It’s back. Bigger and bolder than ever before. This time, the Battlefield franchise is being stirred-up by a game that will likely surprise many of its veteran fans. With Call Of Duty: Vanguard incoming too, the FPS genre has some things to look forward to.
Scheduled for release in October, 2021, the latest Battlefield offering will involve futuristic modern combat in near-future – yet somewhat familiar – regions around the world. Prepare to switch from skidding over frozen tundra and sastrugi in Antarctica, to soaring over a neon-lit metropolis, amid turbulent weather events.
Double the Carnage
Battlefield 2042 has been described by DICE as their ‘most ambitious’ game yet (a claim confirmed by another in-engine gameplay reveal that followed on June 13). Prepare for sprawling 128-player maps, each split into sectors, with cleverly positioned control points, so you won’t need to run marathons between kills.
That’s right! This game will double the scale experienced on 64-player maps in Battlefield V. They’re setting the standard for the largest helping of multiplayer combat out there. What’s more, maps will now be populated with both players and AI bots (similar to Star Wars: Battlefront). The bots are utilised to keep every game fully stocked, sending troops in all directions and ensuring every fight will be fully immersive. We also saw all-new weapons coming our way, as well as futuristic vehicles, advanced tech (wingsuits stood out in the incredible reveal trailer) and, yes, even robotic dogs!
New Tools, Modes and Classes
In terms of game modes, Dice confirmed that there will be no single-player mode, leaving out the option of narrative-based gameplay. It’s a controversial decision. The franchise is famous for immersive campaigns involving multiple storylines, with beautiful cutscenes and well-voiced characters. The good news is that multiplayer battles will be bigger than ever. In fact, ranks of AI soldiers are being used to keep multiplayer servers filled. Bots will also be encountered in co-op or solo battles, pitching players against waves of AI – presumably, you would be able to take on a server crowded with 127 bots.
Also, we know that Battlefield classes have been updated and replaced with specialists (10 in total). This is a new system to categorise players with alternate abilities and tools – each attached to their own personal backstory. It’s been confirmed that unlocked weapons will be available to all specialists as well. That means if you descend into battle as a Medic you won’t be restricted to toting an SMG.
The addition of a grappling hook will allow players to traverse multiple levels in record time. Now you can swing up onto cranes in the thick of a gunfight, inviting elaborate ways to outmanoeuvre the enemy. This will also provide additional verticality to larger scale exchanges. The popular freefalls and swooping parachute runs can now be countered by quick ascents, offering players the option to spring ambushes from all angles. Something else we saw in the trailer was a player ejecting from a plane mid-flight and blasting a rocket launcher off one shoulder, before returning back to the open cockpit. We’re yet to see this being pulled off in any gameplay snippets, but it did evoke a few neat ideas!
Classic Maps and Sandbox Fun
The new maps seem to contain familiar landmarks, from sun-baked cityscapes in Qatar to Egyptian desert landscapes. The trailer revealed a tantalising rocket launch site too (the map is called Orbital and based in Kourou, French Guiana) – thought sadly it’s uncertain whether players will be seen clinging to the side of the rocket as it blasts into the ether.
This time, we’ve read that gameplay will unfold in more of a sandbox style. There are two mystery modes incoming. One is called Hazard and features high stakes squad interplay, likely on a smaller scale. Another mode was leaked as Battlefield Hub, which will allow players to time jump back to classic Battlefield maps, remastered in the new engine. The sandbox reference seems to imply an increased emphasis on creativity – it’s likely the game will be more innovative than previous instalments. We’ve seen seamless transitions between streets and rooftops. Then soldiers can charge through buildings and ride elevators, stopping momentarily to make in-game weapons adjustments. And that’s another cool addition! You can now change scopes and swap attachments via a holographic menu, allowing for quick loadout tweaks and fast transitions as you switch-up your style of attack.
Mind the Tornados!
Finally, in another exciting new twist, dynamic weather events are likely to occur in Battlefield 2042, wreaking havoc on hapless players. We’re talking sandstorms (seen on the new Hourglass map) and tornados that swirl violently across the map, forcing players to hunker down in the nearest foyer, or basement. It looks like a great way to switch the focus to mid-battle close quarters fighting. While the combat area outside transforms into a maelstrom of airborne vehicles and spiralling wingsuit flyers. In those moments, we’re guessing that no one is safe. Helicopter. Plane. These tornados will toss tanks like toys and fling them into glass-fronted skyscrapers.
You can pre-order Battlefield 2042 now to gain access to the open beta test in July, before the official launch. The game will be released across all platforms on October 22, 2021 (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, PS4, PS5).