LifeisXbox’s Battlefield 2042 review | Why are we shooting other online players? In Battlefield 2042 we jump a bit into the future, where Earth has to deal with extreme climate changes. This is enough reason for Russia and the United States to start a war over. A believable plot if you ask me, we’re fucking the planet over pretty hard. Extreme climate destruction and chaos is something we can definitely expect ourselves in the near future. We don’t have a single-player story anymore so all of Battlefield 2042’s story is told in-game by transmedia storytelling. But I’m sure that 99% of the players don’t need a story reason to enjoy an online shooter experience. About that…
Battlefield fans have a strong back when it comes to troubled launches. It is almost a tradition to expect difficulties when you’re playing a new Battlefield game in the first few months, for Battlefield 2042 this comes to a whole new level. I expected better from Battlefield and the longtime fans and newcomers deserved better treatment. Battlefield 2042 is a paid beta of an unfinished product in its current state. Harsh words for a review intro but DICE and EA decided not to delay this and that’s the result.
Seeing two teams of 64-players battling it out on Xbox Series X is quite a sight to behold.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X and Xbox One | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we liked!
- Portal creation tool | Battlefield 2042 main saving grace is the brand new Portal Creation tool, made by Ripple Effect Studios. Fans of the franchise will absolutely adore this as they can replay famous maps from previous Battlefield games in the visual updated engine from Battlefield 2042. Portal allows you to create modes from scratch. More importantly, you can choose the classic modes, classic loadouts and classes. Purely for nostalgic reasons, it is incredible to play some maps again from Bad Company 2 but the real magic comes from replayability as the Battlefield community will invent and reinvent modes. Portal will also receive constant new updates so the options from this are promising. Currently, a few maps from Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 are available within Portal and there’s more to come! Even more awesome is that the maps have been updated, for example, Battle of the Bulge and El Alamein now have the destruction of buildings. Trust me, you really have to experience Arica Harbor with 124-players… the chaos is incredible. While this isn’t Halo Forge you can still do some fun things like knives only versus slow reloading pistols, defibrillators only, PvE modes or even a 1 versus all mode. Can’t wait to see what the community creates! DICE will feature stuff they created aswel and give an idea of how crazy things become. In one mode you had to jump five times to reload… now that’s something original!
- Specialist system | The traditional class system is gone and a new specialist system is introduced, making Battlefield a bit similar to Hero shooters. Each specialist has specific abilities that change the gameplay and strategy on the field. Previously the class system meant that players couldn’t take specific weapons, as it was only available for the Medic or Assault class. Now every player is free to take whatever they want, in other words, medics can finally take a rocket launcher with them or a sniper can still heal other squad members. (doesn’t make much sense to do that as a sniper but the option is available) Ten different specialists are available, with a few that you need to unlock. We all know this mechanic from Rainbow Six Siege but it is tuned down for this game, so don’t worry about a deep learning curve. The unique mix of characters make it interesting to find a balance between your squad members but you can also simply decide to all take the same. I have two favorites, with one of them going back to my love for the medic class. Maria Flack has a syrette pistol that can be used to heal players from a distance, she also revives downed allies to full health. My other favourite is Wikus, a ghillie suit character that can recon enemies with a drone and he has a movement sensor to warn when enemies are nearing. In other words, the perfect specialist for snipers… while it is clear that the specialists are based on the traditional class-system the newly found freedom in creating your own loadout really brings a lot of fresh air in the Battlefield gameplay. Some of the other abilities from other specialists are placing turrets, using grabbling hooks, hacking enemy systems or even using a wingsuit.
- Beautiful visuals | Seeing two teams of 64-players battling it out on Xbox Series X is quite a sight to behold. Explosions, planes and tanks are all over the place all detailed in gorgeous textures. The massive draw distance that rivals Forza Horizon 5 is another insane part to enjoy, using the wingsuit and jumping from a plane is an incredible rush that’s even better than Riders Republic wingsuit races. Making it even more impressive are the new weather effects, the best example of that is the violent tornado or sandstorms. There’s always this two-way fight going on with Call of Duty and Battlefield players but Battlefield is the clear winner with insane sharp visuals.
- Hazard game mode (PvPvE mode) | In this mode your four-player squad faces eight other squads (six on Xbox One) in a battle to collect data drives. Here squads are limited to only one specialist and you can but don’t have to attack other squads to succeed. The catch? To get points from the data drivers successfully you’ll have to leave the battlefield by extracting. Kinda like the PVP mode in The Division. Making things harder is that only two from the eight squads can extract… By extracting and playing this mode you get an in-game Hazard currency to purchase weapons and gear for your next trip. Also part of this mode are AI-controlled enemies, most of the time they are defending the crashed satellites where you get the data drives from. My gripe with it is pretty clear, there is way too much downtime. You’ll be walking on the huge maps for minutes without really seeing anything, there’s always the danger of getting ambushed by real players or fighting against stupid AI-controlled enemies but that’s not enough to keep this mode interesting for multiple rounds.
- Destruction is scaled down | One thing I always liked about the Frost Engine from Battlefield was how much realistic destruction it could produce. With Battlefield 2042 I regularly found myself in a situation that got me disappointed as a weak structure couldn’t be destroyed. I understand that bringing down a huge building larger than six Brachiosaurus dinosaurs would be asking too much but a simple wall shouldn’t be an issue. Sometimes you can destroy something, sometimes you can’t… a more coherent destruction would have been welcome. You’ll really start to notice this when you play some older maps with Portal!
- Maps feel off | So destruction is part of the maps disappointment but the real issue with the seven new Battlefield 2042 maps is the scale. Developer DICE might brag about them being the largest in Battlefield history but I couldn’t care less about that. Larger means more boring as there’s too much empty space to cross. Endlessly sprinting around in the hopes of finally getting some action is one of the most boring things from this year’s Battlefield. You might want to counter me with ‘but you have so many vehicles’ or you can spawn on a squadmate but that’s not the case every time. Battlefield 2042 features a summoning feature for transport vehicles but it feels like a last-minute solution for a huge design flaw while creating the new maps. You don’t have this issue while playing the game mode Breakthrough though so that one is my favourite one to play. Everyone spawns closely to the attack and defensive line so the running around to places is strongly reduced.
What we disliked
- Many typical Battlefield things are completely gone | Let me first list up two typical Battlefield things that disappeared, that hurt Battlefield 2042. Squad-based gameplay rewards and leaning over or around cover. Correctly playing Battlefield with your squad members meant that you received rewards that you could use on the field, that system is complete of the radar. If you played the franchise before you’ll know what I mean with the requisition points, it felt good when you and your squad members took over outposts with a balanced team of individuals. There is no kind of in-game rewards now for doing squad related objectives. Another missing feature is leaning around the cover, such an annoying removal! If you now want to take a peek over a wall you have to move your entire body, making you an easy target for the enemy team. I honestly have no single logical idea why they removed something that’s so easy to implement. That’s just two things but there’s more missing in Battlefield 2042, there isn’t even a voice-chat option in a tactical shooter. Sorry, but that’s a bit funny in these modern times.
- No more single-player | I understand that when only 19% of all the Battlefield V players finished the single-player story it becomes difficult to motivate your resources for a campaign for Battlefield 2042. By heart, the Battlefield franchise is an online experience… I totally get that. But still knowing all of that I really missed a single-player experience. According to Daniel Berlin, the game designer from DICE all saved development time went into creating more depth for the online modes. I honestly fail to see that result… Yeah, Portal is a fantastic tool that saves Battlefield 2042 from being the worst in the franchise but I don’t see much else that increases depth.
- 2042 in the Battlefield name stands for the number of bugs | Tons and tons of bugs plague the release of Battlefield 2042, especially on Xbox One. Fundamental things like switching weapons, reviving or parts of the UI are regularly glitched out. At some point I also stopped getting experience rewards for Conquest battles with 124-players, 64 works fine and so do the other game modes. Another extremely annoying bug is being stuck while the game is loading, forcing you to quit and retry again. Battlefield 2042 biggest issue comes from animation bugs. Your character can become stuck in a reloading animation, meaning you can’t shoot or do anything else. That’s the same with the parachute animation, vaulting over walls or fences and by switching weapons. As a result, I was afraid to play the game as I didn’t want to get into a vulnerable situation. Things are even worse on Xbox One…
- Xbox One | The last-gen version of Battlefield 2042 is a significant difference. Xbox One players can only play with 64-players and have smaller maps. In my case, I had to download the Battlefield 2042 Xbox One version in addition to the Xbox Series X version to play with my friends that still haven’t found Microsoft’s latest beast. It was a day and night difference in visuals, scale and performance. Not to mention that the bugs are even worse and more frequent.
- Shooting | I have never played a shooter with a more inconsistent shooting. I have no idea what DICE has been drinking but I’m sure that all Battlefield soldiers are drunk. The bullet spread is all over the place and you can’t trust it. I never read other reviews before publishing my own review but the memes on the internet have already spoiled me that other reviews will mention this too. Even when shooting a few feet away they still manage to misfire. And yeah I might not be the most skilled gamer but my K/D is always double my deaths, so that’s not it 😉
How long to beat the story | Only online
How long to achieve 1000G | Depending on skill around 40 hours
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