Like many gamers out there, I have waited for the next Battlefield title with excited anticipation. And like many of those fans, I have been unable to get my hands on any next gen consoles, and thanks to those inconsiderate, bitcoin farming assholes (my opinion is pretty clear on them) I’m unable to get my hands on any of the new 30 series RTX graphics cards at any price I would consider reasonable. So, when EA and Dice announced Battlefield 2042 and it’s free Beta, I knew I would be playing them on the current gen, and in my case, PlayStation 4 Pro and GTX 1060 hardware. I know for argument’s sake that the 1060 is a dated card now, but for running 98% of games on high in 1080p it’s more than adequate 45-60 fps is fine by me.
So, then comes the big question, and the title of this piece “Is Battlefield 2042 any good on current gen”. And the answer to that, isn’t as straight forward as you’d think.
To start with I’m gonna be discussing my experience with my PS4 Pro first. This is simply because, at the time of going to press, the game has yet to successfully connect to, what I can only assume at this point, is a server composed predominantly of potato. All I get is an endless loop of ‘press X to continue’ followed by a ‘sorry, unable to connect to server’. This has annoyed me to the point of giving up on PS4 as a viable way to play the Beta.
So, on to my experience with playing it on PC. A few additional nerdy specs for those that care, of my PC.
•16gb DDR4 3600mhz
•Geforce GTX 1060 (6gb)
For some that’ll make sense, for others I’ll simply say, that with these specs I can run, the current benchmarking game, Cyberpunk 2077 on Medium to high settings (depending on shader and other lighting settings) and still achieve 35-40fps. Which is more than enough for a 1080p monitor.
So, with the geeky stats out of the way. My experience with Battlefield 2042 is a mixed bag. First off, the gameplay. As most will know by now, the overall movement and feeling of your character in Battlefield has remained mostly unchanged from Battlefield 1. And it’s pretty much the same story here, with a few minor tweaks. There is an extra run option which involves your character pointing his weapon, one handed into the air and doubling his sprint speed. But on the whole, movement feels mostly unchanged. The HUD consists of the usual things, a mini map on the left, ammo counter and gadet/loudout icons on the right. It’s a pretty typical affair, with nothing really revolutionary. My only real gripe is that due to the amount of items you can now equip, paired with the new vehicle call in system, the HUD does feel a little cluttered with icons and key press identifiers. I genuinely think a call out wheel would have made it look less crammed.
Now comes the bit we’d expect in any Battlefield game, the guns. As always, classes are back, only this time, they’re limited to the weapons and not the character you choose. Where as before, character choice was more a choice of a particular loadout of weapons or items, it now take the form of ‘Opereratives’ and they can carry any weapon, and any additional gadgets on top their specific skill/gadget.
Although in my experience, the fact you can equip anything you like to every operative, usually means being mowed down by a bearded guy with an LMG then have five grannies run over your corpse with sniper rifles. It’s a mess to be honest.
The guns are your fairly typical affair of SMG, AR, DMR, Sniper Rifle, Breach Device (shotgun) and Pistol. As mentioned, you can choose any weapon for your ‘Operative’ to use. All the weapons handle as you’d expect, can’t say I was bowled over by their realism or handling. The sound of them, as we’ve come to expect from Dice, is top notch. Dice have always managed to capture the soundscape perfectly. In my time with the Beta, the main choice of weapon that I’ve been mowed down by (many, many, times) is the M5A3. The standard, starting AR, a real all-rounder with a decent rate of fire and adequate range. Everyone seems to be carrying one, it may sound odd, but at times I was less infuriated to take a defeat at the hands of someone wielding something different. I dabbled with most of the weapons on offer, settling on M5A3, purely for the fact it’s the easiest to use, feel free to judge me.
I didn’t want to do a full, in depth review on a Beta, as I know it’s not a complete game and there is only one map and mode available, so that would be unfair. However, this brings me to why I felt I had to write this piece, the experience on current gen. I deserve an explanation. Why does this new entry into Battlefield franchise, not feel new? After sinking hours and hours into all the previous titles on PlayStation 4 and PC, why does this new title, not look as good as their last release? In fact, why does this new title, capable of 4K, Ray Tracing, DLSS, blah, blah, blah, not feel and play, as good as a game they made five years ago? It’s true, I’m not playing with all these settings and shiny things turned on. But surely, a game released in 2021, capable of all these new graphics settings, should look better and play better than a title released three years ago. And yet, in the opinion of someone that knows Battlefield from way back to Battlefield 1942 up to Battlefield V, and playing on the same hardware as Battlefield V, the newest release, just doesn’t look and feel as good.
The only caveat I can throw into this somewhat disappointing outcome, is that the Beta that millions are currently playing is an older builder of the game, and as stated on many, many trailers and fine print of many, many game demos and Betas, ‘Does Not Represent Final Quality of This Product’.
Let’s hope so Dice.
Don’t forget to follow Respawning for my follow up review when the full game releases on November 19th on Steam, Origin, Epic and EA Play Pro , Xbox One, Series X/S and PlayStation 4 & 5.
Have you had a chance to play the Beta? What did you think? Please let me know in the comments below.