Battlefield’s brand of large-scale, high-intensity warfare has kept me captivated for over a decade. In 2010, I was completely smitten with Bad Company 2, a game that subverted many multiplayer shooter conventions. Buildings were fully destructible, so you couldn’t run and hide forever. Bullets dropped, requiring you to consider the physics behind every squeeze of the trigger. And matches were won not by kills earned, but by objectives played.
Since then, I’d argue that the Battlefield franchise has only matured into something even more impressive. It may have departed from Bad Company 2’s infantry-driven and destruction-heavy focus to prioritize larger-scale matches. But the spirit of Battlefield lives on, and I’ve enjoyed many a match in sequels Battlefield 3, 4, and V.
The soon-to-be-released Battlefield 2042 looks to amp up the chaos with extreme weather effects like tornadoes and sandstorms. And while I’m excited to return to a modern warfare setting and play around with the new gadgets (grappling hooks, wingsuits, etc.), Battlefield 2042’s future looks stormily inauspicious, indeed.
Battlefield Has a History of Terrible Releases
Since Battlefield 3 released in 2011, technical issues have marred the release of nearly every follow-up in the series.
Series developer DICE has routinely run into issues with server stability at launch, which is understandable: These are massive games running on a massive scale, with huge player populations flooding the servers upon release.
But rather than learning from their mistakes, DICE’s reputation for stability took a further nosedive with 2013’s Battlefield 4. Instead of mere server issues, game-breaking bugs and glitches plagued its release: Gunshots weren’t registering correctly, certain gun attachments could mute sound for everyone in a match, and soldiers could die while still having HP.
Surely, there was room for improvement. And following Battlefield 4’s release, series producer David Sirland reflected on the rocky launch, promising it wouldn’t happen again: “I am certain that [Battlefield 4’s troubled launch] won’t be repeated because we’ve changed the way we work,” he said in 2014.
In 2018, it happened again. Like Battlefield 4, Battlefield V was tarnished by game-breaking netcode, a dysfunctional UI, and terrain navigation issues.
As you can imagine, DICE’s history of botched releases doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the upcoming Battlefield 2042. But ultimately, only time will tell.
“That game is f****d.”
Those are the words of a hacker provider regarding Battlefield 2042, according to games journalist Tom Henderson. I immortalized the full tweet below, in case it’s deleted as many things on the internet are:
According to another article, the “cheats” being sold include aimbots, radar, and wallhacks. Or, y’know, just the sorts of things that could completely devastate a multiplayer-only shooter at launch.
Of course, fear and uncertainty make for click-worthy headlines — and the same is true in video games. But gaming news outlets rarely go out of their way to bombard upcoming titles with negative press. So while the truth behind this headline may vary, I think it still deserves some attention.
The strange thing is that to my knowledge, Battlefield 2042 hasn’t offered any public playtesting yet. So I’m not sure how these cheat developers managed to assemble the hacks in question. Perhaps we won’t see these cheats rear their ugly heads until the open beta. Or, perhaps these cheat sellers are just trying to drum up sales without even having a functional product.
Concerning, but too early to tell.
Like the war-torn environments it portrays, Battlefield itself has become a landscape of broken promises and shattered realities. And while Battlefield 2042 could be my favourite game of the year, given DICE’s “dicey” track record, it could just as easily be a massive disappointment.
I won’t be pre-ordering this one, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on it.
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