Published on December 5th, 2021 | by John Werner
Battlefield 2042 Xbox Series X Review
Summary: This is one of the worst AAA games that I've ever played!
Set 22 years after the events of Battlefield 4, ‘Battlefield 2042’ once again pushes the bar on what FPS gaming is capable of. For the first time ever, 128 players can battle it out, doubling the previous 64 player cap from previous series titles. Unfortunately, all the new ideas that have been inserted into this game have done very little to make it worth playing.
As I stood on the edge of a snowy cliff overlooking the next set of objectives, watching 128 Xbox, PlayStation, and PC gamers wage war like something out of a movie, I couldn’t help but think to myself; “This is a real battlefield. This is what war looks like.” The sheer number of people running around on this map was simply incredible. Sure, other games have had up to 100 people fighting it out, but not like this. Here were two teams of 64 players giving everything they had to attack and defend the objectives, advancing in waves of gunfire and explosions. Sadly, that’s where the magic ended for me.
‘Battlefield 2042’ pushes the boundaries on how many gamers can simultaneously play together without LAG or frame rate issues, but it’s quite apparent that many sacrifices had to be made in order to achieve this. I’m not sure if EA were cutting corners, running out of time, or just couldn’t be bothered, but regardless of the reason, ‘Battlefield 2042’ is one of the most lacking games I’ve played in quite some time. At present, there are only 7 brand new, original maps (made specifically for BF0242) and 6 “classic” maps that have been remade from previous Battlefield titles, accessible only via a new game mode called Battlefield Portal. Admittedly, the new maps are quite impressive for their size alone. The developers have put some very good thought into making these new maps such as putting objectives on top of buildings, forcing players to either use aircraft or climb on foot to get to the top. Maps also feature a good balance of terrain types accommodating to different play styles which allow gamers to play much more freely rather than forced into a combat role that doesn’t suit them. Snipers will find numerous vantage points, while wide open areas accommodate for vehicular combat. Buildings consist of multiple networks of corridors allowing CQC experts to ambush their prey without the fear of tanks. I admire their efforts in balancing the game but in doing so, the maps lack flavor and come across as very generic. Occasionally, environmental events such as a giant tornado will take place to try and mix things up a bit and disrupt gameplay in some kind of radical ground-breaking game changer. But the whole thing comes across as tacky, like a poor mans attempt to recreate the environmental events from ‘Battlefield 4’ and ‘Hardline’.
What really disappoints me is how the Battlefield franchise has built up a reputation for “tough love” and “keep fighting till the very last second” attitude, only to turn around and give players an experience that can only be described as coddling. Rather than having to make tough choices in the midst of all hell breaking lose, ‘Battlefield 2042’ makes everything super convenient to the point where it’s belittling. If a player wants a vehicle, they simply pick one from the menu and it gets air-dropped right in front of them. No more rushing to spawn points or being cautions trying to get your tank from one part of the map to another without being blown up – now you simply jump out of a helicopter, parachute or wing suit to behind enemy lines, and wait a few seconds for a 60-tonne killing machine to gently land at your feet, completely undermining the level of realism Battlefield has strived so hard to create over the years.
To add insult to injury, the range of vehicles in ‘Battlefield 2042’ closely resembles the lineup from ‘Fast and the Furious 8’. Even the tanks now offer seating for 4 players, because there’s nothing stronger than family.
The new “class” system feels like it had good intentions but still needs more work before it’s decent. Like gender roles, players are no longer locked into fulfilling a single purpose on the battlefield and can now mix and match their loadouts weapons and abilities. A player can now equip a medical equipment, carry a sniper rifle, and a wing suit, or they might take an LMG with a scouting drone and repair tools. In theory, this sounds fantastic but it also means that the method of unlocking new equipment had to be changed. As players progress through the levels, they’ll unlock new equipment, similar to that of Call of Duty, meaning that all players will eventually unlock everything once they’ve reached max level. The down side to all of this is that like the vehicles, the list of weapons is also significantly short as well. Sadly, there are only 22 weapons in the main game, excluding any grenades or launchers. If you chose to play ‘Battlefield Portal’, then the list is much more substantial depending on what settings the admin has chosen for that game. What I don’t understand is why these ‘Portal’ weapons couldn’t be included in the main game.
‘Battlefield 2042’ is a huge disappointment for gamers and the Battlefield franchise. Had this been the product of an indie developer, then this might be a different story as it would be understandable how a game like this could be the product of an independent studio that doesn’t have enormous corporate backing. Instead, EA pumped more resources into creating a CGI film that acts as the only real source of storyline context than ensuring the game was going to live up to the enormous amount of hype they were trying to create. I hate saying such negative things in my reviews, but when a game developer can’t be bothered to even try and live up to it’s own legacy, then I have to call it as I see it and for that very reason, I don’t recommend this game. Not even the nostalgia or temptation of ‘Battlefield Portal’ is enough to save this game from itself.