Saturday, January 1, 2022

Battlefield 2042 (PC) - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Short Version

I like the game. I enjoy the maps in Conquest. 128 players is the way to go for the future of Battlefield. Not a huge fan of operators, but it doesn't bother me too much, but if DICE removes the operators, that would be a huge step in the right direction. The game has a lot of potential and hopefully DICE will support this game the way they supported Battlefield 4. I would thoroughly recommend it for around $15. I believe there is fun to be had.

Long Version

I am writing this review having spent more than 100 hours in the game, and I believe I have a good grasp of the game mechanics, knowledge of the maps etc. Before I dive into the review, a little bit of my background.


I play Battlefield for Conquest. I generally do not play any other game modes. I briefly dabbled in Rush in Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. In addition to this, I played a ton of TDM on Noshar Canals back in the day, but ever since I got decent at playing large scale conquest, I have been playing it exclusively for the most part. Majority of the time is spent as an infantry player. I believe Engineer was the class I played the most, however when I am playing with friends, I tend to play as the medic or support. I am not very good at sniping. I did manage to master all sniper rifles (got 500+ kills) in Battlefield 4.

As far as vehicles go, I enjoy playing in a tank, AA etc. I am not terrible as a chopper pilot, but I wouldn't ever consider myself to be very skillful at it. If I am ever in a server without decent pilots, I can do some damage. As a jet pilot, I am completely useless. Therefore, I have no opinion about the state of jets in Battlefield 2042.

I am yet to spend a lot of time on Portal. I intend to do that some time in the future and I will make a separate post about it. This post focuses on All out Warfare, specifically on Conquest.

Here is my BattleLog profile -

Battlefield 2042 Beta and Initial Impressions

Battlefield 2042 beta was rough. I can describe it as being unpolished, if I was feeling charitable. The UI was a mess, the performance was quite terrible, game crashes, server crashes, all the hallmarks of a game that was incomplete. That said, I still enjoyed Conquest. The underlying foundation was good, but it was clear more work was needed. Considering the beta launched only a month before the final game launch, this did not bode well for the launch.

The Launch

As expected, the launch was a bit of a train wreck. The game was lambasted by virtually everyone. It was quite a sight to see the negative reaction to it. Saying you enjoy the game despite its flaws will provoke some very angry reactions. Its quite impressive how DICE managed to unite the Battlefield community in this manner. It has gotten to the point where Battlefield V (my most disliked Battlefield game) is looked up on fondly. It was unreal for me, because I actually enjoy Battlefield 2042, all things considered.

Allow me to explain.

The Good

It feels as if Battlefield 2042 did away with the terrible mechanics of Battlefield V (either by design or by accident). Lets talk about all the things I like about this game.


As I said earlier, I enjoy the maps in Battlefield 2042. It feels as if DICE finally understood how to design maps for Conquest. This is not to say the maps are perfect, but there are no Operation Metro/Operation Locker like maps here, and thank god for that. The maps are detailed, and it takes time and effort to learn them. They are not the low effort maps we got in the past. These are gigantic maps, and often times they have complex layout, and Conquest game mode works quite well.

After having played for over 100 hours, there are still parts of certain maps that I haven't fully explored. I love the fact that I can discover new areas, which could give me a new way to approach the game. If I played as Sundance or McKay, I could get to certain spots, which are not easily accessible to other operators, and this will allow me to flank enemies, setup a spawn beacon, or snipe from.

Vertical gameplay is something I really missed in the last two Battlefield games. I thought the fantastic sandbox gameplay of Battlefield 4 is gone forever, and we would be stuck with Battlefield V's "realistic" (read boring) gameplay. Thankfully, Battlefield 2042's map design is far more open, and its a sandbox on par with Battlefield 4. This is perhaps the most important part the Battlefield experience for me, something that was missing in BF1 to some extent, and entirely in BFV.  

My favorite maps in the game, in this order -

1. Renewal
This map offers a fantastic mix of vehicle and infantry gameplay. Sectors D and E are my favorite. The stark contrast between desert and farmland is a sight to behold. I had many fun games fighting over control over the farmland. The desert side of the map is not excellent, but its still fun.

2. Discarded
This is such an interesting map, almost reminds me of Sunken Dragon. The ship in the center of the map is a great location for some CQB, the rest of the map is a little bit more open, and it makes sniping a very viable strategy.

3. Breakaway
This massive snow map is beautiful to look at, and it tilts a little bit more towards vehicles than infantry. Sector A, B and on some rare occasions, E are a lot of fun to play as infantry. Sector B alone is probably bigger than an entire Call of Duty map. In fact that is true for most of the maps in BF2042.

4. Kaleidoscope
This map seems to get a lot of criticism, and to some extent it is warranted, but this is a better map than Siege of Shanghai in my opinion. I had more fun fighting over F and G sectors, than I ever did on SoS, and the best part is, the buildings cannot be collapsed. Also, this is pretty much the perfect map for the Bolte!

5. Manifest
This map is Noshar canals on steroids. This could have been my favorite map, which is a testament to how good the other maps are.

6. Orbital
The beta map in every sense of the word. It feels incomplete. I've had a lot of fun on this map, but I can't help but feel that its not fully fleshed out. Sectors B, C and E are a lot of fun. It reminds of Crysis. A little bit more cover, and some transport vehicles would have greatly helped the experience.

7. Hourglass
Lost opportunity. This could have been a fantastic map, a great successor to Bandar Desert from Battlefield 3, but its potential is not fully realized. Don't get me wrong, I will take this map over anything Battlefield V has to offer, but there is no denying that this map needs some work. The lack of cover density, lack of transport vehicles really hurt this map. I will elaborate why other issues in the game, have a significant negative impact on this map, but suffice to say, this map is a little bit of a disappointment. That said, Sectors A and E are a ton of fun in the right circumstances.

128 Players

I have seen a lot of chatter online about how 64 players is more fun, and I couldn't disagree more. 128 players is the way to go for Battlefield. It allows for larger maps, bigger scale battles and more emergent gameplay provided the sandbox features exist. I played a 64 player conquest game in Portal, and it felt dull in comparison. This is not to say that I would not enjoy a 64 player map, but I strongly feel that 128 players is the future.

My hope is that loud minority of players who seem to want to play the 64 player version of the game don't influence DICE to revert back to 64 players. I believe it is time to embrace the higher player count, and address issues with it, rather than take a step backwards.

Gun play

Weapons handle quite well after the first balance patch. At launch, the PP-29 was quite overpowered, and the ARs were just not good enough either in close or medium ranges. However, at the time of writing, it feels a lot more balanced. SVK and M5A3 are my favorite weapons in the game. I have not gotten a good handle on the sniper rifles, and I struggle quite a bit. I think this has more to do with me, than with the game. I just need to spend time as a sniper. I remember struggling quite a bit of BF4 as well, but I eventually got pretty decent with it.

This is such a happy departure from Battlefield V, and I am quite happy with it. I hope they don't try to do another TTK 2.0 in BF2042 like they did in BFV.

Lack of Animations

Battlefield 1 introduced vehicle enter animations, which I thought was a terrible idea because it exposed the player to gun fire while the animation is playing. Since Battlefield V is absolutely committed to make me hate it, the animations were dialed to a 11. Just about every action has an animation. Reviving a teammate without first deploying smoke will result in the player getting killed more often than not. This is yet another useless addition to the game, made in the name of "immersion and realism". To those that like this design decision, I am not suggesting it is wrong to prefer this.

I am glad to see that this is gone for the most part. Medic revive animations are pretty quick, and they did away with vehicle enter and exit animations for the most part. I would like for the game to return to BF3 & BF4 style of animations. As such, they are not as irritating as they were in Battlefield V.

No Single Player

Regardless of what game journalists and YouTube personalities say, Battlefield should not waste time and resources on a single player campaign. I find it bizarre when the lack of single player is mentioned as negative. Personally, I hope DICE never includes a single player campaign in any future Battlefield. Unless there are weapon unlocks tied to the campaign, there is very little reason to ever play it. When creating multiplayer game with the scale and complexity of Battlefield, a feeble single player campaign that is quickly forgotten is hardly necessary.

In conclusion, Battlefield 2042 not having a single player campaign is the right decision.

No Pilot or Tanker Class

Battlefield 1 introduced pilot and tanker classes, which make sense on paper, but I liked the old design better. I do not know if this was the same in Battlefield V, but I am glad in BF2042, they did away with this, and went back to BF3, BF4 style.

Weapon Customization & Plus System

Weapon customization is much better in Battlefield 2042 compared to the previous two games, especially Battlefield V. Its possible to create a whole different weapon just by changing the attachments. I am quite pleased with customization options in the game. I hope DICE adds more weapons and attachments in the near future.

The plus system is such a neat addition to the game. I find myself changing attachments often depending on the situation. Initially I thought that given the fast nature of Battlefield, the plus system would just be a gimmick, but I am happy I was proven wrong. I often switch between short range and long range scopes.


This is a brilliant idea, provided DICE can support it, and bring more classic maps from the older games. I only played a few rounds of Conquest on Noshar Canals and Caspian Border, and the feeling of nostalgia is very strong. There is a lot of potential here. I am going to spend more time playing Portal in the near future.

Fun With Friends

The lack of squad management, persistent servers etc. make it harder to play with strangers, but the game is fun when playing with friends. If you can get a party going, there is so much fun to be had here. We managed to be the top squad quite a few times once I started playing with my friend. This was hardly the case when I was playing with strangers. I really miss the BattleLog days, where I can easily join a server with my friends, but the new system works alright for the most part. 

Contrary to the popular opinion, there are a lot of tools in the game that allows for great team play. I find it amusing that the players that tend to complain about lack of team play are not team players themselves. They want other players to supply ammo and health, while they themselves want to do "fun" things like running and gunning. In other words, they want to be supported, but when it comes to offering support, they have better things to do.

There is definitely room for refinement here. There seems to be a bug with squad spawning where your squadmate is shown to be in combat even when they are not, the overhead map is also quite clunky, and it hardly shows any relevant information. If and when DICE addresses these issues, the team play will greatly benefit.

The Bad

Obviously not everything is well with the game. Some of it can be fixed, and some of it cannot.

User Interface

My god...who designed the UI/UX in the game? It is just awful. Every single icon in the game is visible at all times. There is no way to turn them off. Is there a ranger 300m away? Well, there is an icon for it. How about a downed teammate 300m away? Check. A capture point 1000m away? Check. Its a mess. For minimalist like me, this is beyond atrocious. At the time of this writing, it is reported that a patch in 2022 would give players the option to customize the UI. That patch can't come soon enough.

The UI makes is very hard to spot enemies and its very distracting

Take this video for example - 

The UI is so distracting that I could not figure out that the player in front of me was an enemy. I admit it is my fault, but it just goes to show that with so many icons, I am having a hard time distinguishing between teammates and enemies. Why would DICE think it is a good idea to show revive icons, ranger icons 300m away? What am I supposed to do with the information? Or flag icons with no occlusion whatsoever? The utter lack of UI/UX options in this game is yet another example of the lack of care towards the game from the management. 

This is even more egregious considering previous games had these options at launch.

Spawn Experience

This is a prime example of a design choice made by those that do not understand the nuances of the game or did not put any thought into the long term experience of the players. Its almost as if they don't expect players to stick around for too long. The auto deploy at the start of the round has to be one of the stupidest decisions in Battlefield history, and that's saying something. If I remember right, Battlefield V also had this dubious feature, but it was disabled after a while. I hope DICE does that for this game as well.

The cut scenes at the start of each round is such an inexplicably idiotic design decision. Who would want to watch these videos over and over again? Why did they think this was a good idea? I am surprised the internal play testers did not raise this issue...or maybe they did, and nothing was done about it. Regardless, it is annoying beyond belief that the developers thought this was a good idea.

The spawn experience adds to the frustration on larger maps like Hourglass. If a player could not get a vehicle at spawn, and has to run to an objective on foot, only to get killed right away at a capture point, it really sours the entire experience. Why are there no transport vehicles (dirt bikes, quad bikes, jeeps etc.) at spawn? Also, why is it not possible to spawn on a transport vehicle directly from the spawn screen like in Battlefield 4?

Lack of Cover & Transport Vehicles

Lack of cover on maps such as Kaleidoscope, Hourglass and Orbital really hurt the gameplay. Maybe the density of objects on the map could have adverse effect on performance, but these maps would greatly benefit from more cover such as buildings etc., in certain parts of the map between objectives, because running out in the open and getting sniped gets tiring very easily.

To add insult to injury, transport vehicles are few and far in between. LATV, Bolte and Hovercraft don't necessarily count as transport because I do not want to abandon an offensive asset once I get to the objective. The fact that is it not possible to spawn on transport vehicles directly from the overhead map is a very glaring omission, and it speaks about how the UX is half baked in this game.

Movement Glitches

There are numerous areas around the maps where going prone would send the player character into a seizure. This is extremely annoying when taking cover from fire or trying to deploy a bipod. It adds to the unfinished feel of the game.

Four Man Squad

I am not sure why DICE decided to reduce the squad size. I think DICE should have kept the squad size to 5, and increased the player count to 130. This feels like a step back from the previous games.

Weapon Variety

The weapon selection in BF2042 is extremely disappointing. There are a grand total of 22 weapons in the game, including side arms. This is probably a quarter of what Battlefield 4 had at launch. DICE should add more weapons into the game as soon as possible. It wouldn't be a bad idea to include all the BF3, BF4 and Portal weapons in the main game.

The Ugly

These are aspects of the game that defy logic, that are egregious mistakes, demonstrate complete lack of understanding of how Battlefield works.


Who asked for this? Why do they exist? Going on a small tangent, I do not understand why people in charge feel the need to make changes that no one in the community (not game journalists, but people that actually play the game for more than a week after launch) think is a good idea. Is it arrogance? Is it ignorance? A calculated attempt at micro transactions? I do not know. I spent more than 4000 hours across all Battlefield games (not bragging), and not once did I think this game would benefit by imitating hero shooters. It is such a ridiculous, out of touch idea that it had to be made by people who never played the game. I refuse to believe that an actual Battlefield player came up with this.

Instead of setting up an epic battle between world powers, we now have "nopats" as they are called. This means there will be same operators on either side. I wish they at least took the time to have faction specific skins or something to distinguish between friend and foe, except for the hovering green or red icon.

At launch, there are 10 operators and DICE apparently will add more in the future. As of now, I felt Angel, Mackay and Sundance were the most useful, and everyone else is not quite as useful, at least for my play style. It felt as if DICE created a specialist instead of gadget. For example, what is the point of Irish, Dozer, Paik or Rao? I feel that their abilities could have been I fail to see why these characters even exist in the game.


Of course bugs are bad, and all software has bugs, but some are more egregious than others. The ADS bug is absolutely awful. This particular issue occurs when exiting from a vehicle, ADS does not work. Imagine the frustration of players who get in a vehicle, and drive to a capture point, and exit the vehicle only to discover that ADS isn't working. 

There are other bugs with loadouts not showing up in game, but personally I did not encounter this a lot. I can only remember a couple of instances where this happened.

I do not have an exhaustive list of bugs, but rest assured there are many (this is a Battlefield title at launch after all). I can't wrap my head around why this is the case. Can they not re-use code from previous games? Not sure why they have to reinvent the wheel with each game.

Lost Features

The lack of features in Battlefield 2042 compared to the older games is beyond disappointing. It takes a certain level of ignorance to refer to some of these features as legacy features.

Here is a list of features that are missing compared to older games -

- Scoreboard
    Who would have thought this would be considered a legacy feature? The scoreboard as it exists now is quite bad.
- Assists Count as Kills
    This was a great addition to BF4, and for some reason, it doesn't exist in BF2042.
- Global Stats
    Gone are the detailed stats from the BF4 days. It appears that there is no public API for 3rd party websites to gather stats either. So, the only way I can get stats is by looking at assignments, and figuring out how many kills I got with each weapon. However, there is no way to tell my win/loss ratio, or kill/death ratio, overall score etc., all of which were tracked in BF4.
- Overhead Map
    The overhead map (or Big Map as DICE refers to it) is a huge step back from BF4. Zoom in/out is not possible. When spawning on a vehicle there is no indication of vehicle health. BF4's spawn map showed a small preview of your squadmate's POV, which gave you a good idea of their location etc. All of this is gone in BF2042. In my opinion, DICE should just implement the BF4's version of the spawn screen.
- BattleScreen
    This is a feature of Battlefield that isn't talked about a whole lot. Battlefield 4 allowed you to view a large live map on the browser when the player joins a server via BattleLog. I understand that BattleLog is no more, but it would be great if DICE would give PC gamers a way to view a larger map on the second monitor. This is the current year, and most folks have a second monitor.


Battlefield 2042 has the worst music in any Battlefield game to date. I don't know what else to say. Gone are the fantastic soundtracks of the previous games, and instead we get this weird mess of soundtrack. Why? This is just sad.


I think Battlefield 2042 has a lot of potential. If DICE does the right thing, and supports the game like they did with Battlefield 4, I can see myself playing this game for years to come, like I did with BF4. I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys conquest, and liked Battlefield 4. To new players, pick it up for around $30, and I think there is enough content here to entertain for about 30-40 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Had to include word verification to prevent spam.