Battlefield 2042 Preview – Vehicle Drops, Specialists, Levolutions, Player Count, Maps, And More
After the middling reception of Battlefield 5, Dice is back in a big way with the next evolution of the sandbox FPS series, Battlefield 2042. The game is set in a near-future world where climate change has devastated our Earth, the economy has collapsed, and our planet is facing the biggest refugee crisis ever recorded. You know what that means: war time.
You play as a No-Pat, a soldier from nowhere who joins the war between the US and Russia, but has no allegiance to either. They’re fighting only for the future of the non-patriated. Yep, there’s a story and everything, but that doesn’t mean there’s a story mode…
We spent hours watching a presentation where the developer showed off gameplay, trailers, and fielded questions from media and YouTubers. Here’s everything we found out about Battlefield 2042.
Battlefield 2042 Release Date
Battlefield 2042 will release on October 22 for PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
Will Battlefield 2042 Have Single-Player?
Yes and no. While Battlefield 2042 won’t have a traditional single-player campaign, you’ll be able to play its multiplayer mode against AI. It’s a good way to get in some practice for the main event, and you can even bring friends along, mixing and matching the mode to support as many human and AI players as you like, so long as it’s within the allowed maximum. Outside of that, Battlefield 2042 will have an evolving “live story,” much like how Fortnite and its ilk tell stories through game updates.
Battlefield 2042 Player Count
On PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, Battlefield 2042 supports 128-player matches across huge maps. Dice says this level of scale was only possible due to modern technology. If you’re playing on last-gen – PS4 or Xbox One – matches will only support 64 players. Maps will also be slightly smaller on PS4 and Xbox One to accommodate the lower numbers.
Because of the new, higher player count, Dice has overhauled how it designs maps. There’s still a variety of map sizes – though they’ve all increased in scope across the board in comparison to previous games – but maps are now peppered with areas called “Sectors.” Think of these as named locations in a battle royale game: landmarks where you’re almost guaranteed to find some action. These Sectors can contain multiple objectives and are used to cluster players together. These can be villages, sports stadiums, oil platforms, and any other distinct location. Your team has to take control of all objectives within each Sector to capture it.
Battlefield 2042 Maps
During the pre-E3 presentation, we were shown a range of massive maps that are launching with Battlefield 2042. The maps are specifically for the All Out Warfare modes – Conquest and Breakthrough – and there are likely more built for the other two modes. There are also more maps planned for post-launch. Here are the Battlefield 2042 maps we know about so far:
- Kaleidoscope is set in South Korea. Forces here are battling it out to seize control of a quantum-powered disinformation hub at the heart of a bustling, modern metropolis. The hub itself is a large building with multiple floors to fight up, and the city streets below feature canals for amphibious vehicles. The edges of the map contain multiple skyscrapers and a TV station, all of which you can enter. Make your way to the roofs of the buildings for a good sniper perch, and use a network of ziplines to travel from rooftop to rooftop.
- This Battlefield 2042 map is set on Bruny Island, Singapore, where forces fight over a container yard that’s vital for the American war effort’s supply lines. Players are funneled through empty containers across this huge environment. What makes this map interesting is the fact there are dynamic cranes that pick up and move containers as you fight, sometimes with people on top or inside them. You’ll also find ships anchored by the docks that feature their own objectives and capture points.
- Set in French Guiana, Orbital takes place around a rocket launch site. Battlefield 2042 brings back Battlefield 4’s “levolutions,” which is basically PR speak for “the rocket can take off at a random point during matches.” The rocket also has a chance to fail, causing a huge explosion and killing everyone unlucky enough to be close enough to be set on fire or killed by falling debris.
- Discarded sees factions fight to secure a rogue nuclear asset in India. It’s set across a shoreline where massive ships have been stranded due to climate change lowering the water levels. Bang in the middle of the map is the Colossus, an enormous ship that’s holding a stealth submarine within its guts. While the rest of the map outside the ships is quite open, the ships themselves are all about tight indoor combat.
- Set in Egypt, Borderline is two maps in one, with a huge metal wall separating the two down the middle. On one side there’s a lush agricultural area, whilst the other side features dry desert landscape, canyons, and a huge solar array. You can probably break through the wall if you have enough explosives.
- Hourglass is a city lost in sand, set in Qatar. It features a neon metropolis, a stadium, and a broken-down convoy. It’s one of the largest maps in the game and features a dynamic sandstorm that impacts visibility as the battle rages on. There are huge arches overlooking a highway in the middle of the map, between the city and the stadium, and the more sparse parts of the map are populated with sand dunes to bounce across on speedy vehicles.
- This last map is set in Antarctica, where soldiers fight over oil and gas, just like in real life. Massive silos are spread out across it, begging to be blown up. It’s the largest map in Battlefield 2042, measuring 5.9km squared. The top left of the map features a point of interest called Outlook, where players can base jump and parachute down into the battle below. It’s perfect for wingsuits and is reminiscent of Damavand Peak’s launch position in Battlefield 3. Out on the ice to the East of the map, there’s an oil rig and miles of frozen tundra to slide and skid across in a variety of vehicles. Speaking of which…
Battlefield 2042 Vehicles
The vehicles look incredible in Battlefield 2042. There are tanks, helicopters, hovercraft, drones, robot dogs, APCs, quad bikes, boats, planes, tanks, tuk-tuks (yes), and even more. Unlike the last couple of Battlefield games, you don’t have to spawn into them at the start of a life either – land vehicles can be called in at any time, in any location. Once called in, they’re dropped into the warzone by parachute, using a propulsion system to slow them down further before they slam into the ground. Yes, you can drop them on an enemy’s head. Yes, you can call them onto rooftops and John McClane a jeep into a helicopter. Yes.
According to the developer, each seat in every vehicle has a vital role to play. Rather than just sitting and waiting to be ferried to your destination, vehicles are fitted out with more gunner seats, positions for placing mines to halt pursuers, spotter seats, and even anti-air. There’s lots more, but here’s a list of the vehicles named so far:
- AH-64GX Apache
- SU-57 Elon
- E6-JGR Recon
Battlefield 2042 Destruction, Levolutions, And Tornados
Battlefield has always been a series about blowing stuff up, and stuff is going to get blown up in Battlefield 2042. As well as destructible buildings, Battlefield 2042 features ground deformation, weather states, and other ways of keeping matches dynamic and feeling different each round. Perhaps the biggest example of this is the tornado that can spawn on maps, travelling across the battlefield on a random vector while eating things up and spitting them out. It grabs players, debris, and vehicles, and throws them out with force. Yep, you can be killed by the weather shooting jeeps at you. If you’ve got a wingsuit, you can ride the tornado up.
On top of scene-stealing map events like tornados, sandstorms, and failed rocket launches, players can raise and lower bridges, raise bollards to block vehicles, use ziplines, bolt doors and gates, and more.
Battlefield 2042 Specialists
The way classes work in Battlefield is dead and buried. Battlefield 2042 is instead introducing Specialists – distinct characters like you’d find in Apex Legends. Some are focused on medic skills, some on engineering, some on recon, and some on assault, just like before. Except now, you can use any weapon and piece of equipment with any Specialist. Want to be a recon character with an LMG? There’s nothing stopping you. What sets them apart are their abilities. Battlefield 2042 launches with ten Specialists, and here are the four we know about so far:
- Class: Assault
- Specialised Gadget: Grappling Hook
- Trait: Nimble
This Canadian Specialist allows you to gain the upper hand in battles by using the grappling hook to pull yourself into elevated positions, allowing you to quickly flank or get a good vantage point. His Nimble Trait gives him increased agility when aiming down sites or ziplining.
- Class: Support
- Specialised Gadget: S21 Syrette Pistol
- Trait: Combat Surgeon
This German Specialist comes equipped with a medic pistol that she can fire at allies to top their health up or revive them when downed. The Combat Surgeon Trait allows her to revive allies to full health.
Pyotr “Boris” Guskovsky
- Class: Engineer
- Specialised Gadget: SG-36 Sentry System
- Trait: Sentry Operator
Battlefield 2042’s Russian Specialist can deploy a turret that automatically targets and fires at enemies. His Trait allows him to boost turret effectiveness when he’s within range of it.
Wikus “Casper” Van Daele
- Class: Recon
- Specialist Gadget: OV-P Recon Drone
- Trait: Movement Sensor
This South African Specialist can take control of a drone and fly it around the battlefield. He’s also able to leave the drone hovering in place without being in direct control, where it will still spot targets for him and his teammates. His Trait allows him to see fast movement on his radar, making him the perfect sniper. If someone is moving slowly, they can still sneak up on him, however.
Battlefield 2042 Plus System
The Plus System is a new addition to Battlefield, and it allows you to quickly swap out weapon attachments in the middle of battle. If you’ve been popping heads from a rooftop with a long-range scope, you can take the building’s elevator down and switch your scope to a red dot as you travel, emerging on the other side ready for close quarters. You can even change your underslung attachments, popping grenade launchers and shotguns onto your main weapon with a few button presses.
Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone
As well as All Out Warfare, there are two other modes in Battlefield 2042. One we got a sneak peek of was Hazard Zone. While we didn’t get to see it in action, we got a few hints about what to expect. Dice is calling it an “all new, high stakes, squad-based game type” that’s very different from Conquest and Breakthrough. It’s also not a battle royale mode.
Battlefield 2042 New Mode From Dice LA
On top of Hazard Zone, there’s another mode that’s being built by Dice LA. This mode will be revealed at EA Play on July 22. It’s also not a battle royale mode. Dice is calling it a “true love letter to Battlefield fans that’s aimed specifically at long-time players.”
Battlefield 2042 Battle Pass
It’s 2021 so that means shooters have to have Battle Passes, and Battlefield 2042 is no different. It’ll come with a paid and free tier, as is the norm. Over the first year – four seasons – Dice will introduce four new Specialists, four battle passes, an unspecified number of maps, and new content.
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