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Battlefield 2042: release date, portal mode, and everything else we know

Battlefield is making a triumphant return to its glory days with Battlefield 2042. Expect wingsuits, grappling hooks, killer robo-dogs, and tornadoes.

After a month and months of refreshing Battlefield’s Twitter page, it’s finally here: Battlefield 2042. The newest entry into DICE’s franchise is set in a dystopian near future where a series of natural disasters has left the world on the brink of war. Food shortages, economic ruin, and the collapse of communications systems help sow the seeds of distrust between the last two superpowers; the United States of America and Russia.

Utilising a group of displaced specialists called ‘no-pats’, the remaining superpowers engage in a series of proxy wars in an attempt to preserve power whilst maintaining plausible deniability. Soon open war will be declared, and it’s up to you to fight for your future. Sounds epic, right?

Well, the good news is the release date is in sight. Battlefield 2042 will be launching on November 19 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. Here’s everything we know about the next era of the Battlefield franchise.

Battlefield 2042
Image: DICE / EA

Battlefield 2042 Specialists

DICE has decided to part ways with its tried-and-true role selection. In previous Battlefield games, you could choose from one of four classes – Assault, Engineer, Support, or Recon – each with their own weapon choices and gadgets.

However in Battlefield 2042, you can choose from one of ten specialists at launch, each with their own unique ability and perk.

Only four specialists have been announced so far, one of whom is Maria Falk, a veteran medic who comes equipped with a syrette pistol allowing her to heal teammates from afar. She also has the ability to revive her allies with full health, unlike other specialists who only revive with partial health.

Another specialist to give a whirl is Webster Mackay, a Canadian-born assault soldier who comes equipped with a grappling hook. He also has a Nimble perk which allows him to move faster whilst aiming down sights. His abilities definitely lend themselves to in-and-out assault missions, picking apart the enemies defences whilst swinging around like Tarzan with an SMG.

Weapon choices will also not be tied to classes – all weapons will be accessible by all specialists. Specialists will also be able to change their loadout on the fly, with one caveat – you won’t be able to change your weapons, but you will be able to adjust your attachments.

DICE has called this the ‘Plus System’ where players can change their scopes, muzzles, ammo types, magazines, and under-barrel attachments. Through this menu, you won’t have access to the full roster of attachments, but a small selection you choose to take with you.

Vehicles

Vehicles have always been integral to the Battlefield experience. Whether it’s zipping around in an attack helicopter, marauding the frontlines with a tank, or strapping C4 to the front of a jeep for one heck of a suicide mission, there’s a set of wheels (or wings) for every occasion.

What’s new in Battlefield 2042 is the ability to call a vehicle drop from wherever you are on the map. Their reasoning behind this choice is because of the unprecedented scale of the maps – you’ll need a ride to keep up with the fast-paced Battlefield experience we’re used to, so DICE will allow you to call a vehicle airdrop using an equipped tablet.

As the game is set in the near future, DICE has drawn inspiration from current service vehicles and added their own spin. During the gameplay trailer we saw a vehicle that looked very similar to an Osprey, a helicopter/plane hybrid which is called the called the MV38-Condor in Battlefield 2042.

In appearance they seem almost identical, however, the vehicle uses a jet system rather than propellers. The primary use of this vehicle is to transport troops across the map, however, this vehicle features three separate gunner seats each with its own minigun.

Although not necessarily a vehicle, the robot dog has to be talked about. The deployable gadget called ‘Ranger’ will be accessible by all specialists.

DICE has not revealed too many details yet, but describe it as “an agile and mechanized companion that can be called in to faithfully follow you into combat”. I must admit, this thing looks absolutely terrifying with the speed it moves across the map.

Battlefield 2042 Maps

Battlefield 2042 will be launching with seven maps. Scattered throughout the globe, each offers its own unique atmosphere, weather systems, and play experience. What’s more, each map is designed to host 128 players, unlike previous titles which capped out at 64 players.

Although we aren’t sure how big all the maps are, we do know they will be larger than ever. As reported by GamesRadar, Breakaway will be a staggering 5.9 square kilometres, which is the biggest map in the franchise’s history.

We will also be seeing a return of the Levolution events. From the gameplay trailer for instance, we learned that a massive tornado will spawn on the Hourglass map. In a recent interview, DICE developers cast some light on how this new element works.

They describe it as a physics-changing tool that has the power to inflict massive destruction across the map. They said that the tornado will never follow the same path, and sometimes won’t spawn at all. Its incorporation into the game is to help create those Battlefield ‘moments’ we know and love.

One of the developers gave an anecdotal example of what this means. During a recent playtest, he describes how he was saved by a transport truck being flung across the map by the tornado and striking a sniper zeroing in on him. Battlefield has been at its best during these frantic moments of chaos, so we’re excited to see their focus return to this.

Modes

Unlike previous titles, this year’s Battlefield will not feature a single-player campaign. Instead, DICE have been developing a better AI system so you can still play its multiplayer modes offline, with a full server population of AI soldiers.

In regards to game modes, there is still very little information available. Currently we only know of two, with more to be announced soon. We will see a return of classics in Rush and Conquest, however, Rush is now residing under the name Breakthrough.

DICE has also adapted the Conquest mode for the game’s unprecedented scale. Instead of just throwing in extra capping points, they’ve divided the map into sectors. Within each sector is multiple objectives your team needs to hold in order to maintain control of it. More details to come, but I’m certainly a fan of this change.

Battlefield 2042 Overview
Image: DICE / EA

Battlefield 2042 will also feature a new mode called Hazard Zone, described as a “high stakes, squad-based game-type that is a modern take on the multiplayer experience.” Although we don’t know for certain, I’m willing to bet my life savings that this will be Battlefield’s take on the battle royale genre.

Portal Mode

More details emerged regarding the long-rumoured Portal mode at the EA Play Live event on July 22nd. There’s a lot to take in regarding this new Battlefield 2042 mode, but that’s only got us even more excited.

According to the developers it’s a “Love letter to our core fans. A new way to play Battlefield is coming. Discover unexpected battles and enter the wide universe of Battlefield with this experience.”

Portal mode will allow players to pull pieces from all three of the last Battlefield games and combine them into a giant melting pot of the past and present. This mode will be extraordinarily flexible – encouraging players to create and share their own custom battles and maps.

Players will be able to create and play these experiences using classic maps, factions, soldier archetypes, armies, weapons and vehicles from Battlefield 2042, Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. So prepare to get creative and let the chaos reign down!

We will be updating this article as more details becomes available. Watch the full Battlefield 2042 gameplay trailer below.