Battlefield 2042 review: is this the future?

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Battlefield 2042 is a first-person shooter with no campaign mode. Battlefield, developed by Electronic Arts and DICE, has long been known for its single-player campaigns as well as its 64-player lobbies. The latest iteration of the popular first-person shooter franchise completely dispenses with these two factors that made it popular. Battlefield 2042, as the name suggests, takes place 100 years in the future from the original game – Battlefield 1942 – that turned the franchise into a blockbuster. Has Battlefield found a new life or is it made for the history books?

I played the game on Xbox One S and here is what I think about Battlefield 2042. There is a lot going on in the game and not everything is going in his favor. Some parts are good while others make you question what EA Dice thought when creating the latest Battlefield title.

Battlefield 2042 has three game modes: All-Out Warfare, Hazard Zone and Portal. The first two modes allow players to engage in a war zone on seven maps spread across countries. These cards include:

  • hourglass based in Doha, Qatar
  • Discarded based in Alang, India
  • manifest based on Brani Island, Singapore
  • kaleidoscope based in Songdo, South Korea
  • Orbital based in Kourou, French Guiana
  • Breaking out based in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica
  • renovation based in Eastern Desert, Egypt

Battlefield 2042 All-Out Warfare Review

Let’s dive into the game with the All-Out Warfare mode. It’s an absolute mess where 128 players get unleashed on a sprawling map in Battlefield 2042. The players are called no-pats, who are basically landless mercenaries and fight for both sides of the war. The players are divided into two teams – Russia and the United States – with the main objective of conquering the map.

The All-Out Warfare mode in Battlefield 2042 also has two sub-modes: Conquest and Breakthrough. In Conquest, players must gain control of various objectives that are divided into sectors. Both teams start at one end of the map and conquer all objectives. While I’ve played Conquest, getting to the goals near you is easy at first, but with the chaos that comes with a 128-player lobby, it means you keep dying and reappearing.

In Battlefield 2042, players can use a handful of vehicles during combat
Photo credit: EA Dice

A team would win in Battlefield 2042 once they conquered all sectors on the map. In Breakthrough, however, the teams are divided into offense and defense. The latter has the majority in the sectors while the former struggle to prevail and defeat the defense. As the name suggests, All-Out Warfare experiences constant crossfire between teams, with players running around trying to capture targets or revive fallen teammates.

All-Out Warfare is best for Battlefield veterans in my opinion as new players will become familiar with the physics and gameplay. The lack of single player campaign mode in Battlefield 2042 doesn’t really help. Players have the option to play a “single player” mode if they choose to go solo or co-op. But it wouldn’t really help players get used to the gameplay as they are now stuck with up to 127 AI “enemies” and still chaos erupting. After spending a couple of hours with it, I started getting used to the gameplay, but more on that later. Was it really necessary to make the lobby large enough for 128 people? I am honestly not sure.

Battlefield 2042 gear

The Battlefield 2042 loadout is pretty decent as all 10 characters – called specialists – are given their own ability. Specialists like Santiago ‘Dozer’ Espinoza, Kimble ‘Irish’ Graves and Maria Falck would help players sustain life through armor or medkits. Other specialists are more focused on attack, repair, or reconnaissance. The point of having specialists becomes a little debatable, however, as each character can be customized with different loadouts and can acquire those unique skills that were once only intended for specialists.

But when you go into battle, you see that Battlefield 2042 is really well versed in weapon physics. Guns are really easy to handle and in the right hands the first shot can be brutal. But on the flip side, this skill will be daunting for new and relatively inexperienced players as they keep getting shot from miles and miles as the maps are huge but the lack of cover is catastrophic. Often times, I was shot accidentally just to get from the spawn location into the heat of the moment, either by a sniper hidden in a random corner or an enemy sneaking up unsuspectingly as his footsteps could not be heard.

Battlefield 2042: No Time to Stay Alive

When a player spawned that often, they inevitably tended to figure out the various tools that were available to them. Battlefield 2042 players, for example, have the option to spawn either at the base or in one of the captured locations, in a vehicle, or through the special spawn location hidden by a teammate. When players appear far from the action and no vehicle is in sight, it is easy to have a vehicle dropped off at their location. Vehicle drop is a nice feature because – I can’t stress this fact enough – the cards are huge and the lack of cover means they can be easily wiped out.

batllefield 2042 discarded map batllefield_2042_discarded_map

Battlefield 2042 has maps scattered across the globe
Photo credit: EA Dice

One of the good things Battlefield 2042 is getting is the ‘Plus’ system which allows players to change their loadout on the fly. It is now easier than ever to switch scopes, muzzles, magazines and grips of primary and secondary weapons during a battle, making it easier to adapt to changing landscapes and scenarios in the game.

Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone: a bug in the matrix?

The second mode in Battlefield 2042 is Hazard Zone and to be honest there seems to be something wrong with the game. Even after spending more than 12 hours playing the game, neither on my team nor I could actually get the game to associate us with a game. The game gets stuck in some sort of loop while trying to join a lobby. Players are added to the four-man roster, but they move on. Even when the roster was full, it inevitably led back to the main menu.

Hazard Zone has a 24-player lobby with six teams of four players each. The goal of this mode in Battlefield 2042 is to collect data drives and head to the rendezvous point for extraction. A squad wins by collecting and extracting these data drives before the storm hits the map and wipes out the area. I can’t really tell how Hazard Zone was for me or my colleague. Hopefully this is just a bug and will be fixed by EA soon.

Battlefield 2042 Portal Review: Paint Your Own Canvas

We come to the last mode and possibly the Battlefield 2042 rescue portal. In this mode, players can get creative and how! Players have the option to set all the rules or play by other players’ rules. With portal, players can also experience Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 with modern graphics and engines. In addition, players will also have the option to use the 2042 arsenal in 1942 and vice versa. Basically EA wants players to freak out, and probably all of that crazy stuff that can keep Battlefield purists and newbies in the game for a long time.

The portal also gets a couple of its own sub-modes, and the most fun is the VIP fiesta. Here every squad gets a VIP and the opponent’s task is to find and eliminate the VIP. However, the VIP status for each player is temporary, so with good teamwork, one squad can easily dominate the other. In addition, every time a player respawns on the Battlefield 2042 portal, their loadout changes randomly and that really adds to the fun factor of the game.

Battlefield 2042 Portal Battlefield_2042_portal

Battlefield 2042’s Portal Mode allows players to play and customize old, revamped titles
Photo credit: EA Dice

There’s something about Battlefield 2042 that bothers me. It is the lack of identification for friends and enemies. Often times when I think I’m aiming at an opponent it turns out to be a teammate and when I can locate an enemy I suddenly spawn again. After a while, you’ll get the hang of identifying the little red dot above the enemy, but by the time you spot it, you’ve already been killed by someone else.

Battlefield 2042 test verdict

By getting rid of the campaign mode in Battlefield 2042, EA Dice has made the game a little more confusing and difficult for new players trying to get into the franchise. Veterans and die-hard (pun-intended) fans of Battlefield will love it because it stays true to the gameplay of the older titles. I don’t look forward to the chaos of the 128-person lobby when I start the game, and I think most players do.

Portal, on the other hand, is where Battlefield 2042 actually shines brightest. The incredible creation tool gives players a free hand and shows the true skills of the new game engine. However, it remains to be seen how these levels of customization will help the game hold its own in the future.

Advantages:

  • Portal is a fun, powerful creation tool
  • The gameplay stays true to the original
  • Graphics are smooth and sharp
  • Older titles shine after the remaster

Disadvantage:

  • 128-player lobbies create chaos
  • All-out warfare is too much for newbies
  • Danger zone does not work (for now)
  • Specialists don’t feel special

Rating (out of 10): 7th

Battlefield 2042 was released on November 19th for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S / X. It costs Rs. 2,999 on Origin, Steam and Epic Games (for PC), Rs. 3,999 on PS4 and Xbox One, and Rs. 4,499 on PS5 and Xbox Series S / X. You can also get Battlefield 2042 on PC with an EA Play Pro subscription that is Rs. 999 per month.

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