DICE has finally revealed the highly anticipated Battlefield 2042, the official title of the next entry in the Battlefield franchise. Here’s everything you need to know.
After months of leaks, rumours, and anticipation as to what the next Battlefield game will be, DICE is finally ready to share with the world a bit of what our next foray into all out warfare will be, with Battlefield 2042. Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a media event where DICE shared as many juicy details with the press as they could, one of which was that players can expect to get their own boots on the ground in Battlefield 2042 on October 22, 2021.
Right off the top, the biggest thing about Battlefield 2042 is well…everything! Matches will now be filled with up to 128 players on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC, though PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players will be reduced to 64 player matches. The maps these battles take place in are all also substantially bigger, according to the developers they’re “massive maps” unlike anything they’ve ever built before, and Battlefield 2042 is currently set to launch with seven of these behemoth sized fields in which you’ll do battle.
The ginormous size of these maps is also allowing DICE to take a new approach to all-out warfare. Oskar Gabrielson, general manager of DICE said “Battlefield 2042 is an evolution of the franchise and embraces what our players want — the ultimate Battlefield multiplayer sandbox with intense combat and a ton of incredible, unexpected events”. It’s clearly the most ambitious Battlefield game yet, aiming to perfect the feeling of a huge battle while simultaneously capturing intense and intimate moments for every player across these maps.
Battlefield 2042 is essentially made up of three main modes, All-Out Warfare, Hazard Zone, and a third, currently unannounced mode, though Oskar Gabrielson did confirm it is not a battle royale mode, and that there are no plans for a battle royale mode in the game. All-Out Warfare sees the return of fan favourite modes Conquest and and Breakthrough, though they have both been tweaked to accommodate the size and scale of Battlefield 2042.
It comes down to how the maps are laid out, which in Battlefield 2042 is an all new denomination of sectors, clusters, and lastly villages or towns within those clusters. Control all the towns in a cluster, and you control that cluster, and controlling all clusters in a sector grants you that sector. Fight to control all sectors in Conquest or struggle to push through/hold the line in Breakthrough.
DICE has added one more major tweak to the gameplay for Conquest and Breakthrough. You won’t just be fighting the enemy, you’ll also be fighting the elements, with a dynamic weather system that allows for massive tornadoes to sweep through destroying everything in their path while they’re active. You can avoid these tornadoes or, if you happen to be playing as an unannounced character type, you can use your wingsuit to navigate the anomaly safely.
Besides the new breakdown, everything being bigger, and tornadoes, that all sounds like good old fashioned Battlefield so far, which it is, but what I believe to be the biggest change coming in Battlefield 2042 is the new approach to your classes and loadouts. This is also where the story of Battlefield 2042 starts to come into play, since each character has a deep backstory which also supports as an explanation of their playstyle, and their unique abilities. The new breakdown is that within the four traditional Battlefield classes will be specialists, an all-new type of playable character in Battlefield.
The world of Battlefield 2042 is our world – 21 years into the future. Mass shortages on essentials like food, clean water and energy have caused multiple nations to collapse and created the worst refugee crisis the world has ever seen. These people become known as No-Pats, or Non-Patriated, all everyday people, and some of them of course, soldiers. So when the United States and Russia draw the world into a war, the No-Pats fight on either side, not out of a feeling of duty, or loyalty to a flag, but for the hope of a better future, and to be still be standing when the last bullet is fired.
That same sense of loyalty to no flag or country also bleeds into the structure of classes and specialists. While a specialist could be designated as a support type character, that no longer limits the kinds of loadouts you can charge into battle with. Any specialist can use any gun across all four classes, allowing for players to create fully customizable loadouts. Also, customization goes even further, since you’ll be able to customize your weapon on the fly for any situation, adjusting your weapon’s scope, barrel, ammo type or under-barrel attachment.
What is locked to specific specialists are their traits, and unique abilities such as Webster Mackay who’s specific trait is called “Nimble”, and his unique ability is his use of a grapple hook. Both combined make Mackay unique for how much more players can utilize their environments and move around each map. Maria Flack who’s shown above has a S21 Syrette Pistol as her unique ability, a gun that appears to be able to heal your teammates by firing a sort of medical dart at them. In total, the game will launch with 10 specialists, with more to come. It’s here where the live service aspect of Battlefield 2042 rears its inevitable and industry standard for massive multiplayer FPS franchises head.
DICE has chosen to adopt a seasonal system with new battle passes each season, and there are currently plans for four seasons and four battle passes for the first year of launch. Each of those battle passes will include a new specialist, new maps and new content, so there will always be a steady stream of goals and new heights to achieve. Nothing that will affect the gameplay either as a new game mode or new addition to current modes will be locked behind a paywall, all of that will be free. Players who do choose to pay for the premium level battle pass will be getting exclusive cosmetics that are not available anywhere else.
Last but certainly not least there have also been tweaks to vehicular combat. Firstly with the fact that all players will now have a call-in tablet that lets them call any land vehicle they want to any point on the map. You could call one for yourself, call one for your squad mate in a hairy situation, or call for one to be dropped directly on top of your enemies head, your choice. The vehicles also play a bigger role in team collaboration with every seat in each vehicle being vital to combat.
Unfortunately, there was little information given about Hazard Zone, except that it is a new high-stakes game type for the franchise that is designed to be a modern take on that distinct DICE experience while still being very different from All-Out Warfare’s Conquest or Breakthrough modes. That’s all we know for now, though DICE did say to look towards the EA Play on July 22 for more on Battlefield 2042.
Even though this is just the kickoff for the lead-up to Battlefield 2042‘s launch, this preview already makes me extremely excited to jump into next generation Battlefield. If you’re as eager as me, I’d recommend hoping for more information to pour out as E3 kicks into high-gear, and to keep a watchful eye on the EA Play on July 22. There’s also an open beta planned for later on this year, which players who pre-order the game and who are EA Play members will get early access to. Until we know more though, we can officially mark our calendars for October 22, 2021 as the day we jump into the next generation of Battlefield.