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Battlefield 2042 beta impressions: Clunky, underbaked but the potential is there

Published: 13:54, 06 October 2021
Okami13_
Battlefield 2042 key art
Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 is stunning in scope and graphical fidelity but needs a lot more love and polish before it's actually ready for release.

Battlefield 2042 early access open beta is now live on all platforms and after some small hiccups this morning, EA and DICE have confirmed that most players can now jump in to test their upcoming shooter. 

We've spent approximately five hours with the open beta and our impressions are not that great sadly. Battlefield 2042 certainly has the potential to be a great title but there are plenty of issues and most of them are tied to gameplay and the actual idea of what this game is supposed to be, not optimisation.

THE GOOD

STUNNING VISUALS

Whether effects, volumetric smoke, foliage that reacts to explosions in the most impressive way I've ever seen in a video game and the overall art style of the game is probably the biggest highlight of the beta so far. 

IT'S FUN

Battlefield is back! Despite all the issues that we have listed in the article below, Battlefield 2042 is a very fun game. We kept going back for more and will surely spend more time with the beta in the coming days.

EA image of Battlefield leaked screenshot Battlefield 2042's tornadoes can change the gameplay dramatically

THE BAD

SPECIALISTS ARE UNDERWHELMING

The introduction of Specialists was a bad idea. I said this when EA and DICE revealed the game and I'm saying it again now after actually playing the game. They are boring, soulless and their gadgets are underwhelming, to say the least. It breaks the immersion too as you keep getting killed by the character you actually play as. 

Battlefield was never a hero shooter and such a feature does not fit the large, all-out warfare narrative that this beloved franchise is known for. 

WEAPONS ARE INCONSISTENT

At times the recoil is all over the place - you won't be able to hit anything no matter how good your recoil control is - while there are also moments when weapons turn into laser beams, even if you use short-range weapons at a larger distances. 

It does not look like weapons have been properly balanced too since some are way more powerful than others - everyone is either running around with an assault or sniper rifle. 

GUNPLAY IS...JUST OK

Again, not great, not terrible. It's certainly far from something like Modern Warfare 2019, which had top-notch gunplay but it's similar to Battlefield 4. Since the recoil is so inconsistent, it's really hard to judge gunplay at this point simply don't expect anything special. 

Dice Battlefield 2042 - Webster Mackay Battlefield 2042 - Webster Mackay

ORBITAL MAP DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT

Orbital is not the biggest Battlefield map of all time but it sure feels that way. There are way too many empty pockets where nothing is happening and the distance between the objectives is way too big, which breaks the flow of the combat. I've spent most of my time just running from one objective to another which is not fun. 

Additionally, this does feel like a map that will be more suited to the battle-royale-ish Hazard Zone mode so it's not all doom and gloom. Hopefully, other, much bigger maps won't suffer from the same issues as Orbital. 

THE HUD IS A MESS

Oh. My. God. Like, come on DICE, what is this monstrosity? Simply said, it's a mess that needs a massive rework. The objective markers blend with environments, huge and distracting text rectangles that pop up when an enemy or your team captures the objective, enemy tags that appear even if you can't actually see the enemy soldier and the list goes on and on. 

It's nowhere near ideal and for the game's sake, we hope the HUD receives significant improvements in the coming weeks.


Overall, this Battlefield 2042 beta won't push anyone towards pre-ordering the game but we're still hopeful that DICE will introduce much-needed improvements for the final build that we will get on launch next month. The team already said that this beta is not representative of the most recent Battlefield 2042 build, which has received additional polishing and features. 

While we were not impressed with what Battlefield 2042 has to offer so far, our final judgment will be coming when we get to play the full version. Fingers crossed that the next time we get to play Battlefield 2042, it will be a much more enjoyable experience. 

Battlefield 2042

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Battlefield 2042

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