titles, even showcasing a segment where a pilot recklessly ejects from his cockpit to shoot an RPG at a pursuing aircraft. Tornadoes indiscriminately rip soldiers and vehicles from the ground, something I’m very excited to see demonstrated through gameplay.
DICE said themselves they’re focusing on what they’re best at — multiplayer. After the lackluster campaign of Battlefield V, as well as its mixed reception, it’s easy to see why. On this note, Battlefield 2042 will feature 128 player games on current generation hardware and PC (limited to the more traditional 64 players on past-gen consoles). How maps will be scaled and restructured to accommodate this drastic increase in combatants remains to be seen, but DICE has assured they’re focusing on both large-scale chaos and working to create quieter and more intimate moments of struggle between fewer squads.
This might be achieved through the new clusters and sectors that were shown off. Sectors can only be captured by a team once all the clusters within have been conquered, meaning a bigger divide of resources between larger areas of land will be required.
One of the more interesting aspects of Battlefield 2042 is how it’s mixing up roles. Rather than the standard medic, engineer, and assault roles, we’re presented with 10 unique “Specialists.” One has a deployable remote turret, another a healing pistol that can revive downed allies from a distance. We were only shown a few, but through the presentation, we can deduce that the wingsuit shown in the trailer will belong to another.
A few other tidbits were the new “Plus” system — a real-time menu that can be used to swap barrels, attachments, and scopes of a given gun to suit the situation, as well as the ability to call in any vehicle, using any type of soldier, at any time. Dynamism seems to be the name of the game in Battlefield 2042, and I can’t wait to make on-the-fly strategies with my squad using the new goodies at our disposal.
Another way to free the players from the clutches of rigidity is the allowance of any secondary piece of gear, be it a rocket launcher or sniper rifle, while using any Specialist. A medic with an RPG sounds right up my alley, thank you very much.
I’m itching to get ahold of Battlefield 2042, mainly to see how this many players will work in action. I want to get picked up by a tornado, or, like the creative director mentioned in an anecdote from his playtesting, see it crush an enemy sniper using a vehicle. More info is on the way, and until then, we’re eagerly awaiting the October 22nd release date.
This coverage of Battlefield 2042 is based on a virtual preview event hosted by Electronic Arts, which We Got This Covered attended.