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Battlefield 2042 is launching soon. But publisher Electronic Arts and developer DICE still have a few things left to tell fans about the game before its October 22 release. For one, a beta test is coming September 22, according to sources familiar with the game. And another key selling point is its marquee new game mode, Hazard Zone.
DICE has previously mentioned Hazard Zone, which it describes as a “high-stakes, squad-based game.” But the company plans to hold off on more details until after the beta. This has led some fans to speculate that the mode could mimic other popular online shooters like Warzone or possibly Escape From Tarkov.
And that thinking is accurate, according to my sources — although Hazard Zone will first and foremost feel like Battlefield. It would stand apart from Warzone and other battle royales by focusing more on dynamic objectives that change each time you play.
I’ve reached out to DICE for comment, and I’ll update this story if it provides a statement.
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In Hazard Zone, squads of players will enter a map with the hopes of outlasting other teams. But unlike some battle royale shooters, Hazard Zone is more objective-based. Player squads must extract intel from the world while evading and surviving competing squads and AI controlled guards.
But like other recent popular game styles, Hazard Zone uses permadeath to ramp up the drama.
So, where does the Battlefield-ness come in? Well, Hazard Zone plans to make every run feel distinct through dynamic world events. This could mean calamitous weather or other dire conditions. Players will also need to deal with procedural objectives that should keep teams on their toes in the middle of battle.
Hazard Zone is Battlefield 2042’s signature mode
If we go beyond the what and dive into the why, it’s clear that EA and DICE are hoping that Hazard Zone will keep players hooked and coming back to Battlefield 2042 for months if not years. The battle royale genre has proven fertile for developers looking to create long-running live-service shooters. But at the same time, developers are searching for twists that might provide an edge over others in a competitive field.
Hazard Zone could be that edge for DICE and EA. If it successfully combines Battlefield’s renown combat with an intense squad-survival mode, then 2042 could easily stand out from the crowd.
This would then give DICE a foundation on which to increase its live-service support for Battlefield 2042. This would mean updates that could get players excited to check back in but also, potentially, microtransactions to increase the game’s revenue.
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