Battlefield 2042 is being touted as “the most ambitious” entry in the series yet, built in the latest Frostbite engine, with whopping 128-player maps available on the latest consoles and PC, while a host of new weapons, vehicles and gadgets are also being introduced – and yes, rumors of a robot dog were true.
And while Battlefield 2042 won’t have a campaign mode, or a Battle Royale mode as rumored, players will have access to three “distinct, standout multiplayer experiences” including a chaotic All-Out War Mode, a squad-based Hazard Mode and the Battlefield Portal, allowing players to create their own Battlefield experiences.
We don’t have all that much longer to wait until we finally get our hands on the new Battlefield. We had a chance to play its open beta for ourselves, and we were left very impressed as a result. While you wait for the game’s final release, read on for everything we know about Battlefield 2042 so far.
Battlefield 2042: cut to the chase
- What is it? The next installment in the Battlefield game series
- When can I play it? November 19, 2021
- What can I play it on? PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One and PC
What is Battlefield 2042?
Developed by EA DICE, Battlefield 2042 is a multiplayer-focused first-person shooter and the next entry in the veteran Battlefield series. Battlefield 2042 is technically Battlefield 6 and will be the 17th entry in the series. The new Battlefield will mark the series’ official debut on PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Battlefield 2042 release date, platforms and price
So when does the new Battlefield game come out? Well, Battlefield 2042 was originally set to release on October 22, 2021 but in September 2021, EA DICE confirmed that the game has been delayed and will now launch on November 19 2021. In a statement, DICE Studio GM Oskar Gabrielson explained the delay:
“Building the next generation of Battlefield during a global pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for our development teams. Given the scale and scope of the game, we had hoped our teams would be back in our studios together as we move towards launch. With the ongoing conditions not allowing that to happen safely, and with all the hard work the teams are doing from home, we feel it is important to take the extra time to deliver on the vision of Battlefield 2042 for our players.
Your enthusiasm for the game has been very inspiring. We believe in the game we’re making, and we thank you for your patience as we put some finishing touches into the experience.”
Battlefield 2042 pre-orders are live now, with three different editions to choose from. The standard PS4, Xbox One and PC versions cost $59.99 / £59.99, while the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 versions cost $69.99 / £69.99. The Battlefield 2042 Gold Edition is also available for $89.99 / £89.99 on PC and $99.99 / £99.99 on console, while the Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition is $109.99 / £109.99 on PC or $119.99 / £119.99 on console. Australian pricing is TBC.
Battlefield 2042 trailers
Hazard Zone revealed
Battlefield 2042’s Hazard Zone was finally revealed in all its glory in October 2021. As EA said, this is not a battle royale. See what exactly it’ll bring to the table at launch below:
A trailer released in partnership with NVIDIA has given us a look at four of Battlefield 2042’s specialists in action. You can see them for yourself below:
Exodus short film
EA Dice released a short film called ‘Exodus’ which acts as a narrative precursor to the all-out war we’ll be experiencing in the new Battlefield, providing more depth to the story and world of Battlefield 2042. The film reintroduces Battlefield 4’s Kimble “Irish” Graves, who is the commander of the No-Pat vessel Exodus (and will be a playable Specialist in 2042).
But while Irish is fighting for a better world for the displaced No-Pats, ideally with as few casualties as possible, the enigmatic Oz (an allusive puppet master) has a similar goal, but his approach is considerably more extreme: burning the old world down and starting anew. The short film sees Oz attacking the Exodus following a disagreement with Irish and ends with Irish telling his No-Pat comrades to prepare for war. Check it out below:
Battlefield Portal trailer
EA Ripple Effect Studios revealed Battlefield 2042’s third multiplayer experience, Battlefield Portal, with a trailer during EA Play Live 2021. The trailer shows the vast possibilities Battlefield Portal allows for, including a knife versus defibrillator fight. Check it out below:
EA Dice finally gave us a look at Battlefield 2042’s gameplay in action during Microsoft and Bethesda’s joint E3 2021 conference. The trailer gives us a look at the game’s Hourglass map, set in Egypt.
The gameplay trailer shows tanks shooting down helicopters, which unceremoniously collapse in a heap of flames among the sandy dunes, while soldiers crawl all over the map like well-armored ants. The trailer also gives us a look at Hourglass’ neon-clad skyscrapers, with elevators allowing players to reach the top floor – and we’re hoping all the floors in between, though that wasn’t shown. Once players reach the top of these skyscrapers, they can zipline across to other rooftops or utilize their wingsuit to soar from their new vantage point.
The trailer also gives us a look at Battlefield 2042’s dynamic weather in action, which is bound to cause complete mayhem. The footage shows a tornado ripping through the Hourglass map, causing utter devastation, but these randomly generated world occurrences can either be a boon or bane for players. While you can choose to avoid the tornado – as much as possible – by seeking refuge in skyscrapers, you can also choose to utilize it to your advantage and devastate your enemies. Check out the trailer below:
Battlefield 2042 reveal trailer
The first official trailer for Battlefield 2042 was shown during the Battlefield reveal on June 9. The trailer gives us our first proper look at Battlefield 2042’s All-Out War mode and it, frankly, looks like it will be an epic affair featuring dynamic weather, huge battles and even robot dogs? Check it out below:
EA Play 2020
The new Battlefield was featured in a tech trailer during EA Play 2020, though we didn’t know much about it back then. In the trailer, we only caught a glimpse of some “work in progress” footage, which showed facial animations and a large number of soldiers running into battle.
From the brief glimpses we saw, it looks like facial animations will be more realistic than previously and that we’re going to see battlefields getting even larger this time round (the latter has been confirmed since).
“We are creating epic battles at a scale and fidelity unlike anything you’ve experienced before”, EA’s chief studios officer Laura Miele said during the video. Check it out for yourself below, at the 44-minute mark:
Battlefield 2042 setting
Battlefield 2042 is set in a world that is on the brink of complete devastation. Food, energy and water shortages have led to the “greatest refugee crisis in human history”, following the failure of many of the world’s nations. Among these refugees are the “Non-Patriated” (also known as the No-Pats), made up of families, farmers, engineers and soldiers, who have been left without a nation to call their own.
The last two superpowers that remain are the United States and Russia, who are battling it out for control of the globe’s last remaining resources. In order to survive, Non-Pat Specialists join both sides so that, when the final bullet is fired, they have “a seat at the table”. Players will take on the role of one of these Non-Pat Specialists. According to developer EA Dice, players will team up with either Russia or the US “depending on the location in the world”, suggesting players may not always get a choice in who they side with.
EA DICE has called Battlefield 2042 a “true evolution” of the Battlefield franchise.
Battlefield 2042 multiplayer modes
Battlefield 2042 will have three “distinct, standout multiplayer experiences” according to EA DICE, but Battle Royale isn’t one of them. EA DICE has also revealed that the new Battlefield game will have a battle pass for each season that will include a free and premium tier – though the premium tier will apparently only offer cosmetic items and never maps.
According to the developer, each season will push the world’s narrative forward and introduce new content. Battlefield 2042 is set to have four seasons in its first year – with four new Specialists to be introduced as well as new locations.
Here’s everything we know about Battlefield 2042’s multiplayer modes:
The first of these multiplayer experiences is All-Out War, which is described as the next-generation of the Conquest and Breakthrough modes we have seen in the series before.
This mode features huge 128-player maps on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X, while PS4 and Xbox One players will have 64-player versions of these maps, which have been scaled down for the last-gen consoles but are still larger than in previous entries (read on for more information on these maps). PS4 and Xbox One players will still have access to the same weapons, vehicles, specialists and gadgets as those on the latest console generation, and will experience dynamic weather events such as tornadoes. EA DICE has assured players “that gameplay, events and moments will all be felt for Battlefield players on whatever platform they play on”.
Conquest mode is the “classic all-out war experience” and will see players fighting over a massive space. According to EA DICE, this mode has a lot of varied pacing, with players choosing where to go and how to fight. EA DICE says that Conquest will feature moments with lots of players, making combat a bit chaotic, while other moments will be less chaotic and more personal.
Breakthrough, on the other hand, is a more guided experience. This mode sees one side attacking and the other defending, in an attempt to capture areas, and will see both sides coming head-to-head in massive clashes.
The second of Battlefield 2042’s multiplayer experiences is Hazard Zone, an “all-new, high-stakes, squad-based game-type for the Battlefield franchise”. It was revealed in all its glory in October 2021 and, as EA said, it really isn’t a battle royale. Instead, Hazard Zone is an objective-based mode where four-player squads have to work together to locate fallen satellites, secure their data drives and extract the spoils against the clock. To add to the challenge, other enemy squads are after the same limited rewards and AI-controlled forces will be defending the territory too.
It’s a mode that requires strategy and tactics and the winning team isn’t the last one standing, either. Instead, teams are aiming to successfully extract at least one of their players from the match with what they’ve been able to gather. Retrieving and extracting data drives will garner your team dark market credits, a currency just for Hazard Zone which can be spent on upgrades and better equipment.
Hazard Zone will be available at launch and it’ll use all seven maps already confirmed for All-Out Warfare. On PS4 and Xbox One Hazard Zone will allow for 24 players (that’s six squads of four) while PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC owners have 32 players (eight squads of four).
Battlefield Portal is Battlefield 2042’s third multiplayer experience and will allow Battlefield 2042 players to build, discover and share their own custom Battlefield sandbox game experiences, with content from Battlefield 2042, Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 at their disposal.
Players have some classic fan-favorite maps to play with, with a total of 13 maps across the Battlefield franchise available at launch (more on that below). You can’t create your own map from scratch, but you can tweak an existing map from the franchise with rules, items, and event triggers to make your own new experiences.
These maps can be used as staging grounds for building a Battlefield experience, but players also have the option to access EA Ripple Studios’ “official experiences” which allow them to relive these iconic, reimagined battles and deathmatches as well as the custom creations of others in the community.
Battlefield 2042 maps
All-Out War maps
Battlefield 2042’s All Out War multiplayer experience will launch with seven new maps. Due to the size of these maps, each is broken into distinct sectors, with multiple objectives within those sectors which are arranged in clusters. Clusters are areas where objects and objectives are focused in one space, such as a village, stadium or oil platform, with capture areas within them. To capture a Sector players need to capture all the flags/areas within that Sector (in other words, the Clusters).
EA Dice gives the example, for Conquest mode, that your team is attacking a Sector and captures the first flag. Instead of running to the second, this capture of the first flag gives your team a foothold in the Sector, allowing you to spawn there, take the enemy head-on and capture further flags.
“This creates a higher intensity fight for the full Sector,” EA Dice explained in a blog post. “Only when the full Sector has fallen do you make the decision on where to go next. This reduces the back and forth running between flags and puts focus on the Sector itself.”
The developer has also confirmed that different game modes will use different sectors of Battlefield’s large maps. So the areas of the map you see in Conquest won’t necessarily be the same in Breakthrough, for example.
In addition, it’s been confirmed that players–- unfortunately – can’t visit every floor in the skyscrapers featured in some maps, with only lobby and rooftop combat available. However, elements such as airspace are set to be larger than in previous games, meaning players need to travel further before they hit an out-of-bounds warning.
Check out Battlefield 2042’s launch maps below:
Set in Songdo, South Korea, this will see you clashing to control a disinformation hub. This map features huge skyscrapers with multiple floors, canals outside with amphibious vehicles, a TV station, and ziplines allowing you to traverse across rooftops.
Set in Branai Island, Singapore, players will fight for access to supply lines. This map features a massive container yard and automated cranes which pick up and move containers as you play. Players can also access ships that contain capture points. Combat in this map apparently gets “intense”.
Set in Kourou, French Guiana, this map sees you battling over a rocket launch site as a “controversial space launch becomes a race against time”. This map sees a lot of action around the rocket launch and surrounding area, and the rocket can even take off – but apparently, it doesn’t always go as planned…
Set in Alang, India, this map sees factions fighting to secure rogue nuclear assets. There are huge stranded ships dotted around this map, which were stranded due to the changing water levels, including one called ‘Colossus’ which hides a submarine inside.
Set in the Eastern Desert, Egypt, Renewal sees players fighting for a groundbreaking agriculture technology center in the Egyptian Desert. This is a map of two halves: one side lush and green and the other desert wasteland.
Set in Doha, Qatar, Hourglass is a “city lost in time” and sees players fighting for a lost convoy. One of the larger maps, this map features a neon city, with skyscrapers that light up as massive sandstorms pass through, a stadium overrun by sand, and a huge highway intersection where the convoy has come to stop.
Set in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, Breakaway is Battlefield 2042’s largest map at 5.9km2. This map sees players fighting over oil and gas reserves, and features exploding silos and distinct combat areas.
Due to the size of these maps, each is broken into distinct sectors, with multiple objectives within those sectors which are arranged in clusters. Clusters are areas where objects and objectives are focused in one space, such as a village, stadium or oil platform. These sectors change how you take control of areas, with securing a sector requiring completing all the objectives within that sector.
Battlefield Portal maps
In addition to the seven maps being introduced in Battlefield 2042, Battlefield Portal will also give players access to the Caspian Border and Noshahr canals maps from Battlefield 3, the El Alamein map and Battle of the Bulge maps from Battlefield 1942, and the Arica Harbor and Valparaiso maps from Bad Company 2.
All these maps have been reimagined and revamped to run in 4K at 60fps – with EA Ripple Effect Studios explaining that the latest tech has allowed it to “overcome the limitations of the past”. Built in the latest Frostbite engine, these reimagined classic maps also allow for 128-players on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC (PS4 and Xbox One will still be restricted to 64 players) – though players can choose to simply keep to the original player count on new hardware if they prefer.
Battlefield 2042 Specialists
Players will take on the role of Specialists in Battlefield 2042, soldiers with their own unique Special Trait and Speciality, but with fully customizable loadouts – so you can use any weapon. While loadouts for each of these Specialists can be customized, the Specialty and Trait of each Specialist is unique to them, and can’t be changed. Players can, however, customize their Specialist’s primary weapon, equipment (like medkits), secondary weapon and throwable (like grenades).
Specialties can take the form of a grappling hook, which lets Assault Specialists zip to higher spots; an OV-P Recon Drone, which allows Recon Specialists to pinpoint targets; or a S21 Syrette Pistol, allowing Support Specialists to fire health vials at those who need them.
The new Battlefield will launch with 10 Specialists, with each falling under a traditional class of either Engineer, Assault, Support or Recon. So far, we know of five Specialists – with the other five to be revealed “later this year”. The developer also confirmed that, while squads can only consist of a maximum of four players, squads in the Conquest and Breakthrough multiplayer modes can consist of more than one of the same Specialist – and you’ll even be able to customize their skins if you want yours to stand out a bit.
Check out the confirmed Specialists below:
Kimble “Irish” Graves
Place of Birth: USA
Specialty: Fortification System
Wikus “Casper” Van Daele
Place of Birth: South Africa
Specialty: OV-P Recon Drone
Trait: Movement Sensor
Place of Birth: Canada
Specialty: Grappling Hook
Place of Birth: Germany
Specialty: S21 Syrette Pistol
Trait: Combat Surgeon
Pyotr “Boris” Guskovsky
Place of Birth: Russia
Specialty: SG-36 Sentry Gun
Trait: Sentry Operator
Specialists can change their weapon configuration on the go thanks to Battlefield 2042’s new ‘Plus System’ – which allows you to change your scope, undertype, barrel and ammo type on the move. Players will also have access to a wingsuit so they can glide off tall structures in maps.
Players will also get access to new weapons including an M5A3, K30 and AV9. In addition, vehicles will play a big role in this game, with players able to access tanks, fighter jets, helicopters and more – which can be requested at any time to any location. According to EA DICE, vehicles in Battlefield 2042 are a “platform for great team play”. Each vehicle seat has a vital role to play, so having more players in your vehicle makes it a more efficient weapon.
Battlefield 2042 gameplay
All-Out War gameplay
Battlefield 2042 is set to lean into the sandbox experience more than any other entry in the series. Maps in All-Out Warfare have dynamic weather which will see players avoiding (or utilizing) the likes of tornadoes and sandstorms – one Specialist even comes equipped with a wingsuit so they can harness these elements to their advantage. In addition, Battlefield 2042 features destructible environments and terrain, ground deformation and levelution, while there will also be “smaller ways” to interact with the world including raising or lowering bollards and bridges to prevent vehicles from passing.
Players will also get access to new weapons including an M5A3, K30 and AV9. In addition, vehicles will play a big role in this game, with players able to access tanks, fighter jets, helicopters and more. Players will be able to call in vehicles when and where they need them – as long as the team budget, map and mode allow for it. However, there will be a cooldown so players aren’t spawning vehicles constantly.
Each faction will get its own iconic Russian or US vehicles, with the Russian side being able to utilize a T28 tank while the US side can use an M1A5 tank.
According to EA DICE, vehicles in Battlefield 2042 are a “platform for great team play”. Each vehicle seat has a vital role to play, so having more players in your vehicle makes it a more efficient weapon.
In addition, a nice quality-of-life feature means that Specialists can change their weapon configuration on the go thanks to Battlefield 2042’s new ‘Plus System’ – which allows you to change your scope, undertype, barrel and ammo type on the move.
The Battlefield 2042 trailers have also given us a look at the Ranger, the armored robot dog that players can call in when they’re in a pickle or to act as a decoy. EA Dice has confirmed that Ranger is neither a Specialty nor Trait and won’t be unique to any Specialist, so any player can call one in – as long as one is available.
Players will be able to give the Ranger orders, resulting in “several new interesting tactical options”. You can even pop an EMT on it and send it behind enemy lines.
Battlefield Portal gameplay
The crux of Battlefield Portal is creating your own custom Battlefield experiences and discovering the creations of others. Battlefield Portal will contain a web-based platform called the Battlefield builder, accessible through the game on console or PC, where you can create your ideal experience using all the content from Battlefield 2042, Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 2042.
Battlefield builder takes players through a step-by-step process whereby they can choose which maps they want to include in their experience, which game type they want (with custom available as an option), as well as options to choose which era of Battlefield they want each side to play as, and which faction. So, for example, you could pit Battlefield 2042’s USA against Battlefield 1942’s Russia.
The era you choose for each side then allows that side access to all the content from that specific era. Unfortunately, you can’t mix and match. Players can then decide which weapons and vehicles they want each side to have access to as well as more specific elements like which attachments, items and ammo types they can use, just to name a few.
Players can get pretty specific in these general customizations, choosing how many players you have in each team, how those teams are weighted towards AI, projectile speed and so on.
Players can get even more specific in these customizations thanks to the logic editor, which allows players to create blocks to build very specific game modes and experiences from scratch, such as having players’ health replenish when they get a kill. It looks very similar to modding, with players able to set conditions, variables and actions as part of subroutines.
After players are done creating their experience, they can choose to share with the community, allowing others to try it out and offer feedback – that you can either accept or ignore. The Battlefield Portal landing page will also feature a rotating curation of the most popular experiences, allowing you to try the experiences of others – with a “robust tagging system” allowing you to find specific experience types.
Though, if you prefer to keep your experience private, then you can choose to only share with select friends – with admin controls allowing you to message, kick and ban players. You can also play alone, if you so choose, as the minimum number of players is only one – though you’ll likely need AI to pad out the rest.
All the content from Battlefield 2042 All-Out War is available in this builder, including the ability to call in vehicles on command, with new content set to be added as it rolls out. It’s also worth noting that thanks to a global progression system, players will still gain experience from playing Battlefield Portal matches.
Battlefield 2042: technical playtest and beta
Battlefield’s pre-release open beta has come and gone, having taken place in early October 2021. Now, it’s simply a matter of waiting for the game’s November release date. We had a chance to play the beta for ourselves and found it to be chaotic, sometimes overwhelming, fun. Overall, we had a great time with it, finding a lot to enjoy in the game’s specialists and its increased players size.
Battlefield 2042 crossplay: which platforms can play together?
EA Dice has confirmed Battlefield 2042 will have crossplay, though not everyone will be able to play together.
Battlefield 2042 will allow for crossplay between PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC – with PC and console players able to opt-out of playing together – however, those on Xbox One and PS4 will only be able to crossplay with each other. This is likely due to the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Battlefield 2042 having scaled-down maps, in comparison to the current-gen equivalents.
EA Dice has also confirmed its building cross-progression and cross-commerce for Battlefield 2042, which will allow your progress and purchases to carry across platforms. So, for example, you would be able to carry your progress from PS4 to PC or Xbox One.
Battlefield 2042 AI bots: how will they work?
Battlefield 2042 launches, players on Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC will be able to play in servers with up to 128 players at once. However, players might not always be facing off against humans in these matches.
Speaking to The Verge, EA explained that AI bots will come into play and that up to 64 ‘AI soldiers’ could be used to fill up empty lobbies depending on factors like your region, platform and the time of day.
In a follow-up blog post by EA Dice, the developer explained that these AI soldiers will be used in Multiplayer, Co-Op and Solo modes. In Multiplayer, the AI soldiers’ purpose is to fill servers that don’t have enough human players – though human players will “always have priority over AI when playing multiplayer”. In Co-Op, players will be able to play with friends against AI soldiers. In solo, you can play alone against AI soldiers if you aren’t comfortable fighting against real players, or want to get to grips with Battlefield before jumping into these matches – but you’ll still need to be online.
So how will these AI soldiers play? According to the developer, these soldiers will play like human players, although they won’t have access to Specialities or Traits like their human counterparts. Whether you like it or not, there won’t be an option to opt out of playing with these AIs.
“In general, you will not experience more AI soldiers than players unless the match is still filling-up, or almost empty,” EA Dice explained in a blog post. “Players will always have matchmaking priority over AI. As an example: if there are 120 players out of 128 players currently playing in a server, eight AI Soldiers will join the match to help even out the teams. Should a player leave, another AI Soldier will temporarily replace them until a new player joins the game. We’re providing them as a helpful option to ensure you won’t have trouble matchmaking and can fully enjoy the all-out warfare chaos you can expect from a Battlefield match”.
Last-gen players are even less likely to encounter bots as, while bots will be used to fill their servers too, the max lobby size is just 64 on older consoles and many Battlefield 2042 players are likely to be using last-gen hardware thanks to ongoing next-gen shortages.
These AI players will reportedly scale based on a player’s skill and AI battles will still contribute to a player’s overall progress.
Battlefield 2042 news and rumors
We’re rounded up all the biggest news and rumors surrounding Battlefield 2042 below:
PC specs confirmed
Ahead of Battlefield 2042’s October beta, EA has announced the PC specs that will be required to play the game. While the minimums are pretty reasonable, what EA recommends to get the most out of the game is a little more beefy.
- OS: 64-bit Windows 10
- CPU: Intel i5-6600K or AMD Ryzen 5 3600
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti or AMD RX 560
- RAM: 8GB
- VRAM: 4GB
- DirectX: 12
- Storage: 100GB
- OS: 64-bit Windows 10
- CPU: Intel i7-4790 or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
- GPU: NVIDIA RTX 3060 or AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
- RAM: 16GB
- VRAM: 8GB
- DirectX: 12
- Storage: 100GB SSD
Reports of a delay prove correct
Following reports from industry insiders that Battlefield 2042 could be subject to a delay, EA has now confirmed that is the case. In a statement, EA confirmed that the game’s release date will shift from October 22 to November 19 2021 and that an update on plans for the game’s beta will come later in September.
Exodus short film
EA recently released Exodus, a short Battlefield 2042 film embedded above, which gives us a brief look at the world of the game and helps to set up its overarching narrative. The film reintroduces Battlefield 4’s Kimble “Irish” Graves, played by The Wire’s Michael K Williams, who is now the Captain of a Non-Pat refugee ship called the Exodus and will be a playable Specialist in the game. According to EA Dice, Irish’s return acts as somewhat of a bridge for players between the modern world and the world of Battlefield 2042.
But while Irish is fighting for a better world for the displaced No-Pats, ideally with as few casualties as possible, the enigmatic Oz (an allusive puppet master) has a similar goal, but his approach is considerably more extreme: burning the old world down and starting anew. EA Dice compared the rivalry to that of X-Men’s Professor Xavier and Magneto: same goal, vastly different approaches.
The short film sees Oz attacking the Exodus following a disagreement with Irish and ends with Irish telling his No-Pat comrades to prepare for war.
EA Dice is attempting to balance the narrative line with Battlefield 2042: providing an overarching narrative for those who want it, though given there’s no campaign mode you may need to go outside the game to truly embrace it, and simply focusing on creating an immersive, enjoyable world for those whose focus is solely on great gunplay.
Explaining the narrative
Battlefield 2042 is foregoing a single-player story-driven campaign mode but that’s not to say there’s going to be no narrative at all. After setting up the game’s overarching story in its Exodus short film, the Narrative team at DICE has recently explained how the game will be telling its story over time.
The team seems to be embracing a narrative which players can discover for themselves, providing threads to pull rather than serving a story up. “I’ve always thought the best stories, and at least the best worlds are those that leave a little hidden behind the curtain,” said Producer Ben Walke, “I like that we’re not coming out and saying everything.”
“One thing that is interesting to us is how one event can seem completely different when filtered through three entirely different perspectives,” explained Narrative Designer Justin Langley, “In the game we have Specialists, and they all come from varying backgrounds. Although they’re all aware of these events, some have different perspectives, and some of those perspectives might differ and there might be some conversation about that in the game as well.”
It seems, then, that the specialist a player picks will be something of a lens through which the game’s story will filter, providing the player with one perspective of many. According to EA, the game’s narrative will “evolve over time” as new specialists are added. There’s an effort in Battlefield 2042, Langley adds, to show that “a broad spectrum of people are affected by the events in-game” and to bring those perspectives together, particularly when it comes to the No-Pats and No-Pat Task Force players will be playing. “I think it’s important you get a lot of different voices on the ideas of these cataclysmic events because it’s so easy to get locked into a singular, superficial perspective”.
In the game, the team explains, news outlets from opposing sides of the conflict won’t necessarily tell the truth and what’s said on either side also won’t always match up with what players are witnessing on the ground. “It’s a really different and fun way of storytelling since it’s all built into the level,” says Narrative Designer Michael Hartin, “you’ll find the narrative if you want to find it. If you’re less inclined to do that, you’ll just shoot the enemy team and move on. We tried to build the story in a discoverable sense. So, if you’re walking around the map… maybe keep your eyes and ears on alert for some visual and audio cues.”
Langley says they see it as “a good allegory for a lot of military conflicts in the real world. That element just gives this a sort of touchstone of reality.”
Tornadoes ‘ruin’ the experience, according to leaker
In a tweet, known Battlefield leaker Tom Henderson claimed that early feedback from sources that have played the new Battlefield has been critical of the game’s tornado feature.
“Early feedback of the tornadoes in [Battlefield 2042] are essentially ‘they are fun and cool to see for the first few times, but they become very repetitive and ruin the classic BF experience and flow of the map'”, Henderson tweeted.
Henderson went on to explain that this feedback comes from multiple sources who played early iterations of the new Battlefield “a few months ago”, before the latest tests started taking place.
The leaker suggested that this issue could have been a result of the “spawn” rate of tornadoes being turned up for testing – making sure those who test actually get to experience the feature – and that this issue will likely be “adjusted” before final release.
Early feedback of the tornadoes in #BATTLEFIELD2042 are essentially “they are fun and cool to see for the first few times, but they become very repetitive and ruin the classic BF experience and flow of the map”July 12, 2021
Will support DLSS and Nvidia reflex tech
Battlefield 2042 will support Nvidia DLSS technology. DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to intelligently upscale images, effectively allowing you to play games at higher resolutions, and with more intensive graphical effects, without the performance hit of running at native resolutions.
Not only are Battlefield games fast-paced, but they are often graphical showcases as well, and DLSS could work really well, in this case, to provide seriously impressive graphics, while keeping everything running smoothly. DLSS relies on the Tensor Cores that are only found in Nvidia RTX graphics cards, which means the feature isn’t available on AMD cards, or older Nvidia GTX GPUs (although AMD has finally released its own answer to DLSS, FidelityFX Super Resolution.
Battlefield 2042 is also getting Nvidia Reflex technology as well, which aims at reducing latency – so the time it takes for you to move your mouse or press a keyboard key, and the game registering it should be noticeably reduced.
This will lead to a far more responsive game, and a hectic multiplayer title like Battlefield 2042 could really benefit from it.
Battlefield 2042 briefing
EA DICE held a Battlefield 2042 briefing on June 15 which saw the developer explaining further details on the new Battlefield, following the gameplay reveal on June 13. You can watch the full video on Twitch.
No Battle Royale plans
EA DICE confirmed during a virtual preview of Battlefield 2042 that the developer has no plans to include a Battle Royale mode at launch.
EA recruits Call of Duty exec
EA has recruited a former Call of Duty exec to help grow the Battlefield series. The company recently announced it has hired former Call of Duty General Manager, Byron Beede, as the General Manager and Senior Vice President on the Battlefield (via IGN). With EA saying that the hire “signals a strategic, long-term commitment to the growth of the franchise”.
But it’s Beede’s experience that is most interesting. Beede has previously been the General Manager of both the Call of Duty and Destiny franchises, most notably worked on the launch of Call of Duty’s live service offering, Call of Duty Mobile and Call of Duty: Warzone.
While Beede is set to focus primarily on the future of the Battlefield franchise, his knowledge of live service games will likely be a huge boon to Battlefield 2042.