While it may not officially be a part of the E3 conference, today’s Battlefield 2042 reveal marked the start of a very exciting few weeks in the gaming industry. And, oh boy, what a great way to start.
The online livestreamed event got off to a bit of a shaky start. As people headed over to Battlefield‘s official channel for the 3pm BST reveal, tensions were high. After the controversial marketing and eventual lukewarm reception of Battlefield V, fans of the franchise have been seemingly desperate for another modern-day instalment in the same vein as the incredibly successful Battlefield 3 and 4. But they’d have to wait just a little longer for that reveal…
As it turned out, that 3pm time slot was actually just the time the countdown to the trailer began. Fans would have to wait one more hour before getting to see a teaser of the game they’d been waiting for. If the livestream chat was anything to go by, fans weren’t too impressed. But I seriously doubt any Battlefield fans are feeling anything other than pure excitement right now.
Now That’s More Like It
The trailer begins with a bang. Literally. As the screen fades in, an Opsrey helicopter comes crashing into a populated helipad. The camera follows a pilot as they are thrown off the helipad, explosions sound above as debris falls around them. There’s a momentary pause in the booming sound effects as a fellow pilot, also in freefall, gives a reassuring thumbs up…just before being crushed by the burning carcass of the Osprey. And just like that, Battlefield is back.
The rest of the trailer follows the same chaotic pace and nature, showcasing a whole plethora of classic Battlefield features in just over four minutes. Vehicles are back with a vengeance, with every new scene in the trailer highlighting some form of high-octane vehicle combat or chase. Quadbikes, attack helicopters, fighter jets, and even snowmobile tanks are all featured heavily. It seems as though Dice have remembered, and fully embraced, what set Battlefield apart from the competition in the first place.
A few new gameplay features to the franchise seem to be present in this trailer as well, with a wingsuit being featured prominently throughout. But, by far the most exciting new detail to come out of this reveal trailer is the fact that Battlefield 2042 will seemingly have natural disasters that significantly impact the environment of the map you’re playing on. Battlefield is no stranger to environmental destruction, with it being one of Battlefield 3‘s most widely marketed features prior to release, but this looks to really up the ante. With brand new next-gen hardware, I have no doubt that Dice can create some truly unique and jaw-dropping set pieces with this new iteration.
But there’s something in this trailer that excited me more than the flashy visuals, the focus on thrilling vehicle action, or even the wingsuit- well… almost as much as the wingsuit, let’s be real- and that’s the overall tone. That might sound a bit pretentious, but hear me out. I mentioned earlier that Battlefield V had a fairly disastrous marketing campaign. Its trailers ditched the gritty tone that made Battlefield 1 so unique but paired it with a WW2 setting that required just as much realism and tact as 1‘s WW1 setting. Fans of the franchise have been fairly outspoken about their disdain for Battlefield V‘s overall tone and, while it may have gone a bit far in some places, it’s not too difficult to understand why.
Battlefield 2042 looks like it knows exactly what type of game it wants to be. From the second the trailer starts and that poor pilot is crushed by that Osprey, that classic Battlefield grit and grimness is back, but this time, they’re going to let you have fun with it. There’s a part in the trailer where two jets are engaged in a tense dogfight. Rather than outmanoeuvre the other jet, however, our pilot protagonist ejects out of his aircraft, pulls out an RPG, and blows his opponent out of the sky, just before landing safely back in his own cockpit. This is what Battlefield is now; a shooter that offers that same realistic experience that sets it apart from the competition, but embraces the tongue-in-cheek absurdity that is inherently baked into the genre. And do you know what? I’m here for it.
The trailer ended with that classic Battlefield theme, proudly announcing that a gameplay trailer will be revealed on the 13th June.
Battlefield 2042 is currently slated to release on the 22nd October 2021 for Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.
Make sure to check in with us throughout the next few weeks as more upcoming games are revealed during E3 and Summer Games Fest.
Words by Cameron Swan