It’s fair to say that for most big games today, there’s typically a mountain of questions we rarely find the answers to until launch. Battlefield 2042 is definitely one such game. Even setting aside all the technical innovations and gameplay overhauls DICE is bringing to the table this time around, any Battlefield launch would demand a level of scrutiny regardless.
We’ve gone over everything we learned from our time with the Battlefield 2042 beta in a separate story. Here, we’re going to focus on things DICE either isn’t addressing, or those we simply couldn’t ascertain from what we played of the beta.
What’s the deal with weapon attachments?
Battlefield games haven’t always offered a wealth of weapon customization options - in terms of sights, barrels, and other attachments. Battlefield 4 was the height of that, offering not only a wide range of gameplay-altering options, but different versions of each one for more visual variety.
With Battlefield 2042 taking us back to modern combat, and with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 setting a new standard there, many are rightly excited to see what type of attachment system will be in the game.
Unfortunately, the beta doesn’t offer any answers. While it does have the Plus menu, which lets you switch up your gun attachments in the field, there is no menu where you can dictate which of them you want to bring with you.
For instance, some weapons have suppressors in their Plus menus, while others do not. It’s unlikely that only those weapons will take suppressors in the final game, but the omission is certainly strange for such a major feature.
Vehicle entry/exit animations in or out?
Starting with Battlefield 1, and later Battlefield 5, DICE got into the habit of creating elaborate entry and exit animations for all vehicles. While this was largely well-received for the immersion and kinetic feeling it adds to such a basic task, many felt it took away from the game’s arcadey nature and made getting into/out of vehicles cumbersome.
The Battlefield 2042 beta somehow has both. I found that getting into tanks has no animation, similar to Battlefield 3 and 4. But as I was driving, I repeatedly had teammates jump in and out of the gunner and passenger seats, and an entry/exit animation played every time. In fact, Battlefield veterans will know how this could briefly obscure the driver’s vision, and that was certainly the case here.
This is either simply a case of unfinished animations not being present in the beta, and will be added at launch, or DICE decided to get the best of both worlds: by making the transition instant in first-person and adding a flourish animation visible only in third-person.
Where’s Hazard Zone?
So far, we've learned a lot about two of Battlefield 2042’s three main experiences: the classic All-Out War and the modding-driven Battlefield Portal. Before the game got delayed, we were supposed to have been introduced to the new mode right about now.
Rumours and datamining suggest that Hazard Zone is similar to Escape from Tarkov - in certain elements, at least. According to those discoveries, there looks to be persistent character progression and perma-death. Players will load into a version of the multiplayer maps where they’ll have to compete with others and fend off enemy AI to secure intel and extract.
Given that the schedule for Battlefield 2042 has shifted, it’s hard to say when Hazard Zone will be officially detailed. Indeed, the experience could have been delayed while DICE and Ripple Effect focus on the two other modes.
How many of the problems we called out have already been fixed?
This is always a question with Battlefield betas close to launch, and it’s a valid one nonetheless. As we pointed out in our beta impressions, so many elements in the Battlefield 2042 beta felt pretty basic, as if they had only just been added.
Obviously this is not surprising for a beta, but 2042’s has a few too many of those on the technical, gameplay, UI and design side. DICE already mentioned in a Q&A with the press that much of the UI has been updated, but what about the netcode inconsistencies and lacklustre performance?
This is doubly worrying in this case given how close we are to the game’s launch. I remain optimistic, but the last time DICE shipped a game on five platforms didn’t go well.