Battlefield 2042, a game that has been swimming upstream from the moment it launched, needs both new content and some serious fixes, and it needs them quickly. In a major presentation made to fans earlier today, developers DICE revealed that players will be getting a little bit of both. Eventually.
In a blog post called Battlefield Briefing: Development Update, the game’s community manager outlines a long laundry list of things that are coming as part of the game’s seasonal updates, along with a guide to some changes being made to some maps (some of which have already been discussed) and some other tweaks being made to everything from player animation to the game’s much-criticised voice acting.
As long as that laundry list is—much of which was already known, it’s just the timing and totality of it all that is rounded up here—the overwhelming feeling among fans is that it’s all the kind of stuff that should have been in the game at launch, or if not then released soon afterwards, and that packaging it all as some kind of series of updates due to hit almost a year after the game’s release is not a great look.
The image above shows what’s coming to the game over the coming months, and basically boils down to cutting the 128-player Breakthrough mode—RIP to my fave—fixing the game’s animation and movement, tweaking two maps and introducing, finally, some new content, like a new map, new Specialist, new weapons and new vehicles.
Something else that’s coming and mentioned only briefly there is that the game’s Specialists are in line for a makeover. The tonal dissonance between the game’s grim, climate disaster setting and the slapstick Specialists has been one of the major criticisms of the game, so DICE are going back to the drawing board and changing both their voice acting and appearance.
Here, for example, is how they’re changing Angel, whose one-liners are easily the most jarring:
DICE will also be changing the look of some of the Specialists, as you can see below where Mackay is turned into a dude who tweets “cry more, libs”, and Boris is simply given a glow up:
The dismay among the game’s remaining fans—of which I’m one of them—isn’t that any of this is bad, or unnecessary. Most of this stuff looks good, and new maps and vehicles will be welcome! It’s more the packaging and timing of it all, as all it does is put into sharp focus just how under-cooked and unfinished this game was at launch (something I think EA would deserve almost all the blame for, as surely DICE themselves would have known the state the game was in), and thus how far it still has to go to match the kind of experience the series is known for.