Release Date: November 18, 2021
Mode: Multiplayer video game
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Composer: Hildur Guðnadóttir
Platforms: Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
"Review Copy Provided By EA"
Battlefield 2042 is a multiplayer focused game only that hasn’t been seen since Battlefield 2142 in 2006. Given that this is marketed as a multiplayer online only game, you wouldn’t think that it has a plot to it and isn’t just some offshoot entry as this game is set in the same timeline as Battlefield 3 and 4 and features the rise of the “No-Pats” or Non-Patriated who are people who have been displaced by governments and societies and must band together. So plot aside, is Battlefiled 2042 a worthy follow-up to the critically slammed Battlefield V and can it thrive in an online only focused experience or is it just another one that bites the bullet? Let’s find out
If you’re going into This game with the idea that you’re going to be able to play a campaign mode and the multiplayer be optional then you’re going to be disappointed because this game is an online only multiplayer game like what Call of Duty Black Ops 4 was except for this putting you in a massive sandbox that’s fully customizable covering maps from the entire Battlefield series. You have access to 3 modes to choose from
Battlefield™ Hazard Zone
In All-Out Warfare mode, you will be jumping into battles with 128 other players on teams of 64 players grouped into various squads with each team fighting it out on massive maps. Upon entering a match, you will be added to a 4-person squad with a squad leader and will need to work with other teams to capture and secure points, defend captured points, and more.
Battlefield™ Hazard Zone is a challenge focused mode set in the maps used for All-Out Warfare with you being assigned to a squad and needing to use the Intel Scanner to secure Data Drives and the ones held by enemies. Additional drives will appear due to falling satellites and after securing some drives, a CV38-Condor will arrive to extract whichever squad will make contact with it with a second CV38-Condor showing up to do a final extraction. You only have a limited number of times you can be revived so you’ll need to watch your six and stay alive.
Battlefield™ Portal allows you to create custom matches with varying options that you can share your custom created sandbox with the community. This mode allows you to experience the content from the All-Out Warfare mode while also having the maps from that and previous Battlefield games like 1942, 3, and Bad Company 2 and acts in a way as Battlefield’s answer to Call of Duty’s Warzone.
You’ll need to select from 10 different specialists that fit into several classes from Assault, Recon, Medic and more along with you needing to select or customize your Loadouts, weapon and gear customizing, vehicle selection, as well as drones. You can customize you specialist to utilize any of the customizations you’ve made, or you can use the default loadouts. Also available to customize is the outfits and accessories that your specialist wears; these can be unlocked in game with progression or by purchasing from the store.
Ok so, how does the game play? It plays like a standard FPS or if you’ve played a previous Battlefield such as 3 or 4 then you’ll have no issues adjusting to this games’ controls. You have your standard movement and sprint, crouch/prone/crouch slide, jump, ADS or aim down sights, fire, weapon swap, frag throw, special item usage, and your d-pad allows for usage of accessories. Given how massive the maps are there are several methods of traversal such as using ATVs, tanks, planes, and even helicopters! If you are used to how most modern shooters are such as COD then you’ll need to readjust how you play as this game has bullet drop which means if you’re shooting then you’ll need to factor in how a bullet will land especially when you have gravity and weather effects along with distance to deal with.
This is truly a game for those who love all-out large-scale battles and if you’re looking for that then this will not disappoint and what’s more is that this is cross platform play meaning that you will be playing with folks who are playing this on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC which is amazing and the true future of online multiplayer gaming!
This game is visually STUNNING! I was amazed at how good Call of Duty: Vanguard looked with it taking that franchise to a whole new level and then I get to see how this game has evolved the Battlefield franchise beyond what it had already done in Battlefields 1 and 5 which is saying a lot given that the Battlefield series has always pushed their games to have the most realistic graphics at the times of their release to immerse you in the world and war that each title takes place in. Character models are so well detailed and animated that there were times I forgot that I was looking at a video game especially for specialists like Captain Kimble “Irish” Graves who returns from Battlefield 4 and is reprised by the late Michael Kenneth Williams.
Everything from the fabric of their clothing and the details in their faces and hair and hear all the way down to the muscle reflection is absolutely insanely detailed and puts the models in Call of Duty: Vanguard to shame.
The environments in the maps all showcase what it looks like to be on a warzone which will have the buildings crumbling and destructible at any moment while also having wear and tear on them. Ships and vehicles all look like they’ve been put through the ringer and especially land vehicles showcase not only damage but also dirt and grime as do other steel and metal structures you’ll come across. All the weapons look as they would in real life and have markings and wear from being used in war. If you were to just take a step back in the middle of gameplay and look around your environment, then you’d see the insane levels of detail all happening in front of you and how beautiful this war looks even though there is no beauty at all in war.
Thee few instances where you hear music all sound patriotic and can make you feel accomplished or proud of your service in the game on the battlefield. Outside of that, there isn’t much to mention when it comes to the music. Voice acting, while limited to occasions outside of grunts and yells and various quips all sounds really good for what is there. The real meat and potatoes of sound in a Battlefield game is the sounds of gunfire, explosions, and vehicles; and I’m happy to say that it all sounds incredibly good and immersive especially if you’ve got the sound system setup or a good pair of headphones as the soundstage is insane allowing you to hear everything from the sounds of bullets zipping past you to footsteps approaching and conflicts in the background. It’s all pretty amazing!
As much as I love the Battlefield series and I do love this game, I have to be honest in the fact that this game has launched in a state that could’ve used maybe another month or so in the oven. I say that because many have reported various bugs and glitches when playing the game such as falling through the floor, random spawning, getting stuck in vehicles and obstacles, and hit detection being off. Of all those complaints, I can only say I have personally run into issues with the hit detection being off and my shots not registering such as clear headshots or point-blank shot gun shots. This leads to me often feeling like it’s either my aiming is off, or my internet connection is not good and then I’ll find out by experimenting with shooting a prone enemy either doesn’t register the hit or will not take much damage which leads to some skirmishes feeling frustrating.
The other downside I have to bring up is that the UI or User Interface is incredibly confusing, even for a Battlefield veteran like myself. It took me a while to figure out where to go for customizing my specialists and weapons and more and that’s just in the game menus. During combat, it’s even more confusing trying to figure out what the icons are meant to represent because the neon overlay can get terribly blended into the chaos of the battlefield.
The last issue I want to mention is the fact that there is no method to check the leaderboards in matches to see where you are ranking in the battle which is insane for any multiplayer FPS within the last 20+ years. Why it is not in this game makes no sense to me at all and I hope at some point this will be added into the game.
I could also complain about other reviewers covering the game who don’t play Battlefield or expect it to be the same as Call of Duty but I won’t because there’s nothing more to be said about modern video game journalism especially after the Cuphead controversy in recent years.
Battlefield 2042 is a game that is to me one of the best shooters of the year and yet is mired by negative press from gaming journalist which seem to want a simple Call of Duty experience which is not something you will get here. This game offers a lot of layers of depth and gives you a greater alternative to the typical COD game and offers you so much in the way of customization of the maps and match types along with giving you a great feeling of accomplishment for a hard-fought battle won. If you’re willing to take the time and invest into learning the intricacies of the system and the gameplay flow, then you’re going to find a game that has a lot to offer and will be one that you will be coming back to for years to come! Battlefield 2042 is the thinking man’s shooter and is one of the best shooters of the year that I think you shouldn’t pass up or sleep on.