Battlefield 2042 Review - Never Underestimate Portal
Portal and Hazard Zone take Battlefield into the next level.
DICE, Ripple Effect, Criterion
Review copy provided by the publisher
Battlefield 2042 is finally here and it delivers the most diverse game in the series’ history thanks to Portal and Hazard Zone.
After playing the Open Beta version of Battlefield 2042, although I liked the overall gameplay and 128-player map approach, I was worried about how the full game could expand diversity without small-scale modes, and with some of the issues identified during Open Beta. Well, I was underestimating the power of Portal mode to a large degree.
- CHECK THIS OUT: How To Play Battlefield 2042 Early Access, Release Time & Date
What makes Battlefield 2042 a successful game is the fact that it executes its incredible concepts in a good way. Is there room for improvement? Of course. But even in the current state, the concepts behind each new feature in the game are living up to their potential to a high degree.
Battlefield 2042 introduces Portal, and it’s an absolute beast in this game. Portal puts an end to any argument among the fans. Portal allows you to play Battlefield 2042 in the way you like rather than the way the developers force you to play. I wish every multiplayer game has a mode like Portal one day.
Portal is an official modding tool for Battlefield 2042 with diverse options that opens up a whole new world to players. So, taking Portal into account, Battlefield 2042 has the biggest set of in-game modes that a title in the series has ever had.
With Portal, you can’t really complain about the low diversity of modes. You want Rush? Portal has it. You want Domination? Portal has it. You want Team Deathmatch? Portal has it. You want to play 2042 on 64-player servers? Portal has it. You want the old sprint system? Portal has it. And these are only a small portion of Portal’s capabilities in Battlefield 2042.
Oh, and don’t worry about the number of players. Even now that the game has not fully launched, there are enough players in Portal servers that matchmaking takes even less than the game’s original modes.
Portal is a beast. You want Rush? Portal has it. You want Domination? Portal has it. You want Team Deathmatch? Portal has it. You want to play 2042 on 64-player servers? Portal has it. You want the old sprint system? Portal has it.
Moving into Hazard Zone, things are a little bit different. Hazard Zone is DICE’s take on a competitive shooter in the Battlefield series. Something that series has never had. The best way to describe Hazard Zone is that you will never fully enjoy it without a squad and without communications.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have voice chat at the moment, which makes communication with random teammates difficult. As a competitive mode, I like Hazard Zone. The progression system is well-balanced. Although the main goal is to grab as many Data Drives as you can and then extract them, that is not the only way to earn credits.
Actually, Hazard Zone allows you to set your tactical approach to every match with the loadout and trait that you choose. So, when I first played it, I was too bad at it. All squad members were killed at the first enemy encounter and I couldn’t get even an Assist.
The progression system in Hazard Zone is well-balanced.
However, the next time I tried to choose my loadout wisely, and I picked up a trait that awards 50% more credits for killing AI protectors in the Hazard Zone. This time around, I tried to focus on getting more kills rather than extracting the Data Drives – though I tried for accomplishing that as well – and at the end of the day my squad was fully eliminated once again, but my performance was rewarded.
So, the third time I used my lately earned credits to get a better gun, and I got over ten kills, managed to extract myself without any Data Drives, and yet the rewards for my performance and extraction were fair enough.
So, my point here is that you shouldn’t always focus on the main objective in Hazard Zone if you don’t have a well-matched squad or you don’t own good weapons yet.
And no, Hazard Zone is not a game where you could just keep camping and pop up at the last moment to kill Data Drive holders and extract yourself. The game’s system denies such a strategy.
First of all, there are enough Data Drives on the map that multiple squads could grab them. Other than that, the Extraction location in Hazard Zone is probably the most stressful part of the game for two reasons: First, the extraction window is as brief as 15 seconds which makes it really tough for you to kill the Data Drive holders, grab the drives and extract yourself.
Second, the extraction zone is a highly dangerous location where every team tries to reach the chopper, and sometimes no one makes it out alive. And as a result, the chopper leaves empty.
The core gameplay and gunplay of Battlefield 2042 has become a little bit more fast-paced than previous titles, especially when you compare it to Battlefield 1. The new sprinting system and new movement abilities of some specialists like Sundance and Mackay might be one of the reasons for that. But the main reason is the fact that the game now has more players and bigger maps.
With the new large-scale maps, it would be much frustrating to have the old sprinting system and slow gameplay. So, the new fast-paced mechanics make the gameplay fit into the scale of maps. That being said, it still feels like a Battlefield. The shooting system has not been changed, and the fact that you need to traverse long paths on foot or with vehicles to secure objectives is still there.
The addition of specialists is another good approach in Battlefield 2042 that allows players to have full control over the loadout without worrying about the role they are going to play in the team.
Most specialists are useful in any maps, however, a few of them like Sundance or Paik might not be suitable for a few maps. For example, Sundance is a perfect choice for Caleido Park, Breakaway, and Hourglass, but she’s not much of a use in Discarded. And Paik might not be a good fit for a map like Breakaway with a lot of open areas and less compact sectors.
While maps are diverse and feel different from each other, the distribution of sectors in a few of them doesn’t feel balanced. For example, Sector B in Renewal or sectors E and F in Breakaway are too far away from the other sectors that you don’t really want to take the risk of a long traverse to capture them. So, they remain with fewer amount of players and fewer combats.
Level of destruction in Battlefield 2042 doesn’t show any significant improvements.
When it comes to visuals, Battlefield 2042 doesn’t leave anything to complain about. The look of the game is incredible and the war feels epic in every moment. The dynamic weather adds up to the excitement of war and creates new challenges for defending or capturing a sector.
While you face a number of bugs – and a few crashes – in the game every now and then, but they don’t seem to be persistent issues. However, one thing that made me disappointed is the level of destruction in Battlefield 2042 that doesn’t show any significant improvements. You can no longer destroy skyscrapers like Battlefield 4 which makes maps feel less interactable for players.
Overall, Battlefield 2042 is a complete package of a first-person shooter that many players will enjoy playing it. Thanks to the Portal mode, the game never disappoints you in delivering diverse game modes, and Hazard Zone is a new option to put more hours into Battlefield, especially for pro players.