It’s the launch day of Battlefield 2042, and many gamers surely waited for this particular release of the Battlefield franchise with anticipation. There has been beta tests, pre-release tests, and several other phases in which people could get insight on how the game is going to look like then it would come out, but it was never evident what parts of the game might not be missing, but would be added in time before the release. So let’s jump right in.
Games from the Battlefield series are known for two things in particular since the launch of the first title, Battlefield 1942, in 2002. One focus always was to offer a variety of vehicles for the players to use. The other feature was that they always strived to provide a multiplayer experience with as many players on the same map as technology would allow. Looking at Battlefield 2042 today, it’s fair to say that both these objectives have been reached.
In Battlefield 2042, you can use a variety of vehicles on land, in the sea, and the air. Maybe the variety is not huge, but it leaves enough room for strategic gameplay, and they are pretty fun as well. On the other hand, yes, they managed to provide an epic amount of players that all take part in the same sessions. A regular match would contain up to 128 players, split up into two teams of 64 players each. This happens on large maps as well, so you’re not bound to have a massive crowd to fight simultaneously.
The way the game provides you with options to play different classes has changed as well. You’re no longer picking a generic class and then just accepting whatever loadout of equipment it comes with. Instead, you can choose one of the available specialists and customize their loadout to match your preferences and strategy. Naturally, those can also be adjusted and swapped during a match to allow you to pivot the strategy as the tight of the battle turns.
While this is a good change in my books, I would have still preferred to create and visually customize your character instead of being only able to choose between one of the few operators they offer you. There are not that many specialists to choose from, and while their outfit can be changed, you don’t need to do the math on a match that holds 128 players, and you can only choose between only ten premade characters, that you’ll encounter a lot of players who chose the same specialist character. At least that’s how it feels like. Better just skip that and put a helmet on rather than going for a clone army, perhaps.
The maps it gorgeous. The dynamic environments work really well and the overall atmosphere of a climate-change-challenged planet earth. The vehicles behave well on the surface, and except for one time when my hovercraft somehow managed to drive up a building and got stuck there, it was all good fun and good action. Since the title is relatively new, there is not much to report about player culture. Still, from what I can tell, people are friendly, support each other, and pursue strategic objectives rather than just dilly-dallying around.
I’m not that happy with the story and the setting of the game, though. I think they tried to introduce some really interesting aspects of a future conflict after several governments and states have failed, countries ceased to exist. Still, for some reason, I find myself, yet again, seeing a war between the USA and Russia. I expected a bit more creativity here and something fresh for entirely fictional lore that supposedly happens in the year 2042, hundred years after 1942. Also, it’s a bit weird that both sides can choose the same specialists, so it’s rather challenging to differentiate between friend and foe if you don’t rely entirely on the HUD. But I don’t want to be too critical here either. The matches are still good fun, even if I would have preferred something else than the US vs. RUS once again.
In summary, I would say the game is okay but could have been more. It lacks content, meaning it lacks vehicles, weapons, gear, character customization, and some might even want more maps as well. Battlefield 2042 does feature some interesting bonus modes from past Battlefield titles and some interesting potential for user-generated content in the Battlefield Portal, though. I hope that more content will be added soon, and hopefully without asking the players to pay for a bunch of DLCs first. I’d say it’s undoubtedly playable but maybe not worth buying at the full price. Perhaps this is a candidate that doesn’t need buying right away. Perhaps this is a good title to get as part of a sales event.
YouTube: Battlefield 2042 Official Gameplay Trailer
Photo credit: The media shown is owned by Electronic Arts.