Last time we took a look Battlefield 2042the well-known online shooter had just released its second major update and finally felt like something approaching a finished video game. With Season 3 out this week, it’s even closer.
Note that I am not making this statement as a criticism. Battlefield 2042 was released in the midst of the pandemic, with almost two full years affected by its development, and as a longtime series fan — but also as a video game journalist familiar with how this stuff works“I’ve made peace with the fact that the game has clearly been pushed out the door by executives to achieve a short-term financial goal, despite the damage it has done to the long-term reputation of the brand.
So I just can’t get it right when I say – than Anyone who played the game at launch will know – it just wasn’t ready for its November release 2021 Those of us who still love the game and keep playing mainly played and publicly tested for months an unfinished video gameone that would only ever feel “complete” (at least compared to its predecessors) after months of updates.
Well, we’re now at the “months of updates” point that was in the past battlefields would have been the stage where the game had been significantly addedbut in 2042 case is just where it’s within arm’s reach of Par.
Season 3 was released this week, adding a huge new map (set around two boxy robotic weapons factories in Sweden), a new anti-tank vehicle, a railgun, and a new specialist that’s unique Weapon is a miniature air bursting explosive Gun.
Everything is good! The map, Spearhead, is big and like Stranded before it differs cleanly by having two large indoor playgrounds for hand-to-hand combat surrounded by expansive areas for snipers and vehicles. I had a blast with it because of its long design and the rocky terrain between the two buildings means games above the middle often turn into meat grinders checkpoints, resulting in huge, explosive battles.
The new specialist Rasheed Zain is also something the game needed; Its air-burst rifle is capable of killing enemy troops bunkered in cover or around corners, and gives infantry the type of space-clearing capability previously only available to vehicles or a select few who can actually use grenades correctly.
I’m not quite as keen on the other two main additions, the railgun and the anti-tank tank. The latter, the EMKV90-TOR, plays like StarCraft’s siege tank; You can drive it around a bit with limited firepower, but if you really want to mix things up you can lower the suspension and shoot enemy tanks from across the map.
The railgun, on the other hand, is all about timing; It’s useful as both a medium and long-range weapon, but only if you master how it charges itself and automatically discharges when it’s ready. Almost all of the game’s current weapons and vehicles feel somewhat contemporary, with gentle concessions to the fact that this game is set 20 years in the future; These two additions look, sound and rather feel gloriole Weapons.
If you look back at all the work and updates the game has received since then Release – not just new stuff, but reworks of old maps and tweaks to things like the appearance of the Specialists and their soundbytes giving the game a more coherent tone – it’s clearly a vastly improved experience!
I think the unloved specialist system will be revised next month to come back to it traditional battlefield Classes, this year-long effort to make this the game it should have been will be done. Which, considering how disastrous the game’s launch was, is going to be one hell of an achievement.
And yet we also have to ask ourselves: What could this game have been if the last 12 months had been free to add to the game instead of just making emergency fixes? I like the attitude of 2042one of the few blockbusters to have ever taken the threat of climate change seriously, and its near-future arsenal was so much more fun than the historical gear available in the last few games.
We will never know! A pandemic and the investor class have conspired to curse this game, and so if only we can look forward to one final Season 4 update before the whole thing gets thrown in the trash and everyone moves on to the next battlefield, then I look forward to it. Me and the other people who have been enjoying the game since release. We are dozens! dozens!