“Battlefield 2042” is one of the most anticipated games to come out this past year, with expectations set so high for both the game and Dice, the production company, that you can probably see them from space. The game takes place in 2042, a future in which every single country besides the U.S. and Russia no longer exists, and mother nature has decided to screw over humanity by cranking up every natural disaster by about 100–maybe 99 if she was feeling generous. The strange setting had made everyone more curious as to how Dice was going to handle it all. Now that the game has been out for half a year, we can now answer the question: ¨Does it live up to the hype?¨
When the beta for “2042” was opened to the public, there was outrage over its many bugs and glitches. Some of the bugs reported were as bizarre as a pilotless jet defying every law known to man being destroyed by a floating piece of a VTOL helicopter. The bugs were so bad that it got to the point at which people were personally offended by the beta and decided to cancel their pre-orders. After the mess that was the “2042” beta, fans started to lose hope in the game, and it only worsened when testers started leaking parts of the game to the public, revealing that there will be a lack of content and weaponry. Now “Battlefield 2042” is officially out, and after putting many many hours into the game, I can say that it is a fun, broken mess.
The first thing that I have to say about the game is that it is absolutely gorgeous. The coloring schemes chosen for some of the maps are top-notch, with the vibrant green hills of an Egyptian border and a red-covered city caught up in a sandstorm, it makes you feel like you are in a futuristic war, with a world being overrun by the natural elements. On top of that, when you are in actual battle, it is so very immersive that firefights will break out wherever you look, and helicopters will come in to either provide you support or provide the enemy support. But all while this is happening . . . the jet is still defying every law known to man.
“2042” is still great, at least when you ignore the fact that you can’t tell who is who. One of the most controversial topics in “2042” is the new specialist system, which takes the old class system of previous “Battlefield” titles and throws it away. This time, we have specialists who have their own unique abilities, like in “Apex Legends,” with the catch being that you can equip any gun and gadget to any class, so instead of having a recon class spot enemies from a distance while picking them off with a sniper, you can find a recon specialist running around with a machine gun, clear an entire room full of enemies, and then proceed to take out an attack helicopter with a rocket launcher, all while saying a quirky one-liner. In my opinion, this system isn’t bad, but I also don’t fully support it, since there is no real way to tell if the person staring at you is an ally or foe unless you shoot them or you see a tag above their character.
The maps are also a problem. It’s harder to tell if an NPC is your friend or your enemy when you have to stare them down 100 feet away because of how open and big the maps are. Half the time spent playing the game will be spent running across an open field ready to be picked off by someone far away, and although you can call in a vehicle to get to your destination quicker, you will most likely only be able to call in a robotic dog with a machine gun strapped to its head since all the vehicles are being occupied. The settings for the maps here are exciting, such as a rocket facility where you fight in front of a rocket all while you can spot more rockets in the background launching off, with the chance of the rocket itself launching in front of everyone or a tornado coming to wreak havoc against everyone in the map, but the map is so open that it takes a while to get to your destination.
But once you do get into combat, you will either get obliterated back to an open field, doomed to walk another mile to the objective, or you´ll enjoy yourself with the variety of ways to approach a fight. Some specialists are quick and mobile, equipped with a grappling hook or a wingsuit, while others allow you to heal yourself mid-gunfight or see-through walls for a few seconds.
Gunplay also works well, each gun bringing something new to the table. Some can drop multiple bullets within a second but do little damage, and others can hit hard but have few bullets. Some can even do both, but there is so much recoil that it will probably break your arm in real life.
On top of that, another new system added to “2042” is the Plus system, allowing you to switch the attachments on your gun in the middle of a firefight, welcoming more variety as to how you can approach an engagement.
“Battlefield 2042” has three game modes, with All-Out-Warfare being the classic way of playing the game. The other two game modes that “2042” has to offer are also new additions to the franchise: Hazard Zone and Portal.
Hazard Zone is a more tactical approach to “Battlefield.” Teams of 4 are dropped to a map where they have to collect data drives and then escape out of there to earn points, all while fending off AI and the other teams. And I was hesitant about it at first, but it turned out to be a sweet little surprise. I enjoy the small skirmishes you have when encountering enemies, and it gets really intense when the osprey comes to escort a team. It’s simple, and I may actually prefer it over All-Out-Warfare since I don’t have to worry about being blasted by two tanks, an attack chopper, and a squad of six people when going up an elevator.
The other game mode, Portal, is the biggest addition in the franchise’s history. Players can customize their own rules and have access to not just “Battlefield 2042” content, but also “Battlefield 1942,” “Bad Company 2,” and “Battlefield 3” content, all fan favorites in the community. While All-Out-Warfare has 22 guns, Portal gives you access to 79 guns in the “Battlefield” franchise as well as 13 maps including the 7 maps from 2042. You can create a modern realistic shooter with the assets of “Battlefield 3” or make a game mode where 6 survivors, armed with machine guns, fend off against 58 knife-wielding soldiers. It´s all dumb fun and a welcomed addition to the community.
Overall, “Battlefield 2042” is an incredibly flawed game, with hovercrafts casually scaling up skyscrapers and that damn jet proving to us that it has more freedom than we ever will. But if you overlook that, you have a pretty good game. I think that with enough changes to the game, it has the potential to be one of the best Battlefields to be made by Dice.