When DICE revealed the upcoming Battlefield 2042 not too long ago, one of the most eye-catching features of the futuristic shooter wasn't the fancy weapons or advanced vehicles, but the unrelenting forces of nature tearing through the maps, causing havoc with no prejudice regarding which team the soldiers they affected were in. The developers have revealed more about the exact nature of these disasters.
The new maps that Battlefield 2042 will ship with are some of the biggest the franchise has ever seen, and it needs that kind of size backing up the new 128-player matches it can support thanks to the stronger hardware of the current console generation.
While the larger lobbies - always guaranteed to be full thanks to bots - justify the increased map sizes, some players are concerned there will be too much traveling involved.
Fans of the franchise have pointed out that as maps kept getting bigger and bigger across the last few releases, many asked DICE to introduce some smaller and more densely packed maps. Battlefield 2042 is doing the opposite - but there's more than just a bumped up player count to fill up all that space.
The new game mechanic involving the natural disasters not only adds to the spectacle and excitement of the battles, but doubles as a space-management mechanic in order to discourage players from going to certain parts of the map as the match progresses - a huge tornado moving through the city will make going close to it a guaranteed death, while a huge sandstorm covering half the map would force anyone stuck inside to deal with poor visibility.
DICE revealed that the effects of the disasters persist through the match, so even after the sandstorm has passed, all of the debris and dust it leaves behind will alter the landscape of the map. Similarly, the destruction wrought by the tornado will remain in its wake, offering new cover opportunities and blocking routes to control points.
Realism was a major point of importance when implementing these disasters according to DICE - accurately replicating the physics was key to sell the illusion. Proximity to a tornado will wreak havoc on flying vehicles, and controlling a helicopter or one of the wingsuits seen in the trailer will be an extra challenge if the twister is nearby. Similarly, navigating through a sandstorm will be a real pain, with particle effects obscuring the world around you just like the real thing.
The developers highlighted how these natural disaster synergize with some of Battlefield 2042's other new features, like the Plus system of hot swapping weapon attachments. When faced with the previously mentioned low-visibility conditions of a sandstorm, you might want to replace some attachments on your gun that will help you reliably land shots despite the the reduced visibility.
Brave players might also try to find ways to turn the disasters to their advantage, adding a new layer of strategy to the battle.
If you follow the tornado inside buildings close by, you might risk getting sucked up, but you could also get behind enemy lines as the defenders avoid the twister. Similarly, while most people would avoid the sandstorm as much as possible, deliberately entering it will reduce the number of enemy combatants you need to worry about and offers stealth opportunities - with the risk of being surprised by a sneaky enemy yourself.
We'll learn more about the way these disasters affect the gameplay, and exactly what types will terrorize which maps, at EA Play later in July. In the meantime, check out everything else we know about Battlefield 2042.