Battlefield 2042 (PlayStation 5) Review

By Renan Fontes 10.12.2021

Review for Battlefield 2042 on PlayStation 5

DICE's Battlefield is rightfully regarded as one of the best first-person shooter franchises in the medium, capturing a unique sense of scale that makes gameplay feel like a proper warzone. The franchise's best entries mix pure chaos with vast level design that keeps even the most basic gameplay beats tense. Battlefield plays to different strengths than a series like Call of Duty, opting for larger battles that become grand, living set pieces where teamwork thrives. Battlefield 2042 strives to be bigger and better than ever, featuring massive maps and up to 128 players at any given time. That level of scale should ensure DICE's latest entry be a hit, but a painful lack of content and polish hold it back.

The meat of Battlefield has always been multiplayer, which makes it easy to take for granted just how important a campaign is. Even if most players just run through the story once, a good campaign offers context into its game world, an opportunity to master the controls before playing with others, and a hook for genre fans looking for a purely offline experience. For what it's worth, there is a Solo and co-op mode available for anyone who wants to play against AI soldiers. While not a proper alternative to a campaign, some form of single player is appreciated, and offline play is very helpful for getting to know each map on a more intimate level.

Gameplay itself controls nicely with the DualSense, and there are a variety of options to refine the control scheme, from sensitivity customisation, to outright button rebinding. While the default controls are perfectly fine, do take some time to toggle the default sensitivity as it is a bit stiff. The controls themselves are the same standard for the genre: L2 to aim, R2 to shoot, L3 to sprint, and so on and forth. Anyone who's ever played a modern FPS before will be able to pick up and play 2024 just fine.

Conquest and Breakthrough function as the two main game modes. Both are basic Battlefield fare. Conquest is designed around players capturing and defending different sectors via teamwork and careful coordination. Breakthrough breaks teams into attackers and defenders who need to push through the map and defend their territory respectively. Each mode lends itself well to strategic playstyles and dense teamwork. Maps being as large as they are, allows for players to break off into their own fully armed groups to dominate the other team. Intelligent play is encouraged, and the inclusion of vehicles adds a nice layer to gameplay on account of being a bit harder to control right away.

Screenshot for Battlefield 2042 on PlayStation 5

Core gameplay is sound, and level design is appropriately hectic, but most of 2042's content can be sampled in a single afternoon, and the initial spectacle of gargantuan 128 player matches wears off fast. The fact of the matter is that there just isn't enough to do. Portal is the shining star of the experience, but it's not to take the mode as "make your own fun." That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it stings when the rest of the experience is light on variety. Portal offers a mix of content from 2042 itself along with Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3. There are always a few matches going at once, but the meat of gameplay will ultimately come from All-Out Warfare.

Unfortunately, there isn't that much meat. What's present is a bit generous for a beta, but it's sure as hell not enough for a full AAA title - let alone an entry in this franchise. This isn't even taking into consideration 2042's heavy price tag. Hazard Zone is an incredibly ill-defined mode that seems to already be dead - even with Cross Play enabled! A single game of Hazard Zone consists of waiting minutes for a game to start, only to realize there's no real gameplay hook. Why play Hazard over Conquest or Breakthrough? Even the game itself isn't clear what the mode fully is, sloppily describing it as "Squad Operations // Secure Intel, Survive, Extract." Worse, the lack of voice chat means Battlefield's main claim to fame - teamwork - is painfully downplayed.

Progression is not fulfilling, there aren't that many guns to unlock or play with, and not even enough maps in the grand scheme of things. The few maps present are massive, but rotating through the same set over and over again gets exhausting. Updates will undoubtedly add more content over time, but an FPS should never launch this bare. There's no campaign to entice newcomers and veterans will run through everything gameplay has to offer in no time at all. EA is fully expecting players to stick around for the promise of more, but everything seems to indicate the publisher will keep settling for the bare minimum so long as money talks. A One Year Pass is already on sale for 40 pounds, which is frankly ridiculous given how empty 2042 is compared to its contemporaries.

Screenshot for Battlefield 2042 on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Battlefield 2042 is nothing short of a rip-off, and screams of EA trying to see what they can get away with this generation. Overpriced, yet devoid of the content to justify its next-gen premium, it will leave franchise fans feeling insulted. Make no mistake, anyone looking to get into Battlefield should look elsewhere, or risk letting a lacklustre first impression sour their perception of what is otherwise one of the most premiere first-person shooters in the genre - which frankly just makes 2042's lack of content, lack of a campaign, and lack of polish all the more frustrating. Battlefield's legacy deserves better than EA squandering DICE's potential by launching a major title in a clearly unfinished state. Battlefield 2042 is a beta masquerading as a AAA release.

Also known as

Battlefield 2042

Developer

Dice

Publisher

EA

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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