It’s official: Battlefield 2042 is the next instalment in DICE’s storied multiplayer shooter series. Neither contemporary like Battlefields 3 and 4, nor properly futuristic like Battlefield 2142, 2042 is the first time DICE has dabbled in a near-future setting. And that’s not the only series first, as 2042 is the first Battlefield game since DICE started using the Frostbite engine that doesn’t have a traditional single-player campaign.
Despite these hefty changes, there’s a lot of classic Battlefield multiplayer on show in the reveal trailer, from nods to famous community clips to returning features like Levolution. The setting is also just contemporary enough for eagle-eyed viewers to spot a number of weapons, vehicles, and map locations, which is exactly what we’ve done below.
So join us as we pore over the Battlefield 2042 reveal trailer, using details from a behind-closed-doors look at the game, our collective knowledge of the series, and a whole lot of time with Google Maps to glean as much information as possible about the upcoming FPS game.
Damavand Peak moment
The trailer opens with a homage to the classic Battlefield 3 map Damavand Peak, where the attacking team skydive to the final objective. This isn’t just for the reveal trailer though – this is a real spot on the map Breakaway, which is set in Antarctica. This particular spot is called Outlook and is located on the west side of the map. The ice fields we see later in the trailer are directly east of this location.
The very first aircraft we see in the trailer looks a little like an AC-130, especially as it fires flares to evade an incoming missile. However, in the next few scenes it’s clear that it’s a little smaller than a gunship and appears to have a large jet engine at the end of each wing. It most closely resembles a V-22 Osprey, but it looks like in the 20 or so years between now and 2042 the Osprey has lost its rotors.
So this is pretty obvious as you see wingsuits being used throughout the trailer, but one thing that’s not clear is that the character you see wingsuiting in the trailer is probably an unannounced Specialist. During a behind-closed-doors reveal of Battlefield 2042, associate producer Marie Bustgaard Granlund told us the wingsuit is actually tied to one of the game’s Specialists, and considering we always see the same uniformed character using the wingsuit, it seems like this is our mystery fifth Specialist.
Incheon’s Songdo Central Park
Most of the trailer focuses on a map called Kaleidoscope, which is set in South Korea, but we think we can be a bit more precise about its location. The aerial view could be mistaken for Manhattan’s Central Park at a glance, but it’s actually the Songdo Central Park in the city of Incheon near Seoul. The angular skyscraper in the centre, which looks a lot like One World Trade Center, is called Posco Tower-Songdo.
We see a four-legged drone with a turret being airdropped onto the battlefield, before running off like an excited puppy. None of the revealed Battlefield 2042 Specialists have a gadget like this – although Guskovksy does have a deployable turret – but it also seems unlikely that this is a separate vehicle. Our best guess is that it belongs to a Specialist who’s yet to be revealed.
Ziplines are definitely back
We can see players ziplining off a derelict tanker in the desert, and some more ziplines joining the skyscrapers together on another desert map later in the trailer. This mechanic is returning from Battlefield Hardline. You’ll be able to shoot while ziplining, and the Specialist Webster Mackay has a trait that makes him more agile while doing so.
LMG bipods confirmed
Just before a tank is destroyed near the massive beached ship you can see a prone soldier on the left of the screen with an LMG and what looks like a bipod. This isn’t a new feature, but it’s good to see it returning.
When the trailer cuts to a soldier turning and running from the falling side panel of a massive ship, you can see they’re holding a Vector-inspired SMG. DICE has confirmed that this is called a K30 in-game.
Before the ambush in the container yard we can see a soldier with an AK-12 variant.
The only shotgun we can spot in the trailer is held by a soldier behind the guy with the AK-12. It’s not an exact match, but it appears to be a pump-action shotgun similar to the Model 870.
Dogtag finisher animations
Following the ambush in a container yard, we see a soldier being executed by someone named Espinoza. This character crops up twice in the trailer and is likely another unannounced Specialist, but the neat bit is that they’re clearly performing a finisher and grabbing the victim’s dogtags in the process. This finisher animation wasn’t in Battlefield 5, so we hope this means it’s returning for 2042.
During the Die Another Day-inspired ice field chase scene, you can spot a load of blurry penguins in the foreground. We’ve seen plenty of birds in Battlefield multiplayer maps, as well as rats, whales, and, er, dinosaurs, so this isn’t exactly unusual. But it’s not like we’re going to not point out penguins.
This is a very weird, but very real tank that’s known as the Ripsaw. It’s basically the hypercar of the tank world, and while it was initially created as an extreme luxury vehicle, there are weaponised versions and adaptations of it. The one in the trailer looks to be sporting a heavy machine gun turret and an armoured shell.
You can sabotage the rocket launch
In the next part of the reveal trailer we see a rocket taking off while the player speeds towards it in a jeep. While we don’t see it, you can sabotage this rocket launch, which apparently results in a huge change to the layout of the map.
Al Wahda Arches
The map where we see an intricate helicopter battle is called Hourglass, and is set in a city in Qatar that’s being swallowed up by the desert. We’ve done some snooping to figure out exactly where this will be set. Those massive interlinking archways over the highway that we can see are the Al Wahda Arches, which tells us this is the capital city of Doha.
The arches are located over a highway south of The Pearl-Qatar, an artificial island in the northeast of the city. The view of the archways we see in the trailer suggests that the ‘neon’ city that makes up a huge portion of the map is Doha’s Diplomatic Area and West Bay. We can’t see any water in the trailer, but this part of the city is on the coast, so perhaps we’ll see some sea vehicles on Hourglass, too.
Before the very awesome quad bike vs helicopter moment, you see another one of our Specialists, Maria Falck. She has a stim pistol that can revive and heal players from a distance, and you can actually spot the pistol in a chest holster if you look carefully.
How do you get a quad bike on a skyscraper anyway?
One of Battlefield 2042’s new confirmed features is that you can now request a vehicle airdrop right to your location, so we assume that’s how.
The helicopter we see getting destroyed by a quad bike is actually an MH-6M Little Bird, which we’ve seen in various forms in Battlefield 3, 4, and Hardline. In the next section we see two aircraft engaged in a dogfight, one of which appears to be an F-35 Lightning II.
The reveal trailer appears to be leaning very heavily into the series’ sandbox elements. The scene in which a jet fighter ejects, destroys an enemy jet with an RPG, and then climbs back into his own jet is a nod to Stun_gravy’s RendeZook clip, which has been viewed over 13 million times on YouTube.
You can spot this dependable all-rounder assault rifle in the arms of Specialist Falck in the scene that follows the dogfight. This weapon has also been confirmed by DICE.
This is the last confirmed weapon we can see in the trailer. It’s a semi-auto DMR and you can see it being held by one of the soldiers standing next to a tank in the scene preceding the arrival of a tornado – look for the soldier behind the wingsuit Specialist. You can also spot the recon Specialist, Casper, just behind the soldier with the 4V9. He’s holding a bolt-action sniper rifle that we can’t identify.
Tornadoes can throw attack helicopters around with ease
The largest vehicle we can spot in the tornado’s maelstrom is what appears to be an Apache attack helicopter. We also see a battle tank being shifted around on the ground, but it’s unclear if vehicles of this size can also be picked up and thrown around. What we do know is that what comes up must come down, and apparently you can be killed by falling vehicles.
Shuhia Taiba reference
This one’s not in the trailer, but we think it’s worth throwing in as you can see the map in one of the official screenshots. The map Renewal, which sees two armies battling to capture a solar and agricultural facility in Egypt, appears to be loosely based on the Battlefield 2142 map Shuhia Taiba. The general layout is comparable, but the key similarity is in the lore – the premise behind both Renewal and Shuia Taiba is that you’re fighting for control of said agricultural facility because the planet’s resources have been depleted.
And that’s it for our deep dive – we’ve not had long with the trailer so we may yet find more. In the meantime, you can check out our news story on the Battlefield 2042 release date and its key features, or check out some other top multiplayer games.