DICE’s post-beta briefing reveals new Battlefield 2042 gameplay
Battlefield 2042 developer DICE released a lengthy recap of everything it learned from the game’s recent open beta. In the process, it revealed a ton of new gameplay clips showing off features missing from the beta.
DICE began the briefing by discussing Specialists. Their inclusion in Battlefield 2042 has proved controversial, as many players on Reddit and social media have expressed their preference for the series’ classic class system. However, DICE doesn’t appear willing to budge on that front.
After revealing the final five launch Specialists, DICE stated that “multiple factors in play during the Open Beta that . . . contributed to the perception of how the Specialists role contributes to squad play in Battlefield 2042.” In that regard, DICE wants players to try playing the game with all 10 Specialists available before drawing their final conclusions.
Besides balance issues and a purported lack of squad play, players also complained about difficulties spotting enemies versus friendlies. DICE calls this “IFF” and stated that it’s “being improved” for 2042‘s final build. To do this, DICE improved the lighting and adjusted the tint of enemy soldiers. More importantly, the red dot above enemy soldiers turns on when within 10 meters, regardless of whether you’re aiming at them. Likewise, friendly dots will appear through walls within 40 meters, so you’ll know they’re teammates coming around the corner.
Despite player protests, DICE made it clear that it has no intention of removing Specialists from the All-Out Warfare experience. However, players can feel free to set up matches on the new maps using Battlefield 3 or Bad Company 2‘s character classes in 2042‘s extensive customizable sandbox, Portal.
Beginnings and endings
Part of the reason that DICE seems so insistent on keeping Specialists in All-Out Warfare is the narrative potential they present. In that vein, DICE revealed new cinematics that will open and close matches.
A new gameplay video shows how All-Out Warfare matches will start. Your squad will suit up, a brief intro giving the match context will play, and then your squad touches down.
When a match ends, a best-of will showcase some of the match’s top players. Following that, your squad will pop up, showing how you placed in the match.
What’s somewhat disconcerting is some UI elements that will help players achieve higher rankings won’t be available during the game’s early access period. “UI elements that help you to know who’s in need of healing, repairs, and resupplies coming to the game for our worldwide launch on November 19th,” the briefing says. These fundamental elements from every other Battlefield title were absent from the beta.
Speaking of UI elements, DICE also showed off new and improved versions of the user interface and heads-up display (HUD). As with a lot of the open beta, Battlefield 2042 lacked key UI and HUD elements that will apparently be there in the final build.
First off is an improved kill feed, which actually shows if a friendly killed an enemy or vice versa. Shockingly, the beta’s kill feed did not include this critical information. The feed now displays enemy names in red and friendly names in either green (for squad mates) or blue.
For your own kills, the improved UI now resembles previous Battlefield titles’. The amount of points you earned now appears under your crosshair, and support points like heals and team spawns actually show up.
Further UI improvements will make communicating with your squad much easier.
The ping system, broken in the beta, works in the final build. Finally, the compass appears on screen at all times and not just when aiming down sights. This should make communicating enemy positions in Battlefield 2042 less of a hassle than it was in the beta.
The final version of the game also includes a couple of series staples. These include the commorose and a full map that you can pull up any time.
Last but not least, DICE showed off what the weapon loadout system actually looks like in Battlefield 2042. While the Plus System that let you change attachments on the fly was neat, players felt like it didn’t hold a candle to Battlefield 4‘s extensive customization options.
Well, rest easy, because Battlefield 2042 does include an extensive weapon customization system. DICE just didn’t include it in the beta for some reason.
As part of its briefing, DICE revealed the new Collections screen in Battlefield 2042. From this screen, which you can access both from the main menu and in a match, you can customize your weapons. This includes customizing your Plus menu—you can pick the three attachments per slot that you want to have available to you. The Collections screen includes key information for how each attachment affects your weapon’s performance, too.
More importantly, the Collections screen shows you what you need to do to unlock attachments for each weapon. Thankfully, DICE has seemingly moved away from Battlefield V‘s annoying weapon challenges and opted for something more straightforward. Most of the attachments only seem to require kills. Not kills while prone. Not headshot kills on objectives. Just kills.
Finally, DICE revealed that the launch version will include more extensive control options, as well as aim assist on controllers that is “more familiar to players who played with us in past titles.” You can read more about that in the full briefing.
Battlefield 2042 launches November 19th for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Michael Goroff has written and edited for EGM since 2017. You can follow him on Twitter @gogogoroff.