We’ve had several leaks over the last few weeks but now EA and DICE have finally revealed the upcoming Battlefield 2042 with a suitably bonkers trailer and an October 22 2021 release date. Confirming the near-future setting – 100-years on from their first title Battlefield 1942 – we see specialised infantry units and high-tech war machines like all-terrain APCs, combat aircraft, and what looks like a militarised version of the Boston Dynamics dog robot (and I’d be interested to hear their opinion if they weren’t consulted).
As with all trailers for futuristic multiplayer-focused shooters, it’s utterly unrepresentative of actual modern or near-future warfare, with well-equipped soldiers duking it out in close-range, high-casualty gunfights better suited to WW1, while supersonic aircraft engage at ridiculously low altitudes, not unlike WW2 dogfights. That said, the massive 128-player battles – with vehicles, destructible terrain, and extreme weather – will no doubt please fans given the series’ strong focus on class-based skills and mixed-range engagements.
For fans of the series, the classic 64 vs. 64 Conquest and Breakthrough modes return, while a more intense “Hazard Mode” has been teased. There’s also one “redacted” mode teased, which is apparently not a battle royale, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Otherwise, it looks like Battlefield 2042 will take the “Battle Pass” approach to monetising the game after launch to avoid splitting the player base.
Despite lacking a single-player campaign – which I’ve always enjoyed despite them not being the highlight for most players – there’s a surprising amount of lore for the state of the world in which the game takes place. It’s a future devastated by climate change, a technological collapse, and a displaced population of Non-Patriated (No-Pats) ending up as proxies for a new war between the US and Russia.
Battlefield 2042 also remains a cross-generation project and will launch on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation4, and PlayStation5 consoles, along with PC (Steam, Origin, and Epic Games store).