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Electronic Arts and its DICE studio today revealed details of Battlefield 2042, a modern online multiplayer shooter game coming October 22 for the PC, PlayStation, and Xbox (both the newer and older consoles).
The game will feature as many as 128 players on the battlefield at once — the largest number ever for the series — for the PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S, and it will have real-time events that can reshape the battlefield and tactical combat. Up to 64 players can play on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in multiplayer.
It will have new weapons, vehicles, and gadgets that give players the freedom to be strategic and create “only-in-Battlefield moments,” EA said. EA has confirmed the game will not have a single-player mode, but we know the multiplayer will have “narrative” elements.
The reveal today is the biggest drop of information so far on the game, which will go up against a new Call of Duty game this fall. Battlefield’s typical advantage will be in its destructible environments, which will reach new levels with weather effects like tornadoes that can destroy the battlefield. That’s one thing DICE’s Frostbite engine gives Battlefield that Call of Duty can only do in a limited way, usually.
More gameplay will be revealed on June 13, presumably at Microsoft’s online event for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on Sunday.
EA’s trailer features a tornado hitting the battlefield and pulling players up into the air and causing massive destruction. In one scene, a soldier hangs onto the side of a vehicle while trying to avoid being swept up by the wind. The trailer also features pretty amazing visuals with detailed lighting and shadows. It shows helicopters dueling in the skies among skyscrapers in a neon city at night. It has spectacular lighting, and one scene where jeep flies off the top of a building and hits a helicopter in midflight. Soldiers have wingsuits and can fire shoulder rockets at planes while in the sky. Specialists have customizable face masks.
The trailer features a dog-like robot leaping and firing a mounted gun, as well as plenty of tank and air combat. Vehicles slide along on the ice in Antarctica. A rocketship takes off from a launchpad, and players can yank down the side of a tanker, crushing anyone caught beneath it. There’s an aerial dogfight in the clouds that ends as a player ejects and fires a bazooka at a pursuing jet.
Set in 2042, the world is on the brink. Shortages of food, energy, and clean water have led to dozens of failed nations, creating the greatest refugee crisis in human history. Among these Non-Patriated, or No-Pats, are families, farmers, engineers — and even soldiers.
Amid this crisis, the United States and Russia draw the world into an all-out war. No-Pat Specialists join both sides, not fighting for a flag, but for the future of the Non-Patriated in this new world.
Players will jump into the boots of Specialists, a new type of playable soldier for the franchise. Inspired by the traditional four Battlefield classes (and not unlike those in Call of Duty), these characters will be equipped with their own unique Specialist Trait and Specialty and will have fully customizable loadouts. Specialists have access to a cutting-edge arsenal of weapons, equipment, and vehicles to use in battle.
These tools will give creative players a wealth of options as they find the perfect combination to fit their playstyle and outsmart and outgun opponents on the battlefield.
Oskar Gabrielson, general manager of DICE, said in a statement that Battlefield 2042 is an evolution of the franchise that players want with a “multiplayer sandbox” and unexpected events.
A big effort
EA has developers at four studios working on the game: DICE in Stockholm, DICE LA, Criterion, and EA Gothenburg.
The experience will include “All-Out Warfare,” with multiplayer modes Conquest and Breakthrough, which feature the largest maps ever for the franchise and for the first time, up to 128 players. The maps will have dynamic weather, dangerous environmental hazards, and world events that see tornadoes rip across the map and sandstorms block out the sun.
The game will also have Hazard Zone, a squad-based game-type for the Battlefield franchise that is a modern take on the multiplayer experience but very different from All-Out Warfare’s Conquest or Breakthrough modes.
And there’s a third experience that is to be announced, and it’s being developed by DICE LA. That shows that the game is coming in hot, and EA isn’t ready to unveil everything yet.
EA will reveal more details at its EA Play Live on July 22. The game will cost $60, and it will debut on retail and digital storefronts on October 22 for $60 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and $70 on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. Players who preorder will receive early access to the open beta and have three different editions to choose from, including the Battlefield 2042 Gold Edition for $90 on PC and $100 on console, or the Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition for $110 on PC or $120 on the console.
The 128 players and massive-scale maps only available on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PlayStation 5. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are capped at 64 players and will have reduced map sizes.
In terms of gameplay opportunities and landmass, EA said this is the biggest and most sandbox-enabling Battlefield ever built. That’s saying a lot since some of Battlefield V’s maps were huge.
The game will debut with seven maps for All-Out Warfare:
- Kaleidoscope is set in Sogdo, South Korea. Forces here will clash to control a quantum-powered disinformation hub
after an attack threatens the global network.
- Manifest is set in Brani Island, Singapore. Players will see a strategic flashpoint emerge as global trade chokes this location, which is vital for the American supply lines.
- Orbital is in Kourou, French Guiana. The battle here is over a rocket launch site, as a controversial space mission becomes a race against time.
- Discarded is set in Alang, India. Here you see shipbreakers facing tidal extremes as factions fight to secure rogue nuclear assets.
- Renewal, which is set in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, will have players fighting for a groundbreaking agriculture technology center.
- Hourglass is set in Doha, Qatar. Shifting sands and a lost shipping convoy tear a city center apart.
- Breakaway is set in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. The struggle over oil and gas pushes soldiers to the brink as industry clashes with nature and ice gives way.
Weapons and vehicles
With the setting of 2042, it has allowed for the return of cutting-edge technology. This new, modern hardware enhances Battlefield’s sandboxy play. The image above shows a Specialist with a standard assault rifle and a drone for a gadget.
The new Plus System allows players to customize their weapons in real-time, to adjust and react to situations on the fly. Change out your weapon’s scope, barrel, ammo type or under-barrel attachment for the situation you find yourself in.
Battlefield 2042 also provides a range of vehicles, with a call-in tablet that allows players to request land vehicles to be delivered to any location on a map.
Vehicles will have more team collaboration, with every seat having a role, like anti-air, spotting, and gunner. The more players you have in a vehicle, the better you all will perform.
Post-launch, Battlefield 2042 will have a Battle Pass for each Season that will include both free and premium tiers. EA said it will keep the community playing together in new and exciting ways. It said each season will push the narrative of the world forward while also having a steady stream of new content coming into the game, so players will always have something new to chase.
In the first year, there will be four Seasons, with four Battle Passes, and four new Specialists and locations, along with more fresh new content.
More to come
EA Play will take place July 22 for the first look at Battlefield 2042’s second multiplayer experience.
Hazard Zone will have a prelaunch of squad-based combat. And EA said it isn’t a battle royale mode. And those who preorder Battlefield 2042 will receive early access to the Open Beta.
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