Sunday, November 27, 2022

Day 1: Battlefield 2042 Initial Impressions

 I grabbed Battlefield 2042 on sale for $20 and jumped into Conquest on the new Spearhead map.  While memories of Battlefield 2 (my all time favorite in the series) didn't come flooding back 2042 definitely caught my attention.  The visuals are beautiful and the gun play is sufficient.  Here are some other thoughts after a few hours of play on Day 1.

 Being late to the party and knowing most modern Battlefield games rely on progression systems I was prepared to have limited options and that is spot on for 2042.  I had basic weapons without any unlocks.  The first few matches felt a little oppressive as I found myself constantly getting one shot while being unable to take down targets even when I got the jump on them.  

 It turns out this was mostly just an experience with the new rail sniper rifle being strong at one-shot kills and the fact I needed to be more evasive so I wasn't an easy sniper target.  Once more comfortable with the Spearhead map and getting with some better squad mates my kill:death ration improved and I made my way through some unlocks and a few new weapons.

 I do want to mention that the user interface for managing weapons and their load outs is confusing.  It is not clear at all what you have equipped.  There seems like there are multiple slots per weapon part (for example; three slots for scopes/sights) but no explanation of how/which one is active or if there is some way to swap between them in game.  I eventually somehow got the scope I wanted to try in the first slot so just left it there.  Over all the user interface in many areas is confusing.

 Vehicles were also all sorts of confusing and I decided I'll need to spend some time on YouTube to understand these near-future vehicles better and their weapon systems. For example riding shotgun with a squadmate in some sort of SUV-looking vehicle I manned some form of camera with two abilities.  Nothing is explained in the UI on what either of them do.  Then at multiple points I fell victim to vehicles parked on top of the large "cube" buildings on the Spearhead map.  No idea how they are getting there or how the roof supports such large weights.

 Speaking of roofs that should be collapsing there was a definite lack of damage happening on the map.  Some of my fondest memories in Battlefield were in Bad Company 2 where by the end of the match each progressive conquest point was leveled with barely a building left standing.  For the most part in 2042 other than the obvious expendables like piles of wooden crates nothing seems to take much damage.  This leads to some on-rails corridor game play without any of the fun Battlefield work-arounds of blowing out a wall to get behind your opponent.

 There is a specialist system that is new to the Battlefield series.  From what I hear it is a shadow of its launch version and has been re-worked significantly for this most recent major patch (3.0).  The main take away I got from it is that each specialist comes with a unique gadget.  I stuck to the initial specialist I was dropped into, Boris, and his automated turret.  The turret was fun to place and great for helping spot enemy movement.  I will have to take some time to look into other specialists.

 Along with specialists are your standard build outs of assault, engineer, medic, and sniper.  The load outs are really just placeholders in name as a sniper can carry an ammo pouch and a medic can carry a sniper rifle and anyone can revive a player (not just medics).  I believe this is just a halfway state to their entire rebuild of the specialist system.  This is an area Battlefield honestly doesn't need to screw around with.  It has been tried and true for years and not sure why they decided 2042 was the game to screw around with it.

 There is a lot going on with this game and I just scratched the surface day 1.  There looks to be a lot of depth and complexity to the specialists and tuning your weapons.  I have some ideas on weapons I want to work towards and need to spend some time figuring out how to get there most efficiently.  Then there are the vehicles I mentioned.  

 Also an option called "Battlefield Portal" caught my eye.  Apparently it allows players to create custom game modes and mix'n'match content from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, and 2042.  That means you could have a Spitfire facing off against a F22 Raptor!  This looked very promising and warrants some further investigation.

 Over all I enjoyed Day 1 in Battlefield 2042.  I definitely feel like I will get my moneys worth out of the game and it feels good to be back in a Battlefield game.  Have you given the game a try? Were you there for it's rocky launch?  Share a comment.

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