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Words: Callum Williams
For those wondering when they'll finally be able to spectacularly ramp ATVs into helicopters, Battlefield 2042 is set to launch later this year. EA's latest take on the popular multiplayer shooter series is aiming to make its way to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X'S on October 22nd, 2021.
Those interested in pre-ordering will be able to get their hands on three different editions: Standard, Gold, and Ultimate. Luckily, those who don't want to opt for the more expensive copies will get some extra goodies for purchasing the Standard version, including early access to the upcoming open-beta (which is set to debut in the months leading up to launch). Battlefield 2042's website confirms they'll also get the Baku ACB-90 Epic Melee Takedown Knife, the 'Landfall' Player Card background, the 'Old Guard' tag, and the 'Mr Chompy' Epic Weapon Charm.
As for Gold players, they'll get everything mentioned above alongside a few bonuses, including early access to the game, a new-gen upgrade for no additional cost, and a Year 1 pass. The latter comes with four new specialists, four battle passes, and three epic skin bundles, all slated to release post-launch.
Finally, the Ultimate Edition will include the Standard and Gold edition's bonus content as well as the 'Midnight Ultimate Bundle', a digital artbook, and an exclusive digital soundtrack.
Although fans only officially feasted their eyes on Battlefield 2042 for the first time in June 2021, the game has already amassed a fair amount of footage online, netting three action-packed trailers. First, fans got a standard cinematic reveal, setting up 2042's futuristic world and the signature Battlefield stunts they could pull off within it.
A few days later, a gameplay trailer dropped, showing a squad of soldiers battling their way through one of the game's devastating new dynamic storms. And finally, July 2021's EA Play brought yet another look at the game, introducing its nostalgia-heavy Battlefield Portal mode.
There's sure to be more ahead of the game's official release, but for now, here's every trailer for Battlefield 2042:
Battlefield Portal Trailer:
With games set everywhere from the First World War to the crime-ridden streets of Miami, Battlefield really has done everything, so where will Battlefield 2042 be set? This time around, players will be engaging in combat in the near future, battling it out in - you guessed it - the year 2042. From the early trailers, it doesn't look as though the time jump has changed too much in terms of gameplay, although one big addition will be dangerous new weather events.
In Battlefield 2042's futuristic setting, climate change has resulted in dramatic tornadoes, sandstorms, and various other dynamic weather effects. These will become a significant part of gameplay, as players either desperately avoid being swept into tornadoes or actively ride them using wingsuits - because it's Battlefield, so of course they do. According to a prominent Battlefield leaker, early feedback from testers has criticised the weather effects for being repetitive, so players should brace themselves to escape a lot of twisters.
As for the story, it will be set in a bleak future where the world has fallen apart due to rising sea levels, a dying economy and tensions between world powers. Following a decade of chaos, Battlefield 2042 centres on a conflict between America and Russia, with the two nations battling it out through groups of hired mercenaries known as Task Forces.
Battlefield 2042 will not be exclusive to either PlayStation or Xbox - following in the footsteps of previous iterations of the series, it is coming to most platforms. Although it won't be available for players on Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia, it will be on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S at launch.
Battlefield 2042 won't have a campaign, although players are sure to learn more about the story as they battle through multiplayer matches. When talking about the decision earlier this year, Battlefield 2042 designer director Daniel Berlin told Eurogamer that developers DICE were forgoing a single-player story so that could it "lean into what it does best". It seems multiplayer will be the main focus of 2042, with the team committing everything it has to ensure it's the best Battlefield experience to date.
That being said, single-player Battlefield fans will be able to enjoy Battlefield 2042 without the presence of others players, with the game offering AI matches filled with bots. It's not exactly a campaign, but it will mean fans can learn more about 2042's maps without being squashed by more experienced opponents. You will still need to be online, however, to play offline...as odd as that sounds.
As expected for a Battlefield game, there's an array of modes set to feature in Battlefield 2042, from returning classics to ambitious new game types. It's worth noting that several things have changed this time around, with up to a whopping 128 players able to hop into the game's biggest maps. DICE has revealed that empty slots in games will be filled by bots, noting that they're "really hard" to tell apart from players, although fans are already dubious.
Another huge change will see standard classes being replaced by 'specialists'. The tweak will allow players to access certain traits and specialities, although they'll still be able to fully customise their loadout.
In terms of modes, Conquest is back, offering warring players large sandboxes to battle across as they attempt to achieve various objectives. Breakthrough also returns, seeing teams of attackers and defenders clash while capturing control points.
Battlefield Portal is one of the biggest new additions, giving players the opportunity to venture back to some of the series' most iconic maps, including Battlefield 3's Caspian Border, Bad Company 2's Valparaiso, and Battlefield 1942's Battle of the Bulge.
Players can also create their own match types in the mode, whether that's pitting armies of defibrillator- and knife-wielding soldiers against each other or answering the age-old question: who would win, one horse-sized tank or a battalion of duck-sized EOD bots.
Finally, there's Hazard Zone, which is still something of a mystery. EA teases that it's "a tense experience that combines edge-of-your-seat gameplay with the best of the Battlefield sandbox," but there's not much to go off just yet. We'll be sure to keep you posted when details emerge.
As with all the previous Battlefield games bar 2015's Battlefield: Hardline, DICE is taking up the reigns on Battlefield 2042. This time around, it will be collaborating with Ripple Effect, a team of former DICE developers who rebranded into their own studio. The team will be working on Battlefield Portal, with their general manager taking to the stage to talk about the mode during EA Play. As always, the game will be published by EA, the owner of both DICE and Ripple Effect.
DICE's Frostbite Engine will be behind Battlefield 2042, as it has been many of EA's projects in recent years. The game will be running on the latest version of the engine and definitely seems to be making the most of it, with early footage hinting it's using the tech to create the prettiest visuals the franchise has offered to date.
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