Battlefield 2042 Review (PS5)
''On this large battlefront. No one can hear you camp''.
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: Nov 19th, 2021
Platforms: PS4/PS5/Xbox Series/Windows
*Review copy provided to me by EA*
Battlefield 2042 is the latest entry in the long running Battlefield franchise that is developed by DICE and published by EA. Shifting away from the single player component of the title, which we saw in Battlefield 5, DICE aims to strengthen and bolden the core aspect of what makes the Battlefield series a truly enjoyable experience, the multiplayer. But was this the right decision? or should they have just improved upon groundwork they previously laid out? Only one way to find out, so, let's go!
If you're familiar with the Battlefield franchise, which how could you not be? this series has been around since like 2002, then you basically know what you're getting yourself into with the huge maps, destructible environments, chaotic warfare that keeps fights intense and using all gadgets, vehicles, planes, and helicopters to your advantage. While of course all of these make their grand return, there are a few differences here and there in regards to the game play department with relation to the games campaign mode and the brand new Hazard zone. If you're just coming off something like Call Of Duty Vanguard or another FPS that may have a story mode and expect one to be in here, well then you aren't a very good reader because I literally said there wasn't a story mode in this title in the opening lines of this review. Ya big silly. For me personally, I took that news as a bit of bummer because I'm a big single player fan and I like being able to jump into a games campaign, meeting characters and then move on to multiplayer modes for extra enjoyment, but no such luck here. I knew this already though going into it, so it will not be factored into my overall verdict at the end of review, so don't worry about that nitpick. Now that you know that this game is just focused on multiplayer, has some new modes, retains some of the classic Battlefield experiences, let's say we hop into just what exactly you'll be doing in this multiplayer only title, shall we?
Upon booting up your game, you will notice you have three options to select from. All Out Warfare, Hazard Zone and Portal. Each one of these game modes offers a slightly different experience than the others, but all remaining true to one thing: Chaos. No not THAT Chaos from Final Fantasy, I'm talking about the all out Michael Bay fest of a war with explosions and bodies flying everywhere. Selecting All Out Warfare lets you pick between two play style game modes under this category called Conquest and Breakthrough, Conquest is your traditional all out Battlefield experience in which you and your team must fight to secure specific and strategic locations on your map to secure the W and deplete your foes reinforcements. Either push forward and take the fight to them or be like me and chill and wait people to come to you while holding your teams positions from being taken over. I'm basically a glorified camper. But hey, with 128 people fighting all at once during Conquest, what the heck do ya expect?. ''Hold up, 128 people? the hell, doesn't it get crowded?''. Well yes and no. The map sizes are massive, so much so that you feel like a little ant in this vast open ended world you're apart of. Sometimes you get dropped off at a location and there could be dozens of people waiting there to blast you to holy hell, but then again two minutes later, you're stuck running for five minutes or something, trying to even FIND someone to kill. It's a mixed bag. Sometimes bigger is not always better, but its Battlefield staple, so it is what it is.
Breakthrough is similar to conquest, but the change here is that the opposite team has an infinite amount of reinforcement spawns, while yours is limited. Your objective is to capture and control all points before your respawn limit is depleted. Its basically like Attack and Defend and its intense as heck. My Michael Bay moment in this mode occurred when I was in a helicopter with some of my teammates and us just having been hit by a missile or rocket. I didn't realize how much danger we were in and I'm like ''guys why did you stop firing?'' then I turn and just see teammates one after another, bailing on me, and I'm like ''uhhh.. oh crap!''. I felt like I was going to go down with the plane like the episode of power rangers with Bulk and Skull. Then as soon as I bailed myself and jumped out of the plane, no sooner than one second later, did it explode behind me. I guess you can just call me James Bond from now on. Also additionally, this mode can also be played solo and co-op with your buddies, should you not want to play with a full 128 player group. But let me warn you, that will just make it even harder. Playing against an infinite amount of enemies is not a very wise strategy. I have the battle wounds to prove it.
Next we have Hazard zone. A 32 player extraction type of game play that requires you and your teammates to focus on gathering data pieces and extracting them. This mode is focused more on strategy than completely annihilating your opponent, so if you're more into the teamwork aspect of shooters, this may be the one for you. One of the key reasons to stick together as a group in this mode is due to you not getting an instant respawn in this mode and should you die, you must then wait for your group to be re-deployed. So try not to Leeroy Jenkins your team and cause you guys to lose. I definitely didn't do that. I swear. With this being a brand new mode for the Battlefield franchise, I have to say, it's not too shabby. I'm not too good at the all out 128 player matches, but I can do pretty decently when lowered to 32 and below, so for that reason alone, with it not making me look like a total loser, it gets a pass from me, albeit, on a biased technicality.
Finally we have Portal mode, the last of the three main modes that you will be able to access for your online entertainment. Portal mode lets you play remastered content from past Battlefields such as Battlefield 1942 with conquest and battle of the bulge, Bad Company 2 Rush mode on Arica Harbor, Battlefield 3 Conquest on Caspian Border etc. As well as community created events. These three modes when selecting from the menu though, sometimes, they just don't work. What I mean by this is.. at certain times, either game was glitching or no one was playing. You load up a mode and then hop into a match and you're just stuck on a screen with you and a few other people waiting for a match to start with literally no one else joining in to be able to start the game. It doesn't happen all the time, but at one point, I was stuck waiting for around ten minutes before we got a match going. Total annoyance. However when you do get to play, It's ok, I guess?. 1942 and BF 3 are basically.. just what you play in the normal conquest modes in All Out Warfare, just on classic game maps, nothing to write home about. Although playing some World War 2 on Conquest with 1942 is surprisingly the more fun of the two. But my favorite mode in Portal is easily Bad Company 2 Rush mode. Here in Rush, your objective can either be, defend your capture points from having bombs planted and your objective capture points from being blown up, otherwise you're forced to retreat, thus losing your ground and your reinforcements. Vice versa from the attacking side, your goal is to plant bombs, take the objective by blowing them up and advancing until all reinforcements are depleted for your opponents or you successfully blow everything else up. This was my favorite mode, bar none. I've always been a more attack and defend type of player, so I was able to hold one point nearly by myself for over 10 minutes. For once, I wasn't the screw up for my team. Go figure.
The complaint I see the most in regards to not only Battlefield 2042, but the Battlefield franchise as a whole in general is that its ''too slow'', ''too big and open'' and ''feels like a chore to find people''. While those are not inherently wrong, I feel people are missing the point of Battlefield and compare it far too much to franchises like Call Of Duty, when both these franchises are vastly different in play styles than one another. On one hand you have the fast paced arcade like action of Call Of Duty where one person can be a one man wrecking crew and win the day, while Battlefield will require a slower and methodical approach to how you complete your missions by working together with others. One attempts to aim at more realistic chaos and the other, Call Of Duty, is the pick up and play option. I feel the best comparison, from my own personal perspective, would be like comparing Counter-Strike to Team Fortress Classic. Counter-Strike is your BF with slower paced combat that can take more teamwork and Team Fortress Classic aims to be the more chaotic of the two, with some teamwork involved, sure, but overall its more arcade like. Now me for instance, I'm more of an arcade like player, so personally choosing, I'd have to lean towards more Call Of Duty and that franchise, but if I wanted over the top action movie explosions and all hell breaking loose with strong focus on teamwork, then I'd definitely go with Battlefield, not even a tough decision. I'll be real with you, I've never been a great Battlefield player, I'm actually really really bad. But I've always got tons of enjoyment out of the intense and insane action each title brings and that held true for my Battlefield 2042 experience as well.
Most of my own enjoyment always comes from how badly I do when picking up a tank, truck, plane, or hovercraft because I'm absolutely god awful when trying to control anything, seriously. If you have a death wish, let me drive and I guarantee you that we will fall off a cliff, slam into a tree, flip without hitting anything or crash my plane within ten seconds of taking off. Ahh..yup. However, I contribute a lot to how bad of a driver I am to a case of bad luck. Like it's as if I walked under a ladder after cracking a mirror on the same day a black cat crossed my path as I stepped on a crack to break my mothers back. That type of bad luck. For Instance, my very first match on Artic on Hazard Zone, literally two seconds after my first spawn, a plane loses control and crashes... RIGHT ON TOP OF ME. Are you freaking kidding me?. Not only that, but I decided to get brave and drive a hovercraft to one of the main objective points and I wanted to be like an action movie, so I hit an ice ramp. I shouldn't have done that. Why? Welp, it's because when I hit the ramp, I flew off and wouldn't you know it. I hit one of my teammates helicopters, knocked it off balance and it spun and crashed. OH MY GOD.. I'm so sorry. I felt so bad that I tried to embarrass kill myself by driving off the cliff as atonement for my actions and I even failed at that too. Landing straight on the nose of my vehicle and I was just fine. Sigh...
At the end of the day, Battlefield 2042 can be a pretty fun experience. With modes like Hazard Zone giving you more incentive to focus on team work and management of your respawns, Solo mode for players who just want to chill by themselves or with close friends, 128 player action that leaves little to the imagination and makes every match an exciting adventure, Portal mode letting you play classic Battlefield modes like Rush that gives game play more diversity, all of these are great, but that's kind of where the praise ends. Where the game falls short is with several things. One of these being sometimes the servers can take up to ten minutes to find a match, fps drops in high stake battles where a lot is going on, server lag, overall there only really being only a couple game modes, such as Hard zone, Community events and Rush mode since All Out Warfare, 1942 and Battlefield 3, are all using Conquest player matches, only with slight deviations with that being classic maps. Couple into the fact that this game on PS5 and Series X launches at a $70 price tag? I can't justify a purchase for that tag based off what is offered here. I wish the awesome maps in the Artic, Shipyard and large scale able skyscrapers via cables could change my mind, because they're SO good, but I have to be 100% honest with you all. Don't get it twisted, there is a REALLY fun game in here, I've had a lot of fun, but... it just needed a little bit more for what they're asking. Hopefully future updates will give us just that. So with that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says WAIT. Until a $40 price tag comes along.