Battlefield 2042 players are mad at the game’s recycled character models

Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone
(Image credit: EA)

Battlefield 2042’s players haven’t been quiet with their criticism of DICE’s latest competitive multiplayer shooter. A refund petition launched several weeks ago now sits at over 200,000 signatures, and the game’s slate of bugs and glitches continues to drive players away. Now, players have turned their ire to a new area of 2042: the game’s character models.

Over on the Battlefield 2042 subreddit, fans have been heatedly discussing the similarities between playable Specialist character Maria Falck, a character from 2018’s Battlefield V, and an Imperial Officer character from DICE’s 2017 shooter Star War Battlefront 2.

Side-by-side comparisons show that the three character models are remarkably similar in their looks, albeit with some noticeable tweaks to their facial structures and features. It looks as if the character model has been used in all three games. That’s angered some fans over what they see as recycled content in a game that’s already full of quality-of-life issues and game-breaking bugs.

Some fans are simply angry that an asset from previous Battlefield games was reused in this latest installment, seeing it as a cop-out or money-saving shortcut made by DICE for the sake of profit. Others are more dismayed that older models were reused, but other features from past Battlefield games (such as the scoreboard) weren’t kept intact.

The sentiment is compounded by the fact the game’s Specialists were billed as unique characters with their own combat roles, identities, and personal backgrounds, in a deliberate move away from the nondescript foot soldiers that populated previous games in the series.

According to some disappointed fans, reusing a character for one of the game’s ten specialists doesn’t go far enough to bring that unique personality to life on-screen.

Opinion: an unreasonable criticism

Soldiers in Battlefield 2042 surrounding a crashed relay

(Image credit: DICE / EA)

Battlefield 2042 has suffered a lot of criticism since it launched late last year, much of which has been justified. A game with as many clipping, rubberbanding, framerate, and connectivity bugs as 2042 had at launch probably shouldn’t be considered in a state ready for release.

That the game reuses assets from previous Battlefield titles, however, is hardly out of the ordinary for a major triple-A series. Battlefield V reused several gun models, building interiors, and vehicles from Battlefield 1, and Call of Duty: Vanguard reused several animations, gun models, and UI elements originally found in previous titles in the series. More examples can be found in the likes of Halo, Forza, and any massive video game series that requires huge amounts of development time and resources.

Not only is recycling assets not unusual, but it's also not bad, and shouldn’t reflect poorly on the developers. The idea that every asset in a video game must be totally original is a little misguided and a rather unfeasible goal in contemporary game development. The amount of time, resources, labor, and money that goes into producing triple-A games is so large that reusing content is often the most efficient, and least damaging, way of cutting costs. That’s hardly an outrage when the content is already well designed and fit for purpose.

These recent criticisms of Battlefield 2042’s character models are akin to a comment made about God of War: Ragnarok last year, following the release of its PlayStation showcase trailer. One Twitter user attracted attention after criticizing the game for reusing a boat animation from God of War 2018. It didn’t take long for commentators and developers to point out that reusing such a minor part of the original game would hardly undermine the overall quality of its sequel.

Battlefield 2042 differs, of course, in that the current state of the game leaves a lot to be desired. Players are understandably frustrated with DICE, but criticizing its reuse of assets, which have even been tweaked and updated, isn’t nearly as justified as pointing out its game-breaking faults.

Callum Bains
Gaming News Writer

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.