A year after Battlefield 2042’s release, EA has announced some great updates ahead of its Season 3 release of this battle royale shooter.
The most exciting feature coming to Battlefield 2042 will be the return of classes. Comprising the roles of medic, recon, support, and assault, each one provides you with different weapons and abilities that allow a team to forge a game-winning strategy – but that's not all the changes they have in store for us, as the game takes on the free-to-play route.
Dial it back
Along with the prospect of a new map being added in Season 3, we will also be getting reworks to two existing maps: Manifest and Breakaway. Manifest will see the removal of redundant playspace while bringing HQ flags closer to the action, an update similar to those we saw in the maps Kaleidoscope, Renewal, and Orbital. Breakaway’s biggest change will be moving the oil rig closer to the action.
Along with these updates, Season 3 will also see the game go free-to-play, a new specialist added, a brand new battle pass, event, hardware, and continuous updates to the quality of play. It looks like these will be a great step forward for Battlefield 2042. If you want to read up on all the new features, check out the latest Battlefield 2042 update briefing.
One of the most controversial original changes to Battlefield 2042 was the removal of classes. DICE’s choice to remove gadget specificity made the decision between classes like recon or assault almost pointless. If you could choose any primary weapon, no matter the class, then what made a class unique? I can only think of the synergy between specialist gadgets and secondary gadgets, which isn’t massively impactful.
The die is cast
While some thought that this gave the player more autonomy, others were left wondering why DICE decided to scrap a feature that wasn’t broken. Like most shooters, Battlefield 2042 seemed to enter an identity crisis.
This was a minor blip in which many studios were desperate to emulate the popularity of new games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, and so shifted the personality of a game towards these smash-hit games.
DICE seemed to borrow elements from Call of Duty and Apex Legends, with one of the biggest similarities between Battlefield 2042 and Apex Legends being the abilities of certain specialists; looking at you, MacKay.
In trying to mix up Battlefield 2042’s formula, DICE may have forgotten why so many players loved the series. People don’t play Battlefield because it reminds them of Apex Legends; they play it because they love what makes Battlefield unique. While it’s important to grow and adapt to the current situation, it’s nice to see DICE going back to basics with classes.
Back to basics
Battlefield 2042 multiplayer didn’t have the easiest start in life. Soon after its release, it was review-bombed with 30,000+ negative reviews on Steam, making 74% of the total reviews negative. Unfortunately, these stats haven't improved, with a massive 117,593 negative reviews on Steam.
The crux of the matter was that many players found Battlefield 2042 unplayable. Whether it was server crashes or stuttering motion, many felt let down by DICE and EA. However, with this new update, it looks like DICE is finally paying attention to the needs of its player base.
“We’ve heard you”, says DICE in the update explainer video, “your feedback has been instrumental in how we’ve been able to evolve and improve the game”. The return of classes probably stems from an attempt to get people interested in Battlefield 2042 again and grow the player base.
We don’t know if these changes will smooth things over for disgruntled fans a year after the game's release, but if games like Cyberpunk 2077 can come back from the brink with great updates and user engagement, then there’s no reason Battlefield 2042 should be counted out.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.