Exciting news, FPS games fans – EA has revealed a whole bunch of info on the next instalment of its long-running Battlefield series. Called Battlefield 2042, the next game will take us into a wartorn, dystopian future, with a bunch of new features, locations, and key changes to classes – and the release date is set for October.
As its name implies, the next Battlefield is set in the year 2042. That might be just 21 years from our real-world time, but life in the game will be very different to what we know. Earth is on a knife edge, with shortages of food and natural resources meaning a whole lot of nations have fallen and a refugee crisis has emerged on a whole new scale. The USA and Russia are drawing the world into a global conflict, and the non-patriated – ‘no-pats’, as they’re called in Battlefield 2042 – are split across both sides, trying to fight for their futures in an uncertain world.
This conflict and chaos will reach across three distinct multiplayer offerings: All-Out Warfare, Hazard Zone, and another, which has yet to be revealed. The first of these is the next generation of popular Battlefield modes Conquest and Breakthrough, EA has announced, which will bring the biggest maps the series has ever seen, with up to 128 players duking it out. The mode’s large-scale battles will fold in systems like dynamic weather, dangerous environmental hazards, and big world events.
Hazard Zone, meanwhile, will be a new high-stakes mode that EA says is a modern take on DICE’s distinct multiplayer experience, but with a very different spin on it to All-Out Warfare. Beyond this, though, what this mode will involve is a bit of a mystery for now. Oh, and before you go thinking that this could be a battle royale game, DICE has explicitly ruled this out. Additionally, there won’t be a single-player campaign this time around – a first for the series since 2008’s Battlefield: Bad Company.
As for Battlefield 2042’s maps, EA explains that these are taking a big leap beyond ones previously seen in the series, being enormous in scale and underpinned with new tech. For players on next-gen consoles and PC, there’ll be the full 128-player offering, and there will be seven maps for the All-Out Warfare mode at launch. These will span locations across South Korea, Singapore, French Guiana, India, Egypt, Qatar, and Antarctica, with different plots and focuses for each.
Battlefield 2042’s player characters will be called ‘specialists’, and there will be ten at launch. Only four have been announced so far, but you can read up on these below:
- Wikus ‘Casper’ Van Daele
- Class: Recon
- Speciality: OV-P recon drone
- Trait: Movement sensor
- POB: South Africa
- Webster Mackay
- Class: Assault
- Speciality: Grappling hook
- Trait: Nimble
- POB: Canada
- Maria Falck
- Class: Support
- Speciality: S21 syrette pistol
- Trait: Combat surgeon
- POB: Germany
- Pyotr ‘Boris’ Guskovsky
- Class: Engineer
- Speciality: Engineer
- Trait: Sentry Operator
- POB: Russia
In terms of what the specialists will be carrying, and driving, into combat, EA has introduced a new ‘Plus system’ this time around, which lets you customise your characters’ weapons in real-time – so, you can make adjustments to your kit based on what’s going on as you go, rather than being locked to your loadout. You can make changes to your weapons’ scope, barrel, ammo type or under barrel attachment in live time. There are also a bunch of vehicles to use in the game, each of which makes full use of the team on board, and there’s a call-in tablet that’ll let you summon a land vehicle to any spot on a map.
As for post-launch content rollout, Battlefield 2042 will have seasonal battle passes with both free and paid-for tiers, which will progress the game’s story and bring new content. Year one will see four seasons – so, four battle passes – plus four new specialists, and some new locations and other bits and pieces, too.
Battlefield 2042 will launch on October 22. There’ll be standard, gold, and ultimate versions available priced at $59.99 / £49.99, $89.99 / £79.99, and $109.99 / £99.99 on PC, respectively (console versions can differ in price), and the game will be accessible via EA Play Pro, too. Before then, there’ll be a technical playtest sometime in early July (under NDA), and a pre-launch open beta at some point before release, too (which you can access if you pre-order the game).