There will soon be a new dog on the block, with the modern military shooter scene's other big name gearing up for a release. The Call of Duty and Battlefield rivalry is one of the fiercest in the AAA sphere, with both FPS franchises backed by loyal fans, as well as plenty of people who just... play both. Battlefield 2042 is coming later this year to further saturate the shooter market, and here is everything we know about the title.
Battlefield games have always been on a different schedule than Call of Duty, allowing more years to pass in between releases as opposed to sticking to an annual release schedule. This means that whenever we get one of each launching in the same year - usually in the same quarter or even month, too - things get heated.
Battlefield 2042 will be the latest mainline game in the franchise since Battlefield V which launched in 2018, marking the end of a particularly long gap between games. Let's take a look at everything we've learned about the upcoming title, including release date, features and more.
Luckily, the release date of Battlefield 2042 was one of the first bits of info we learned when the game was officially announced on the 9th of June - and we're not going to have to wait very long either.
TOP GAMEPLAY HIGHLIGHTS
While the true big Battlefield 2042 press event at EA Play will take place in July, we already know that the game will launch globally on the October 22, 2021 for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S. That's right - barring any delays, the game is coming this year.
This is going to make the fall season quite interesting, since the as of yet unannounced Call of Duty game for 2021 is almost certainly coming out around that time too, most likely sometime during November as tradition hold. At least this means the two games won't be sharing a month, but it'll be a tight release schedule for gamers world wide.
Just how much competition Battlefield 2042 will put up remains to be seen, and based on some of the features that we already know about, it may not even really cover the same market. As the divide between the two games widens, not only are they reaching different audiences, but increasingly fans of one adopt the other as well.
Naturally, it is already possible to pre-order the game.
So far two official trailers have been posted, one being a heavily scripted reveal trailer while the other is a somewhat less scripted gameplay trailer that actually manages to recreate moments from the other. The videos definitely show that DICE know their audience, as the developers got cheeky with homaging some iconic Battlefield moments that turned into memes, like the fighter pilot who ejected, shot an enemy plane with an RPG while free-falling only to fall back into their own plane's cockpit and flying off.
All the bombastic and exceedingly over-the-top set pieces definitely ooze that sensational Battlefield DNA of doing everything louder, bigger and flashier. Destruction physics are back in full force alongside devastating natural disasters that tear through game maps. The trailers also give us a look at the stunning next-gen visuals going on, with the series' iconic heavy dose of cinematic camera effects and lens flares.
If anything, the trailers made it clear that the game will involve a lot of people in camo suits running. There's running from tornados, running from sandstorms, running from incoming shots, running from fire, running from rooftop to rooftop and running away from falling pieces of beached tanker ships. There's even running towards a space rocket mid-launch, which really seems ill advised to be honest.
There's plenty of destruction, a lot of vehicles and some fancy stunts. The Battlefield community sure love their gameplay videos of fancy stunt-work with the game's various vehicles and the unusual and clever kills achieved with them.
We see tanks shoot choppers out of the sky in the trailer, and one helicopter leading an opponent by circling a building to crash into another. Hell, a quad loaded with explosives is driven off a roof on a ramp only to crash into a helicopter - all of these impossible, outlandish scenarios give the game its unique flair.
Based on what we know so far, Battlefield 2042 will not feature any kind of single player game mode with multiplayer being the only option across three game modes initially, though more may be added later. Iconic mechanics like destruction and "levolution" are making a return at an even bigger scale than ever before, with new natural disasters adding to the excitement. At launch, Battlefield 2042 will have seven maps with more undoubtedly on the way.
The game will feature a dynamic weapon customization system dubbed "Plus" which allows players to edit their loadout and change attachments on their guns on the fly during a match whenever there is a quiet moment. This system was shown off in the trailer was a squad of players entered the elevator of a high-rise, giving them time to fiddle with equipment on the way up.
One of the main selling points of Battlefield 2042 is the huge number of players supported in each match - up to 128 combatants will be able to duke it out on the current consoles and PC, while the older consoles will only support 64. EA has confirmed that in lobbies with fewer players, the teams will be bolstered by AI bots to maintain a consistent number of fighters on each side.
These bots are only used in the All-Out Warfare modes which boast 128 players, while other modes with lower player counts even on stronger platforms will not rely on them - unless you specifically choose to opt-in. However, in 128 lobbies, there is no option to turn off the bots. Unless there are 128 human players available, you will definitely encounter the AI in the biggest matches.
The mandatory bots in unfilled lobbies is already a point of contention among players, but we'll have to wait until reviews drop for the game before we'll know if said bots are actually any good. Should the developers nail the feature we suspect most critics will be converted, however botched AI is almost definitely a recipe for disaster.
As far as game modes are concerned, the previously mentioned All-Out Warfare mode with 128 players will come in Conquest and Breakthrough flavors - the former has two teams fight to capture initially neutral control points, while the second starts off one team with every control point playing as defenders and an attacking team hell bent on repainting the map their color.
Two more game modes will populate the game, but we know little about these. One is Hazard Zone, which is described as an "all-new experience" which players will "drop into". This makes us suspect it is a battle royale, but more on that later. The third mode is a complete mystery, and we don't even know the name if it, but recent leaks indicate it will be a nostalgic sandbox "party mode" where vehicles, weapons and equipment from all across previous Battlefield games will all be dumped into the same lobby, allowing you to pit modern tech against the military hardware of the world wars.
We wouldn't take any leaks for granted, and probably these two modes will get full reveals at EA Play on the 22nd of July, so stay tuned for more info.
Will Battlefield 2042 Have A Battle Royale Mode?
Officially, no. DICE very specifically stated following the reveal of Battlefield 2042 that it will not be shipping with a battle royale mode, possibly as a deliberate move to distance the game from Call of Duty: Warzone. Warzone has achieved immense popularity since launching alongside the Modern Warfare reboot and survives on with Black Ops Cold War integration, having risen to the upper echelons of the free to play battle royale scene. It is definitely a scary opponent to face.
However, despite the official stance of there being no battle royale mode it really seems like there actually, uh, will be one after all. The official description of "Hazard Zone" calls it an all-new high-stakes experience and calls for players to drop-in. Even the name, Hazard Zone, sort of evokes the typical battle royale mechanic of a dangerous area procedurally restricting the map as the match progresses.
While what minor snippets of official info is pretty suspicious already, several leaks indicate that Hazard Zone literally is just a battle royale mode with marginally different window dressing - what's more, some leaks claim that it will be free to play and standalone - just like Warzone. Of course, these leaks also seem a little bit too on the nose and in direct contradiction of the official statements we've heard before.
Naturally it is possible that DICE isn't saying the full truth to keep things under wraps, but in corporate double-speak the usual tactic is to deflect and give non-answers; outright stating that something definitely isn't the case when it is usually gets avoided for fear of false advertising suits.
So the bottom line is that at this point we just don't know. It's for sure that EA will reveal the true extent of the other game modes at EA Play in July, so until then we'll just have to wait.
Set in the titular year, Battlefield 2042 doesn't paint an optimistic picture of the future. In this fictional timeline, the 2030's see widespread global collapse as resource crises hit worldwide, conflicts boil over and governments unravel until the USA and Russia remain the only two superpowers - and are naturally on less than friendly terms. In the late 2030's, things start to stabilize after technological advancements seemingly alleviate the resource crisis gripping the globe, however in 2040 disaster strikes as an unknown phenomenon causes 70% of all satellites to malfunction and crash into the earth.
A global social and economic collapse even worse than that of the 30's ensues as communication, transportation and all digital infrastructure collapses spontaneously. During the incident itself, planes fall out of the sky and facilities that require constant maintenance like power plants malfunction, leading to a global blackout and around 100,000 deaths. Both the USA and Russia blame each other.
Meanwhile, over a billion people have become nationless over the years of governmental collapse during the 30's, and these "No-Pats" have begun to form their own communities and agendas in the emergent chaotic political climate. As open warfare is just a hair's breadth away, both Russia and the USA form alliances with No-Pat groups or hire No-Pat mercenaries to act as proxy soldiers in a shadow-war for resources and control over a world on the brink of collapse.
It isn't clear if Battlefield 2042 is placed in the same continuity as Battlefield 2142, but even if it is a whole century of temporal distance would still give the writers enough leeway with story and plot not to be restricted by the foregone conclusions drawn from a game set in the future. We imagine that if any links with 2142 are present, they are only minor easter eggs for the superfans to discover.
We're curious to see how the story will progress in a multiplayer-only framework, but more details are bound to be revealed at EA Play.
While Battlefield 2042 isn't far away, there is still a lot we do not know about the game, so stay tuned for more information as it is revealed leading up to release.