Last time we took a look Battlefield 2042it gives net shooter game had just released its second major update and was finally starting to feel like something approaching a finished video game. With season 3 out this week, it’s now even closer.
Note that I do not make that statement as a criticism. Battlefield 2042 was released in the midst of the pandemic, with almost two full years of development affected, and as a long-time series fan – but also a video game journalist familiar with how this works— I have made peace with the fact that the game was clearly rushed out the door by executives to achieve a short-term financial goal, regardless of the damage it has done to the brand’s long-term standing.
So I’m just not quite there when I say – like anyone who played the game at launch will know – it just wasn’t ready for release in November 2021. Those of us who still found something to love in the game and kept playing played and tested for several months an unfinished video gameone that should only ever feel “complete” (at least compared to its predecessors) after months of updates.
Well, we’re now at that “monthly updates” point, like before Battlefields would be the scene where the game had been substantially addedbut i The 2042 century the case is fair where it is within touching distance of par.
This week saw the launch of Season 3, which adds a massive new map (set in Sweden around two boxy robot arm factories), a new armored vehicle, a rail gun and a new specialist whose unique weapon is a miniature air blast explosive rifle.
All is well! The map, Spearhead, is large, and like Stranded before it is purely differentiated by having two large indoor melee playgrounds, surrounded by wide-open spaces for snipers and vehicles. I’ve had a great time with it, since its long design and rocky terrain between the two buildings means that games often turn into meat grinders over the switchboard control points, leading to huge, explosive battles.
The new specialist, Rasheed Zain, is also something the game has needed; his air burst rifle is capable of killing enemy forces bunkered down in cover or around corners, providing infantry the kind of space-clearing ability previously only available to vehicles or the rare who can actually use grenades properly.
I’m not quite so sold on the other two main additions, the railgun and anti-tank. The latter, EMKV90-TOR, plays like StarCrafts siege tank; you can drive it around a bit with limited firepower, but when you really want to mess things up, you can lower the suspension and snipe enemy tanks from across the map.
Railgun, meanwhile, is all about timing; it’s useful as both a mid-range and long-range weapon, but only if you can master the way it charges, it automatically discharges when ready. Almost all of the game’s current roster of weapons and vehicles feel somewhat modern, with gentle concessions to the fact that this game is set 20 years in the future; these two add-ons look, sound and feels more like Hello guns.
When you look back at all the work and updates the game has received since launch – not just new stuff, but overhauls of old maps and tweaks to things like specialist appearances and their sound bytes, giving the game a more cohesive tone – it’s clearly a much improved experience!
I think when the unpopular Specialist system is reworked next month to return to traditional The battlefield classes, the years of effort to make this the game it should have been. Which, given how disastrous the game’s launch was, will be one hell of an achievement.
And yet it also can’t help but wonder: what could this game have been if the last 12 months had been free to add to the game, instead of just doing emergency repairs? I really like the setting of 2042one of the few blockbusters to ever take the threat of climate change seriously, and its near-future arsenal has been so much more fun to use than the historical gear available in recent games.
We’ll never know! A pandemic and the investor class conspired to curse this game and so if all we can look forward to is one last Season 4 update before it’s all scrapped and everyone moves on to the next The battlefield, then that’s what I’m looking forward to. Me and the others who have enjoyed the game since launch. There are dozens of us! Dozens!