Battlefield 2042 review: The future looks bleak

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Title: Battlefield 2042
Developer: EA DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 5 (reviewed on), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: November 12, 2021

Last Friday, anyone who pre-ordered a Gold or Ultimate edition of Battlefield 2042 got early access to the full game as servers opened. Additionally, Game Pass and EA Play membership holders got to experience 10 hours of gameplay before the official release on the 19th. What was supposed to have been a weekend of large scale war was plagued mostly with frustration as players waited hours just to get into a server. Once the servers decided to actually function, it was time to see if Battlefield 2042 was going to live up to the hype.

Spoiler alert…it didn’t. I wanted to like Battlefield 2042 SO bad. I loved BF4 and the return to modern weapons and technology was a huge draw. The removal of any kind of solo campaign meant that this installment had to bring the thunder in terms of what it DID offer. DICE introduced new tech, varied maps and a specialist system with 10 specialists complete with their own special set of skills. Someone tell Liam Neeson to watch his back ‘cause we have some bad asses over here.

The specialist system is okay. I mean you have a medic, one that sneaks and scouts, one that has a glider suit, a grapple, quick movement, etc. It’s not too much different then picking a class and equipping skills in a game like Call of Duty. Battlefield 2042 definitely feels like it’s trying to compete with Call of Duty, but with both of the releases so close together, Call of Duty: Vanguard might be winning this battle.

Even though there is no campaign, Battlefield 2042 does have a story and out of all of the games I wish had a campaign, this is the one. It could have been so good. In the not-so-distant future, the world isn’t doing so hot. Climate change has ravaged the world causing famine and displacement of refugees called “no-pats.” The European Union has collapsed and nearly ¾ of the world’s satellites have crashed causing communications to shut down. The world is falling apart and on top of it all, Russia and the US are on the brink of war. That could have been a HELL of a single-player campaign and I feel like DICE and EA cheated players out of an incredible story opportunity.

Battlefield 2042
EA /

There are three modes to Battlefield 2042. All Out Warfare deals with large scale battles in Conquest and Breakthrough which involves capturing and/or defending objectives. While Conquest is the more traditional BF mode of the two, Breakthrough is by far the superior mode in terms of fun. While most modes are huge and chaotic, Breakthrough tends to bottleneck the chaos in a manageable area while Conquest is just madness all around.

For smaller experiences, you have Hazard Zone which involves small teams trying to gather and extract data from fallen satellites. This mode feels somewhat empty and lacking compared to the All Out Warfare and while I usually like smaller and more manageable modes, this just feels like it’s missing something. It’s certainly not tornadoes cause those show up everywhere for some reason.

The third mode is  Portal and this one allows players to create their own gaming experiences. Old maps from past games can be played, weapons can be mixed and matched; honestly this feels like the Mario Maker of FPS games.  The community will make some levels and invite others to play it. While Breakthrough is the supreme mode, Portal does allow for some fun customization and a chance to break up the monotony a little bit.

There are a lot of issues in this game. I mentioned the server problems earlier. Can you imagine getting your ten hours of free gameplay and then 9.5 of it was spent just trying to get into a single game. I would be furious. I mean I was furious and I had no time limit. On top of it all, no matter how many times I switched modes and servers, I ended up playing the same two or three maps. I know there are more but it’s hard to tell with Battlefield 2042 playing favorites.

The glitches in the game are many and oftentimes hilarious. You’ll have your standard soldier clipping the environment when prone or dying, bodies randomly flying across the ground and glitchy AF vehicles falling from the sky. Many times I was killed because I was distracted with whatever insanity was going on in front of me. The plus system of attachment management is cool in theory, but I never remembered that I had it and would always just wait until a respawn to adjust my gun settings or my specialist. For those who regularly mod their weapons, it’s a great idea but for someone like me who finds a good loadout and sticks to it, it can be pretty forgettable.

I’ll repeat myself when I say that I really wanted to like Battlefield 2042. I played Battlefield long before I ever played Call of Duty, but BF just couldn’t live up to its competition for this release. While there are fun moments, the whole experience is tainted with bad servers, maps that never truly cycle and modes that are just okay. Tack on the lack of a single-player campaign for a story that could have blown our tits off, and you’re left with a lackluster FPS that looks great in theory (the graphics do look really nice) but fails in its execution. If you want to try the game for yourself, Battlefield 2042 releases November 19th for last gen and current gen consoles and PC.

Battlefield 2042 (PS5) Score: 6/10

With all of the potential of an awesome futuristic FPS game at their fingertips, DICE and EA drops the ball on Battlefield 2042 with mediocre multiplayer, server issues and no solo campaign. Great ideas and great graphics can only go so far without a great execution.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.