Battlefield 2042 has been announced by EA and DICE. Coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One and PC, it will be out on 22nd October 2021. An Open Beta will be held before release, with early access for those pre-ordering the game.
Here’s the reveal trailer, with a gameplay trailer set to drop on Sunday 13th June at the Xbox & Bethesda E3 2021 press conference on 13th June.
128 players (but not for last-gen)
One of the biggest new features is support for 128-player battles on current gen systems – PS4 and Xbox One are limited to 64 players still – and huge new maps that have to accommodate a new, broader scale of war. So far the two modes that have been revealed are Conquest and Breakthrough, both of which will support 128 players.
These two modes feature in All-Out Warfare, one of three game “experiences”. The other two are Hazard Zone, a new high-stakes game type that is not a battle royale, and a third experience developed by DICE LA that will be revealed at EA Play Live in July.
The near-future setting
As if the title didn’t already give it away, Battlefield 2042 is jumping back to a modern, near-future setting, though with 20 years from now until then, the world is in a very different place. Ravaged by climate change, there’s huge numbers of refugees from failed states roaming the world, and it’s these homeless soldiers, these “no-pats” that the USA and Russia use to fight proxy wars on their behalf as they tussle over what’s left.
There’s no single player story, but there are AI bots
There is no single player story mode in Battlefield 2042, which truthfully has never been DICE’s strongest suit. Instead, DICE has cooked up AI bots for multiplayer and multiplayer-adjacent modes. You will be able to play All-Out Warfare with bots, whether going in solo or gathering a group together for co-op. Not only that, but bots will be included in the regular multiplayer, making up the numbers if player counts on a particular server dip. This should help make low player count servers more attractive on the server browser.
Battle Pass and a Live Service
There’s no story mode, but DICE still plan to tell a story through the multiplayer, the maps and a battle pass live service. Four seasons have been confirmed for the first year, each bringing one new specialist, battle pass, and premium cosmetics. All maps will be free to all players, and the free reward track will include all gameplay elements – weapons, attachments, and similar.
Seven huge maps
Seven maps from All-Out Warfare have been revealed:
- Kaleidoscope – South Korea – A quantum-powered disinformation hub after an attack, with greenery lined by skyscrapers.
- Manifest – Singapore – Fighting takes place around a shipping region
- Orbital – French Guiana – A rocket launch site with a rocket launch that can occur (and can go badly)
- Discarded – India – Two sides fight over a rogue nuclear asset.
- Renewal – Egypt – Set on the edge of an agricultural technology centre
- Hourglass – Doha, Qatar – A neon city and nearby football stadium with a sandstorm that can roll in
- Breakaway – Antartica – Fight over oil and gas with massive exploding silos across the biggest map in Battlefield 2042
Each can be beset by huge Levolution events and large-scale weather events. The ones shown soo far by DICE have been pulling the side of a massive beached cargo ship, the rocket launch on Orbital, the sandstorm that can blow into Hourglass, and a tornado that can spin up in South Korea. We expect more to be revealed soon.
Specialists are the new Classes (kind of)
Character classes still exist, but they’re categories for Specialists, characters that come with a specific ability and passive. Alongside that you can use any weaponry you want, without class restrictions, so your Assault character can run around with a sniper rifle. A new ‘plus system’ will let you customise the scope, barrel, ammo type and under-barrel attachment on the fly.
There will be 10 Specialists at launch, with four revealed today:
- Webster Mackay – Assault – Grappling Hook gadget, Nimble trait for faster ADS
- Maria Falck – Support – S21 Syrette Pistol gadget for remote revives, Combat Surgeon trait to revive to full health
- Pyotr “Boris” Guskovsky – Engineer – SG-36 Sentry System gadget for support fire and spotting, Sentry Operator trait to enhance sentry when nearby
- Wikus “Casper” van Daele – Recon – OV-P Recon Drone gadget, Movement Sensor trait to alert when enemies approach rapidly
Not revealed yet is the Specialist that features the wing suit seen during the trailers.
How much will it cost?
Battlefield 2042 will come in multiple versions:
The Standard Edition costs £59.99 / $59.99 on PS4, Xbox One and PC, but £69.99 / $69.99 on Xbox Series X|S and PS5.
You then also have the Gold Edition for £89.99 / $89.99 on PC and £99.99 / $99.99 on console (as a cross-gen bundle), and the Ultimate Edition for £109.99 / $109.99 on PC or £119.99 / $119.99 on console (as a cross-gen bundle).
So when can I play?
A technical test will be held in Early July, not long before the 22nd July EA Play Live of DICE LA’s game experience. Battlefield veterans from the US and EU will be invited for this strictly NDA’d, grey-boxed technical test.
An open beta will be held later in the late summer/early autumn.
Finally the game will release on 22nd October, but there will be early access starting on 15th October for the Gold Edition and Ultimate Edition.