It’s been almost 3 years since EA launched Battlefield V – and since then they’ve launched numerous expansions and updates for the game to keep their player base happy. Unlike their competition that aims for annual releases, EA aims for quality over quantity. Unfortunately with Battlefield 2042, this iteration feels entirely rushed when it comes to the stability of their servers, hit-scan of their weapons and the structure of their Specialist. For the most part the game is gigantic in scope, beautiful to look at, but ultimately falls to an entirely shallow experience with nothing to really show for it.
The Scope of the Field
Battlefield is packaged with about 8 maps – played in Conquest mode of 128 players, or their new mode called Hazard Zone where you will be collecting satellite data and extracting it out of the zone (aka Dark Zone in Division). The maps are absolutely massive in scope, it almost feels like a Battle Roya. Each are thematic with the world falling into an environmental frenzy of super storms decimating everything. Within each map, players would have to look out for a mega-tornados that has the potential of wiping several squads and vehicles.
Maps like Hourglass will have you skirmishing within a ruined Dubai-like city that’s buried under sand, or ones like Orbital where you will be running through open forest areas that would eventually get you to a rocket silo station riddled with buildings to maneuver in. Each map is intricately designed and feels very nice to move in. There’s a ton of vantage points where snipers could absolutely trap you in, or 3 tanks can swarm in and wipe you constantly until you decide to spawn somewhere else. The balance in this game tips towards vehicles heavily but that’s another talking point.
Despite the maps looking absolutely astonishing visually, there’s something about the overall presentation that feels dated. Like, the lighting system isn’t as good as you’d hope or the shaders feels bland for the most part; it’s very alpha-phase, but then when you’re rushing to the next control point and see the amount of moving physics around you, it feels realized. I can’t help but feel this game needed more time to finalize the engine.
The Balance is Tipped
Each weapon in the game is designed after real world ones like the Glock or Scar. Obviously, we’re 20 years into the future where altered iterations are made for this game. Their usage is a hit or miss which really messes with the flow of the game. The starting AR called M5A3 has the base damage of 52, but for some reason I am entirely 3 tapped when used against me with little to no attachments, while I have to absolutely lay lead on foes to get anything to register. Snipers are consistent but naturally, everyone never misses which can really frustrate the average player. The DMR weapons are extremely dangerous given their ability to reach 1000+ meters with ease, and also absolutely smashing close range opponents. SMGs are naturally the strongest most broken elements in any FPS games, I’m convinced that developers has just given up on solving that weapon’s archetype. LMGs are stable, but surprisingly the least OP type weapons in the game – which can be good when facing a legion of enemies.
Additionally, vehicles seem to have too large of a health pool – when facing a tank as a squad, ideally you would have one player restock ammo while the other uses a rocket to damage the tank. More times than not, you will be facing a tank alone – it takes 4 Recoilless M5 rocket shots to destroy a tank, but there’s a catch; the tank REGENERATES HEALTH! Why is this even a thing? Every M5 shot prompts a reload animation that takes forever to finish, and by the time you use up all 3 of your shots, the tank has enough health to either flee, or finish you off rendering your efforts utterly useless. BF2042 encourages diversifying your squad, but with elements like this and limited ammo, it becomes too much of a hassle and you’re opting to flee the skirmish rather than engaging.
The biggest problem BF2042 is facing is their ping fluctuations and server functionality. During my entire weekend playthrough, I couldn’t connect to matches for hours, and when I did, I was rubber-banding with my squad mates like a tug-of-war with the network. Hit-scan with weapons rarely stabilizes, and when it does work – it’ll immediately not work again. And for some reason, bullet spread is a huge issue with this game; one moment you’re controlling recoil, and seconds later it’ll spread like wild fire, costing you a life. This is especially present in the Portal game mode where you can play popular maps of older games like Bad Company or 1942. If you feel like your weapons aren’t hitting, it’s not you, it’s EA.
Sound design overall feels like an absolute downgrade from Battlefield V – weapons don’t have that impactful pop given with every shot, footsteps feels softer which can be a balancing design choice, really – and when shooting from within a hallway, you don’t hear the sound bouncing in that echoe-y beaut’ that you’d expect from Battlefield. Sometimes the sound entirely cuts off which throws me off when surrounded by enemies – it’s already too difficult to determine where anyone is given the state of gaming as a whole – everyone is trying to sweat their life away these days.
And the Specialist….my goodness I absolutely do not like that it’s a thing in Battlefield. What separated BF from COD was the lack of operators and the emphasis in just squad allocation. Now you have a medic class with wallhacks, or an engineer that can grapplehook to a 30 story building or a Dozer that can constantly heal themselves with med gadgets. It really doesn’t bode well when EA feels the need to compete with COD in such a fashion as operators, or even a Battlepass that includes new ones. In the long run, Battlefields identity will be lost and become just another FPS game.
The Package-less Deal
Battlefield 2042 has 4 major modes: Conquest, Breakthrough, Hazard Zone and Portal. Portal is touted as the long-term mode for the community where you can sandbox your way to creative modes of your liking and see how the players would react to it. I actually love this and I’m excited to see what players come up with in the future.
But this is not the answer.
The lack of a campaign really diminishes the quality of the package alongside no traditional TDM, King of the Hill or small scale Control modes. Really feels like a ripoff to players, for EA to expect us all to be OK with just a Battlepass and 4 modes. Something has to be done about this and I am hoping that sooner rather than later, the community really vocalizes this to bring back Battlefield to their glory days.
My ultimate impression is, Battlefield 2042 feels entirely incomplete with its weapon balancing, Specialist class adding to the imbalance of the game, Vehicles being too over powered and the overall health of their servers. If only they delayed it 6 more months, this game would have been in a much better place. Instead, players will scurry through the unpolished project until it is in a stable state.
REVIEW SCORE: 6/10
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