After months of teasing through investor calls and some weird ARG-like marketing over the last few days, EA finally lifted the lid on their sort-of-but-not-quite next-generation Battlefield 2042. And while it’s not far enough in the future that we’re getting Titans back, wingsuits and tornados will make an appearance.
While the official trailer wasn’t ready to be unveiled until 1:00am AEST Australian time, plenty of good details leaked beforehand. Screenshots and details of the next-gen Battlefield, which is officially called Battlefield 2042, went live on EA’s Origin platform hours before the official reveal.
Here’s a shot of the game’s key art, confirming the title:
More screenshots show inclusions like a wingsuit, some desert environments and what looks like a more urban area with soldiers jumping off a skyscraper.
According to what leaked online prior to the event, Battlefield 2042 would be set to launch with 7 maps supporting a maximum of 128 players, although details remained on how last-gen consoles would fare and what the cross-gen support entailed. Two of those maps would be set in Egypt and Seoul.
Other details included a robotic dog that could be brought into battle and a grappling hook, although it wasn’t clear how players could unlock or use these abilities in-game. A detail on the Origin page noted that pre-orders would gain access to “4 New Specialists”, with specialists having a single trait and speciality, although the rest of that character’s loadout would be fully customisable (not unlike modern Call of Duty titles).
Interestingly, the official Battlefield reveal livestream ended up not actually being a livestream — but a countdown clock. “Stick around at the end of the livestream and you’ll be automatically redirected to the trailer premiere,” the video description said, giving no indication beforehand that hundreds of thousands of fans would be tuning in to watch a timer.
EA just trolled about 343,000 people. pic.twitter.com/39mbFRi3Dp
— Alex Walker (@dippizuka) June 9, 2021
When the trailer officially launched, fans finally saw a combination of themes, environments and styles a little reminiscent of Battlefield 3. DICE confirmed last gen consoles would only support 64 maximum players, with 128 players reserved for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X / S.
The game would have three multiplayer modes, including an all new mode built specifically by DICE LA that would be unveiled next month.
Launching on October 22, Battlefield 2042 would not ship with a single player campaign:
All-Out Warfare – the next generation of fan-favorite modes Conquest and Breakthrough, featuring the largest maps ever for the franchise and for the first time, up to 128 players*. Experience the intensity of All-Out Warfare in large-scale battles like never before on maps filled with dynamic weather, dangerous environmental hazards, and spectacular world events that see tornadoes rip across the map and sandstorms block out the sun.
Hazard Zone – an all-new, high-stakes, squad-based game-type for the Battlefield franchise that is a modern take on the multiplayer experience that is distinctly DICE but very different from All-Out Warfare’s Conquest or Breakthrough modes.
TO BE ANNOUNCED – the third experience, being developed by DICE LA, is another exciting new game-type for the franchise. This experience is a love letter to Battlefield fans and one that long-time players will feel right at home with. Tune-in to EA Play Live on July 22 for all the details.
EA also unveiled other details with pre-approved outlets, including the fact that a narrative will be weaved into the game’s multiplayer of some description. “Narrative elements will be fed through the battle pass seasons. They’ll be unique to those specific time periods where players are present,” Nickole Li, senior game designer at EA DICE, said in an interview.
“You still have a narrative driven world, that’s something that you will see through the eyes of the specialists that we’re introducing. As we go through the live service, and the seasons, we’ll introduce new specialists, and you’ll see how the world evolves through the eyes of the specialists that we have,” Daniel Berlin, design director on Battlefield 2042, told Eurogamer.
You’ll also be able to spawn vehicles directly on the map — no running back to a vehicle spawn point — although as has always been the case, there will be a cap on how many vehicles can be on the map at any given time.
Battlefield 2042 won’t be bringing back Firestorm, EA’s attempt at incorporating battle royale into the franchise. And interestingly, the first “Technical Test” with the game will be shown off to players in an incredibly unusual way, according to an interview with Ausgamers.
“It’s going to be running on a grayscale version of a map, meaning it won’t have textures or anything like that,” Berlin said. “It’s not a space to present something super-refined and balanced. It’s more like this is a space where we go in so we can get the data that we need in order to make sure that at launch the experience is very, very solid.” Players will also be able to play against bots (with a party or alone), and, crucially, your choice of specialist or loadout won’t affect your ability to use vehicles.
Ranged healing will also be a thing, according to Berlin in another story. “So you can play a support role that is a specialist with ranged revives, ranged healing – so a really strong medic type of specialist,” he explained. “But you can still say I’m in a space right now where there’s a lot of vehicles. So I’m going to bring some C4 with this specialist, and I’m going to bring a rocket launcher.”