A long time ago, however, I accused games of overemphasizing the size of their world over quality, and it’s this old wound that has resurfaced. This time, studio EA DICE decided to show off the miles of distance by releasing Battlefield 2042 – one of the biggest and most empty video games in my memory.
And it looks like the series is moving in the right direction. Battlefield has always wanted to be the most epic, chaotic and spectacular game. And when we learned that 128 people would be participating in multiplayer battles, and the map would be many times larger, we shook our heads in agreement. That’s right – in the new generation, shooters have to impress. Disruption, new ways to move, dynamism everything is moving in the right direction. But in the process, the series lost too much of what we loved.
To my great regret, story campaigns are a thing of the past. And although Battlefield rarely delights in anything interesting, without them, such a release still seems inferior to me – it’s better to take the example of Halo Infinite. In the case of Battlefield 2042, players will have to pay full price just for multiplayer, which is known to often take months of updates to turn into anything worthwhile. In this case, the novelty looks pale not only against the backdrop of Halo, but also in comparison to Call of Duty: Vanguard, where there are not only more than 20 cards at the start, but also the full story.
However, it’s pointless to talk about the single-player mode – its absence doesn’t surprise anyone. We have more to discuss and condemn.
Also read: Call of Duty: Vanguard Review – Hollywood History Lesson
Let’s start with the good. More than a year has passed since the release of the new generation of consoles, and players have been waiting for a significant technological step from the new one. It happens: as good as Call of Duty is, it never feels big — certainly not against the backdrop of its eternal rival. Vanguard’s cramped location is nothing compared to the vast battlefield of Battlefield 2042. At best, it was truly impressive, at worst, it was reminiscent of a series of other failed launches. After all, Battlefield never stood out for its first successful months. Therefore, no matter how bad things look now, the picture will almost certainly improve in the summer.
When you climb up a skyscraper and see a tornado in the distance, that’s cool. It’s so cool that I want to leave all the tasks and take a screenshot. When helicopters and fighter jets battle fiercely in the sky, and tanks shell the ground, you truly feel like a Hollywood action movie hero. But these episodes are just a small sample of what you have to go through. And many other things raise reasonable questions. For example, why make a map that big if you can’t really do anything to it at all? I’ve lost count of how many times the game has put me on edge, expecting me to dutifully spend a few minutes getting back into the fray—only to be shot dead in the first second. The map looks cool from the sky, but all the interesting stuff happens in the tenth part. Most of the time you won’t be shooting, but running aimlessly in search of opponents. It feels like a map made for a battle royale, but with a very boring topography.
Also read: Crysis Remastered Trilogy Review – The iconic shooter never gets old
At first, Battlefield 2042 is impressive, but here everything goes according to the same scenario: the map loads, you gasp at how beautiful it is, dies a few times and realizes that enthusiasm has evaporated somewhere. So does everyone else: when the battle is 40 minutes away, most players can’t stand it and completely forget about the task. Boredom is the worst word for multiplayer shooters, but without the ability to communicate with friends and a huge map, it’s unavoidable here.
A good map is essential for any shooter, so it’s a shame that most players seem to have chosen Portal as their base. No, this is not a new mode with physical puzzles, but a special section where you can dive into the best moments from previous games, from Battlefield Bad Company 2 to Battlefield 3. Here, players get the chance to create their own battles according to their rules. and in their favorite maps from previous installments. And, I have to admit, the new location doesn’t live up to this comparison. Portal is a great (arguably the best) innovation, but even that was practically broken in the early days as an army of players used it for farming experiences. Progress in the game is very slow, and this is what everyone is rushing to fix on their own. DICE is struggling with the issue, but the fact that most players seem to have taken refuge in Portal is a great illustration that something is wrong with the new product.
So far, there is a feeling that the players are not very willing to play by the rules. As soon as it became clear that defeat was imminent, everyone forgot the mission and activated the headless chicken mode. This is with the fact that the game doesn’t have voice chat — yes, seriously. DICE promised to return it “soon”, which only highlights how it’s become the norm for some companies to release a completely unfinished product, hoping that fans will hold on until the desired fix arrives. This is a violent and unhealthy relationship.
Technically, everything seems fine: I haven’t noticed any dropouts or connection issues, although many of my colleagues have reported them, but I’m playing on the PS5. And let the graphics here be fun, you can’t call it outright heartbreaking. The map is huge, but empty and flat with a kind of “plasticity” inherent in everything. The weather effects are great, but don’t make the gameplay any better. They are clearly designed for trailers. A good analogue of Levolution was never found. Another unexpected disappointment was the sound. As a rule, DICE has always mastered the information, but in the case of Battlefield 2042, we were not happy with the normal version of the main theme, or just an interesting explosion. Like the picture, the sound is made of some kind of plastic. The optimization also raises questions – the shooter doesn’t use DualSense adaptive triggers at all, so the guns don’t feel as good as they do in CoD.
Also read: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy review — So beautiful and surprising
Battlefield 2042 could be something more. It has a lot of potential and a lot of interesting developments, but at the moment it’s still a raw game that promises more than it delivers. An uninteresting blank map, lack of voice chat and technical issues overshadow its beginnings, but if history teaches us anything, it’s because in the first months everything couldn’t have been otherwise. Only time will tell what will happen next.