Battlefield 2042 Review: All Out War
DICE's latest instalment in the popular first person military shooter franchise, Battlefield 2042, is a fun but flawed experience, despite this it still offers great fast paced action.
EA DICE's newest military shooter Battlefield 2042, takes a futuristic approach to the franchise. The developer has opted to double down on the multiplayer component and completely eliminate the single-player campaign. As big fan of the solo story experience, it was sad to see its removal. The signature sandbox multiplayer game has returned, with some new features and old favorites added into the mix. Up to 128 players are now supported in Battlefield 2042, allowing for massive-scale multiplayer conflicts on huge maps.
The game encourages you to utilize your team and the cutting-edge arsenal to adjust and overcome changing battle scenarios. There are a plethora of additional threats to consider in addition with environmental threats like tornadoes, fires and building collapses, and more. Has DICE's gamble of focusing strictly on the Battlefield multiplayer experience paid off? Let's dig in and find out!
Battlefield 2042 details
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Modes: Online Multiplayer Only
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
A bleak future in 2042
The game takes place in an alternative future where the world is split between powerful military coalitions vying for scarce resources. Unfortunately, because of decades of economic and environmental catastrophe, global geo-political instability has hit a boring point. There is no single-player campaign in this game, therefore the whole narrative is presented via multiplayer sessions.
Your Battlefield Specialist
The story is told from the viewpoints of individual soldiers or "specialists" as the conflict rises to a fever pitch. The game include 10 specialists at launch, each with their own set of abilities. These elite soldiers allow gamers to select a play style that is most comfortable to them, with a range of secondary traits.
"These elite soldiers allow gamers to select a play style that is most comfortable to them, with a range of secondary traits."
To add to their arsenal, they can also utilize additional tools that give them more skills. Unfortunately, these tools make everyone on the battlefield too "similar." Specialized roles and the need for teamwork and squad building are removed, which detracts from the overall experience Battlefield is known for.
Massive dynamic maps
Battlefield 2042 comes with seven enormous maps from the outset. On next-gen hardware like the Xbox Series X|S, PC, and PlayStation 5, the environments now can accommodate up to 128 players. Due to technical limitations, the game can only support up to 64 players on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
"On next-gen hardware like the Xbox Series X|S, PC, and PlayStation 5, the environments now can accommodate up to 128 players."
The maps are vast in scale, featuring several combat areas that may be used for a variety of ground, sea, and air battles. Hourglass, Discarded, Manifest, Kaleidoscope, Orbital, Breakaway, and Renewal are the six new environments. The visuals look great on next-gen consoles, but I noticed that some of the settings were lacking.
New map impressions
The maps are entertaining to play, and they provide some fantastic one-of-a-kind encounters, especially when it comes to unexpected weather events. In maps like Manifest, huge tropical tornadoes can ramp up significantly altering the fight's momentum. The weather and other calamities on the maps provide a whole new unpredictable layer to the game, which really adds to the mayhem.
"The weather and other calamities on the maps provide a whole new unpredictable layer to the game, which really adds to the mayhem."
The only problem with a huge map is that if you get lost on foot, you may end up in an area where there are no other players. Getting from one location to another by walking can be time-consuming.
Battlefield 2042's game modes
The new Battlefield experience features modes both completely new and others returning that have been reimagined for a modern experience. They all do a great job doubling down on the sandbox freedom that the series is known for. The three central modes are All-Out Warfare, Battlefield Portal and Battlefield Hazard Zone.
Battlefield All-Out Warfare
All-Out Warfare returns with Conquest and Breakthrough that have had some minor tweaks to their popular formulas. The action in Conquest now centres around sectors consisting of several flags instead of individual control points. Breakthrough returns with two teams of Attackers and Defenders battle it out in objective based gameplay.
In this mode, players battle it out across the Battlefield universe, with maps and weapons from previous instalments and 2042. You can replay maps from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. Alternatively, you may utilize 2042's current arsenal and classic maps to play on. I found myself returning to this mode the most to reexperience some of the series' finest maps. This was one of my favourite parts of the total 2042 package.
Battlefield Hazard Zone
In this new mode, players work together in a four-person squad and attempt to recover Data Drives that have been scattered around the map. Teams must defend against assaults from other teams that are attempting to achieve the same goal. In this high-stakes "one-life" game, you must gather the Drives and escape before a major storm wipes out the area.
Overall thoughts on Battlefield 2042
Battlefield 2042 has a lot to offer, but the experience is marred by performance and technical issues. The larger, 128 player count at first blush sounds enticing, but after a while, I found it difficult to strategize or collaborate with so many allies and opponents. It is a fantastic game when it is functioning properly, providing amazing multiplayer mayhem that the series is known for. My personal favourites are the Hazard Zone and Portals modes, which I constantly found myself coming back to. Battlefield 2042 is an exciting experience, but currently held back by technical issues that are preventing it from reaching its full potential.
Battlefield 2042 PROS
+New Hazard Zone mode is a lot of fun
+Signature Battlefield sandbox fun has returned
+Portal has a wealth of creative tools that mash-up new and old experiences
Battlefield 2042 CONS
-No single player campaign
-Several bugs and other technical hold back the overall experience
-New specialists aren't an adequate replacement for previous class system
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF BATTLEFIELD 2042
Overall Rating: 28/40 (70%)
A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.