Battlefield 2042 Review: Is This the Future?

Battlefield 2042 is a first-person shooter that does not have a campaign mode. Developed by Electronic Arts and DICE, Battlefield has long been known for its single-player campaigns and 64-player lobbies. The latest iteration of the popular first person shooter franchise completely omits these two factors that made it popular. Battlefield 2042, as the name suggests, is set 100 years in the future of the original game – Battlefield 1942 – which made the franchise a blockbuster. Has Battlefield revived or is it destined for the history books?

I played the game on Xbox One S and here’s what I think about Battlefield 2042. There’s a lot going on in the game and not everything works in its favor. Some parts are good, while some parts make you wonder what EA Dice was thinking while developing the latest Battlefield title.

Battlefield 2042 will have three game modes: All-Out Warfare, Hazard Zone and Portal. In the first two modes, players can participate in a war zone on seven maps spread across different countries. These cards include:

  • Hourglass based in Doha, Qatar
  • thrown away located in Alang, India
  • Manifesto located in Brani Island, Singapore
  • Kaleidoscope located in Songdo, South Korea
  • orbital based in Kourou, French Guiana
  • Break away located in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica
  • Renewal located in Eastern Desert, Egypt

Battlefield 2042 All Out Warfare Review

Let’s dive into the game with All-Out Warfare mode. It’s utter chaos where 128 players are unleashed on an expansive map in Battlefield 2042. Players are referred to as No-Pats, who are basically landless mercenaries fighting for both sides of the war. The players are divided into two teams – Russia and the United States – with the main goal of conquering the map.

The All-Out Warfare mode in Battlefield 2042 also has two more sub-modes: Conquest and Breakthrough. In Conquest, players must take control of various targets across sectors. Both teams start from one end of the map and by working their way you will conquer all the objectives. While I was playing Conquest it was easy at first to capture the targets closest to you, but with the chaos that ensues with a 128 player lobby, that means you are constantly dying and respawning.

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Battlefield 2042 lets players use a handful of vehicles in battle
Photo credit: EA Dice

A team would win in Battlefield 2042 once they conquer all sectors on the map. However, in Breakthrough, teams are divided into offense and defense. The latter has the majority of the sectors, while the former fight to make their way and defeat the defenses. As the name suggests, All-Out Warfare witnesses constant crossfire between the teams, with players running around capturing targets or resuscitating fallen teammates.

All-Out Warfare is best suited for Battlefield veterans in my opinion, as it takes time for new players to master 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 decide to play the Solo or Co-Op experience. But it really wouldn’t help players get used to the gameplay as they’re now stuck with up to 127 AI ‘opponents’ and chaos continues to ensue. I got used to the gameplay after spending a few hours, but more on that later. Was it really necessary to make the lobby big enough for 128 people? I’m honestly not sure.

Battlefield 2042 Gear

Battlefield 2042’s gear is pretty decent, with all 10 characters – called Specialists – getting a specific ability of their own. Specialists such as 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 gets a bit moot, though, as each character can be customized with different gear and gain those unique abilities, which were once only meant for Specialists.

But go into battle and you’ll see that Battlefield 2042 is truly adept at weapon physics. Guns are very easy to handle and in the right hands even the first shot can be brutal. But on the other hand, this ability will be daunting for new and relatively inexperienced players, as they will be shot from miles away, as the cards are huge but the lack of cover is terrible. Many times I was randomly shot while trying to get from the spawn location into the heat of battle, either by a sniper hidden in a random corner, or by an opponent crawling up unsuspectingly because their footsteps couldn’t be heard .

Battlefield 2042: No Time to Stay Alive

When a player spawns so often, they always tend to sort out the different tools at their disposal. For example, Battlefield 2042 players have the option to spawn at the base or one of the captured locations, in a vehicle, or through the special spawn location hidden by a teammate. If players are spawned far from the action and there’s no vehicle in sight, it’s easy to drop a vehicle on their location. Placing the vehicle is a handy feature because – I can’t stress this fact enough – the maps are huge and the lack of cover makes it easy to get wiped out.

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Battlefield 2042 has maps scattered around the world
Photo credit: EA Dice

One of the good things Battlefield 2042 is getting is the ‘Plus’ system that allows players to customize their gear on the fly. With this, it’s now easier than ever to switch the scope, muzzle, magazine and handles of the primary and secondary weapons during combat, making it easier to adapt to changing landscapes and scenarios in the match.

Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone: A Matrix Malfunction?

The second mode in Battlefield 2042 is Hazard Zone and to be honest there seems to be something wrong in the game. Even after spending more than 12 hours on the game, neither anyone on my team nor I could get the game to associate us with a match. The game gets stuck in some kind of loop while trying to participate in a lobby. Players are added to the four-man team, but they keep leaving. Even if the team was full, it would inevitably go back to the main menu.

Hazard Zone has a 24-player lobby with six squads of four players. The purpose of this mode in Battlefield 2042 is to collect data disks and go to the rendezvous point for extraction. A squad wins by collecting and extracting these data drives just before the storm hits the map and wipes out the area. I can’t really say what Hazard Zone was like 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

Let’s move on to the final mode, and possibly the saving grace of Battlefield 2042 – Portal. In this mode, players can get creative and how! Players have the option to set all the rules or play according to the rules of other players. Portal also lets players experience Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 on modern graphics and engine. In addition, in 1942, players also have the option to use the 2042 arsenal and vice versa. Basically, EA wants players to go crazy and probably this is all that can keep Battlefield purists and newbies in the game for a long time.

Portal also gets a few sub-modes of its own, and best of all is the VIP Fiesta. Here each squad gets a VIP and the opponent’s job 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. Plus, every time a player respawns in Battlefield 2042 Portal, their gear changes randomly and that really adds to the fun factor of the game.

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

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

Battlefield 2042 review verdict

By ditching the campaign mode in Battlefield 2042, EA Dice has made the game a little bit more confusing and harder for new players trying to get into the franchise. Veterans and die-hard fans of Battlefield will love it for the way it stays true to the gameplay of the older titles. The chaos of the 128-strong lobby isn’t something I look forward to when I start the game, and I think that could be true for most players.

Portal, on the other hand, is where Battlefield 2042 actually shines the brightest. The incredible creation tool gives players free rein and showcases the real prowess of the new game engine. But what remains to be seen is how these levels of customization will help the game sustain itself in the future.

Advantages:

  • Portal is a fun, powerful creation tool
  • Gameplay stays true to the original
  • Graphics are smooth and clear
  • Older titles shine after being remastered

cons:

  • 128-player lobbies create chaos
  • All-Out Warfare is too much for beginners
  • Hazard Zone does not work (for now)
  • Specialists don’t feel special

Rating (out of 10): 7

Battlefield 2042 was released on November 19 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 which costs Rs. 999 per month.


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