Over the course of 3 nights, a couple of MKAU staffers took part in a Battlefield 2042 Hands-on review event hosted by EA. During these 3 gaming sessions, we were able to play the different 3 game modes on offer at launch and experience what Battlefield 2042 has to offer.
This review will contain the opinions of both MKAU staff members who attended the event and have continued to play now that the game is out in Early Access for anyone that’s purchased the Gold or Ultimate versions of the game, or if you’re a EA Play subscriber.
- Lance: A 28-year gaming veteran, seasoned Battlefield player, and overall expert in the FPS genre.
- Kurt: A 27-year gaming veteran & first to die in any shooter with a lifetime FPS gaming Kill/Death ratio of 31/400,000+ (estimated).
As for the event, each day included short presentations from EA & DICE taking us through everything Battlefield 2042 has to offer. After each presentation, we would then jump into Battlefield 2042 with our 4-player squads to experience each different game mode with each nightly session running for around 4-5 hours.
Once loaded in, you are immediately treated to the sort of gorgeous & detailed visuals one has come to expect from a “AAA” game franchise, but before we get into the thick of it, let’s talk about graphics. For some, how a game looks comes second to how a game plays. There is no point in having a beautiful-looking game that plays like a rock. Rest assured though, while we think Battlefield 2042 does excel in both areas, there are still some things that need some TLC.
Thanks to Dell, we were able to run Battlefield 2042 at 2160p with all visual settings set to their maximum, all while maintaining an absolute minimum and stable 60FPS on some of the more GPU intensive maps such as “Hourglass”, and over 120FPS on the more open and less GPU intensive ones.
Dell Alienware Aurora R12
- Intel i9-11900F 8C/16T Liquid Cooled CPU
- NVIDIA RTX-3090 24GB GPU
- 32GB DDR4-3200 RAM
- 1TB NVMe System SSD
- 2TB mechanical data HDD
- 1000W PSU
More info on the Alienware Aurora R12 Here!
Another big shout-out goes to AMD. Again, we were able to experience Battlefield 2042 in glorious 2160p with all visual settings maxed out on a Radeon 6900XT GPU coupled with a Ryzen 9 3900X CPU in our own gaming rig.
MKAU Gaming Rig
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12C/24T Noctua Fan Cooled CPU
- AMD Radeon 6900XT 16GB GPU (Supplied by AMD for Review)
- 80GB DDR4-3200 RAM
- 3 x 1TB NVMe SSD’s
- 750W PSU
More info on PowerColor AMD Radeon GPU Here!
Now with all the tech stuff out of the way, let’s dig into each of the 3 modes on offer at launch.
All-Out Warfare (Breakthrough & Conquest)
Battlefield 2042’s All-Out Warfare is DICE’s biggest and most sandbox-enabled Battlefield to date. In All-Out Warfare, Battlefield 2042 will launch with 2 game modes, Breakthrough and Conquest, spanning across 7 different maps; Manifest, Orbital, Kaleidoscope, Discarded, Renewal, Hourglass, and Breakaway.
Our first hands-on was with their new “Breakthrough” game mode. Think of a more advanced “Capture the Flag” style gameplay. Breakthrough is fast-paced & full-on as two teams are put up against each other where one team defends and the other attacks.
As the defending team, you’ll need to defend your sectors & to a lesser extent, the objectives, fiercely as the opposing forces try to rain down hell with the intent to take over by capturing defensive positions on the map. Working in your favour, however, is that the offensive forces are limited with their reinforcements, whereas the defenders are not, though as the attacking team captures points, they are rewarded with additional reinforcements.
The other is Conquest, Battlefield’s classic all-out war experience. In Conquest, two teams are fighting to gain control of sectors. To gain sectors you must secure multiple capture points in each sector. The other difference in Conquest is that both teams have limited reinforcements. Once one team’s reinforcements run out, it’s game over for the losing team.
The games we played during our time with Breakthrough and Conquest at the hands-on event were very one-sided and due to not everyone being able to attend, games were filled with AI. We all noticed that hit registration was a bit of an issue and bullet spread was very different compared to the BETA, and not for the better. Hopefully, they take on any feedback and revert some changes and continue to tweak any balancing issues.
With the game launching today in Early Access, we’ve continued to play in a more realistic online scenario, and games we’ve played feel and play how you’d imagine it should with a lot less hit registration issues. Things can only improve from here we hope.
Besides Breakthrough and Conquest, one change DICE has made is how the classes work, or lack of. There are no class-based operators in Battlefield 2042, and instead, they have opted in for Specialists; with a total of 10 Specialists. This allows for your squad to mix and match playstyles. Each Specialist comes with a Specialty and Trait that can only be used by that Specialist, such as a wingsuit or a grappling hook. Outside of that unique ability, you can pretty much set up your loadout and gadget slots with anything you want, giving you the freedom to craft your perfect Specialist.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a Battlefield game if it didn’t have what the franchise is known for; destructible environments and Dynamic World events. That’s right, it’s all back in Battlefield 2042. At any moment during your game weather will kick in bringing along with it things like Tornados that will cause destruction and chaos as it moves its way through the map, pulling in players and even vehicles only to spit them out somewhere across the map, so get your wingsuit ready.
Both Breakthrough and Conquest support up to 128 players on PC, Xbox Series X|S & Playstation 5, while only supporting up to 64 players on Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Hazard Zone is the mode where some of the best fun can be had. Here is a little backstory on what Hazard Zone is all about. It is the year 2040 and a worldwide blackout has occurred reducing the number of satellites by 70%. Low-orbit satellites become the new method of gathering intel such as photography, heat map imagery, and ID scanning. These low-orbit satellites have been brought down into US and Russian-controlled territory and hold valuable intel on data drives.
Working in a squad of 4, you and your team are tasked with tracking down and retrieving as many data drives as you can carry before attempting to EVAC with the data drive via 1 of only 2 extraction points to catch your airlift up and outta there. Sounds easy right? Wrong!
You will need to contend with a number of other squads, all trying to get hold of those valuable data drives while also trying to EVAC. The key to winning, apart from not getting killed, is communication with your squad. If you and your squad don’t communicate and don’t work together, you are doomed to fail.
If you go down, your squad can pick you up. If you go down for real, you’re out of the game unless your team can extract or they bring you back via a Reinforcement Uplink that can be found scattered across the map, or as a Tactical Upgrade, assuming you have enough Dark Market Credits. These Dark Market Credits can be earned by successfully extracting Data Drives.
Dark Market Credits are also used to purchase weapons, equipment, and Tactical Upgrades before each Hazard Zone game that you can take in with you for a higher chance of a successful round. There will be 15 Tactical Upgrades available at launch, 2 that are FREE of charge not costing you any Dark Market Credits, then the other 13 costing you a certain amount of credits to unlock and equip.
While it is true that an experienced player could win on their own, the best fun is had when you get involved and work as a team. It gives you a great feeling of accomplishment. We all had a lot of fun with Hazard Mode and wished we got a little more hands-on with it during the review event. I can see us spending a lot of time playing this mode after launch.
At launch, Hazard Zone will come with 7 maps from All-Out Warfare. These maps are; Kaleidoscope, Manifest, Orbital, Discarded, Renewal, Hourglass, and Breakaway.
Hazard Zone supports up to 32 players on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Playstation 4, or up to 24 players on Xbox One, and Playstation 4.
With this iteration of Battlefield, you now have the ability to create your very own game modes to play and share with friends by using Battlefield Portal. You can go absolutely crazy and make your game completely ludicrous, or keep it very serious and on-point. Want to set up a game with Knives Vs Defibrillators only? How about 1942 maps and soldiers Vs 2042 maps and soldiers? Well with Battlefield Portal you can do just that.
Battlefield Portal gives you a total of 13 maps; 7 maps from All-Out Warfare and 6 classic maps from previous Battlefield games; Battle of the Bulge, El Alamein from Battlefield 2042, Arica Harbor and Valpariso from Battlefield Bad Company 2, and finally, Caspian Border and Noshahr Canals from Battlefield 3. You’ll also have access to a large array of weapons, vehicles, gadgets, armies, and soldiers from across all the games mentioned above.
Aside from maps, modes, weapons, and soldiers, you’ll have all the power to craft very unique Battlefield experiences using the Portal Editor to create your own settings & game logic, such as setting the number of players in each team, turning on or off HUD, taking away the ability to aim down sights, enable or disable vehicles or certain weapons, or things as simple as what game modes are played.
It seems like a lot but it is very easy to create your own game and can all be done within a web browser. Once you’ve crafted your perfect game, you simply give it a name, a description and hit that save button. Your newly created game can now be played and/or shared with your friends. I can already tell that the Battlefield community is going to come up with a lot of fun and interesting games using Battlefield Portal.
Well, that’s about it folks. That’s the 3 modes and everything coming out for Battlefield 2042 at launch on November 19th. We’d love to give a huge shout-out to everyone over at DICE for showing us around the game this past week, and our local EA PR rep for giving us the opportunity.
Battlefield 2042 can be a lot of fun, but just like most game releases these days, there are a few balancing issues that need to be addressed. With DICE being very community-focused, I’m sure they’ll take on everyone’s feedback, and come Nov 19th things will be a lot better. *Fingers crossed*.
Hazard Zone and Battlefield Portal, we think, are going to be the place most players are going to spend most of their time. Especially Battlefield Portal for all those nostalgic feels.
- Fantastic graphics
- 3 solid game modes
- Large variety of maps
- Able to create your own games in Battlefield Portal
- Dynamic weather events
- Some balancing required
- No campaign
- Few bugs here and there