DICE has released a gameplay reveal for Battlefield 2042 Season 1: Zero Hour. This first major season of content for the beleaguered multiplayer shooter is coming out this week on Thursday 9th June.
Zero Hour throws a bunch of new content into Battlefield 2042, roughly in line with what you can expect from a live game season in other games. There’s a new specialist character, new stealth helicopters, a new map and a new premium battle pass.
The new specialist is the Polish character Ewelina Lis, AKA the Guardian of Gdansk. She comes with a guided rocket launcher as her specialty equipment. That might come in handy against the twinned new vehicles, the RAH-68 Huron and YG-99 Hannibal stealth helicopters, featuring one pilot and one gunner seat each. There’s also the Ghostmaker R10 Crossbow and the BSV-M Marksman Rifle to grab as new weapons.
You’ll get to take them all into battle in the new map Exposure, which features the battle for Black Ridge after a landslide exposed a US-Canadian research facility. This will appear in the Exposure Conquest 24/7 playlist which repeats the map on loop, and the Exposure Mayhem playlist, which ramps this up with faster projectile and movement speed, quicker vehicle spawns and faster deployment.
There’s also a premium battle pass of unlocks, purchasable in a standard form and one which skips the first 20 tiers of unlocks from the 100 tiers available. Either way, there’s four exclusive rewards for buying it.
A lot of the details were already known prior to the gameplay premiere, thanks to dataminer temporyal digging into the game files.
Battlefield 2042 has had a turbulent first half year on the market. The buggy launch struggling with critics and fans alike, who demanded rapid improvements and changes that have so far taken DICE quite a long time to implement. The game launched with a minimalist scoreboard and lacking VOIP, both of which are features DICE have had to go back and reimplement, while efforts to improve the game’s core saw DICE postpone the launch of Season 1 from spring to summer. The cuts have kept on coming, with DICE realising that the 128-player Breakthrough mode wasn’t working and scaling it back to 64-players on new generation machines, and then deciding to halt further development on the Hazard Zone experience – one of the key tentpoles of the game’s pre-release marketing.
Season 1, DICE will hope, will be the start of a meaningful redemption arc for the game, though there’s already reports that the next Battlefield game is entering into pre-production. Will this and further seasons be enough to make the needle move?