Battlefield 2042’s final game mode, Hazard Zone, has been revealed, and it’s something a bit different from anything we’ve seen in the series – or elsewhere – to date. The new mode sends teams of four No-Pat specialists into hostile territory to recover data from downed satellites, then racing to extract from the area via aircraft. As EA has insisted, it’s not a battle royale game – but what is it, exactly?
Hazard Zone is a squad-based mode that will be playable on all seven All-Out Warfare maps included at launch in Battlefield 2042. However, it’ll be a completely different kind of experience. You’ll be placed in a squad of four, and prior to the match, you and your teammates will select your specialists. DICE says this is an important step: you’ll want to carefully consider the approach you’ll be taking during the match, and pick specialists whose gear and skills work together toward that strategy.
Once you’re dropped in, you and your team will use a special Hazard Zone-specific gadget called the intel scanner to locate downed satellites, which store data drives – these being your true objective in the mode. While only a couple satellite crash sites will be active when each match begins, more satellites will drop over the course of the game.
Your team must secure as many data drives as you can before extracting, and you’ll have two predetermined opportunities to do this. The first extraction takes place a few minutes into the match, while a second – and final – extraction is available around 10-12 minutes after the match begins.
Here’s the trailer:
If you head straight for the satellites, you’ll need to deal with the occupying AI-controlled US or Russian forces sent to secure the data themselves. Engaging these soldiers can be costly, and DICE points out that it will also alert other teams to your location – so the choice of whether to go hot can be a tough one.
Your intel scanner, however, will also pick up drives carried by other players – so there’s always the option of getting the drop on a depleted squad that’s just raided a satellite site and is trying to make good on their escape.
There are only two opportunities for extraction, so those encounters will likely be tense as well, but only one member of your squad needs to escape for you to get credit for everything you’ve picked up during the match.
The drives you recover in a match convert to a metagame currency called dark market credits, which you can use prior to each match to purchase tactical upgrades, weapons, and gadgets that’ll give you an edge the next time you head out.
There’s just a little more than a month to go before the Battlefield 2042 release date, although players who pre-order the Ultimate and Gold editions, as well as EA Play subscribers, will get to jump in a week early.