Expanding To A Bigger World
Adjustments On The Fly
Flexibility is the name of the game in Battlefield 2042. Combat will take you from wide-open landscapes to tight CQC areas. Trying to find the perfect weapon that can help you survive in all these situations can be challenging. Being a sniper with a 4x scope in a tight office building is less than optimal However, Dice has given players a new way to approach these challenges. Not only can you adjust your class in between spawns, but players can also now adjust their weapons on the fly.
For example, you can use an assault rifle with an ACOG sight as you try to break the enemy lines from a distance. Then as you approach the building, with two simple button clicks you can strip your ACOG sight off to iron sights to then breach into the building without having to worry about your attachment being overly zoomed in. This feature works with all attachments for your weapons, from silencers, grips, and magazines, the options are at your fingertips.
Massive Action Game
Battlefield 2042 continues Dice’s trend of having “Only in Battlefield” style moments. This is thanks to the massive player count on each map. It is really easy to get absorbed into an intense gunfight as you try to capture a central objective while helicopters and tanks explode around you. However, it feels like Battlefield is missing that “wow” factor. After years of touting destructibility as a primary feature of the franchise, it just does not seem to be as impressive as it used to be. While there has been plenty of minor changes, it ultimately feels like more of the same. Those big changes that do occur just feel like trend-chasing. Notable among these is the decision to scrap Battlefield’s classic class system and instead replace it with a Specialist system.
Classes that players have known and loved in prior Battlefield games have been discarded. Instead, the Specialist system sees players customizing their load-outs and choosing specialists with various unique abilities. This feels once again like Battlefield is chasing their competitors versus doing something unique. Call of Duty has long used “Specialists” within their multiplayer experience. Battlefield 2042‘s specialists feel like a copy and paste of its competitors. Many specialists have borderline useless abilities. Players have already zeroed in on a small handful of “useful” operators that they choose from. While these specialists will no doubt be buffed and nerfed in upcoming patches, it feels like a half-realized idea that was implemented in order to try to draw more casual FPS fans to the series.
Technical Issues Galore
Battlefield is unfortunately a franchise that has become notorious for its buggy launches. Battlefield 2042 is no different, as I found several bugs and glitches during my time with the game. Not only were their plenty of issues, some of them directly impacted the functionality of the game. Battlefield 2042 hard crashed my Xbox Series X five plus times. These bugs were more than just crashes.
Unfortunately, sometimes when loading into games I would not get to choose which specialist I wanted to use or let me access my different load-outs. Instead, it would spawn me in with a random loadout that I had made, with the specialist that I used in the last game. While this issue could be fixed by simply closing out the game, if you are in a squad with your friends having to restart your game and then go through the process of partying up again is a chore.
On top of the frustrating crashing issues, pop-in textures were almost a guarantee. These were paired with framerate drops that happened at the absolutely weirdest times. One might expect these issues when 60 plus players are engaged in combat in a central area, the game might struggle with all of the action. But I found most of my framerate issues commonly popped up when I was simply traversing the map. All of these technical issues snowballed into making playing the game feel like work. It felt like technical issues got in the way of the game more than anything.
Less Isn’t More
In a theme that feels all too common these days, Battlefield 2042 feels very lean to previous releases. Battlefield‘s Portal experience allows players to experience a variety of classic Battlefield maps and create their own unique experiences. Yet, it feels like Battlefield 2042 at its core suffered due to the time it took to develop Portal. Battlefield 2042 features an All-Out Warfare mode which is a blend of Conquest and Breakthrough.
Meanwhile the new game mode, Hazard Zone, sees squads of 4 players face off in a unique take on Battle Royale that has players collecting data drives while fighting off other squads. All this occurs with the backdrop of a massive storm slowly closing in around the players. Players then have to choose when to extract and collect their rewards. Hazard Zone is a unique take on a Battle Royale-style mode, though personally I bounced off the mode due to simply requiring a full squad in order to coordinate properly as teamwork is a huge aspect of this mode.
I have to give credit to Dice for doing something unique with Hazard Zone, but it feels odd that the game is missing core game modes that Battlefield fans have come to expect. Not having staple Battlefield game modes like Rush, Domination, or Team Deathmatch feels incredibly odd. Dice has stated that more game modes will be coming post-launch; however, this lends more credence to the idea that this game simply needed more time. Battlefield V launched with 9 maps and featured 6 game modes at launch as well as a fully realized campaign. This is a stark contrast to Battlefield 2042. Once again it feels like Dice was focused on chasing the Battle Royale trend with Hazard Zone, and simply let classic game modes fall to the wayside.
One is Like Another
The lack of content is not only felt in the game modes. The weapon variety feels incredibly weak. With many weapons tied to higher-level unlocks, early on the weapon variety feels painstakingly limited. How limited are the weapons in Battlefield 2042? There are only 3 secondary weapons for players to choose from, a single-shot pistol, a machine gun style pistol, and a revolver. What is even worse, is that many of the guns feel similar in terms of their damage output and overall impact.
This makes the unlock system feel almost nonexistent, as the game awards you with mediocre emblems and camos while the best weapons hide behind high-level caps, and unlocks for these weapons feel few and far between. If you don’t like the main assault rifle that you start with, tough luck. It will likely take you upwards of 4 to 5 hours to unlock the next rifle type early on. This will likely turn away many new players trying Battlefield for the first time, which was opposite of the goal.