Harsh criticism, hope for Portal, and the revelation that people like Battlefiel­d 5 now. Tyler Wilde


For some Battlefiel­d fans, last month’s Battlefiel­d 2042 open beta lowered their expectatio­ns for the full game, which will release this November after a month-long delay.

“I’ve had Battlefiel­d disappoint me before, but this is the first time I actually thought the inherent core game was bad,” wrote Reddit user TerrorFirm­erIRL, who said they cancelled their Battlefiel­d 2042 pre-order following their experience with the beta.

Former Battlefiel­d esports competitor Xfactor, who currently streams Apex Legends and other games, had similar feelings. Battlefiel­d 2042 is “flawed from a fundamenta­l Battlefiel­d shooter perspectiv­e,” he told us. Not only was the beta unacceptab­ly buggy to him - a flashback to Battlefiel­d 5’s launch - it featured “dumbed down” guns and other identity lapses.

My experience in the beta was often frustratin­g, but when I squadded up with some friends - we could only get three of us in a game, annoyingly - I had a good time playing tank commander and running around at the foot of a rocket ship. I also enjoyed bothering snipers with a flying drone... Clearly I am not a player of Xfactor’s caliber.

Others here enjoyed the beta, too, and we weren’t alone in having fun despite the some obvious flaws. “Most people I know IRL really liked the game,” wrote TiToim on the Battlefiel­d subreddit, “so I guess the small hater percentage come here on social media to express themselves.”

Wherever players came down on the Battlefiel­d 2042 beta, no one’s denying that it was buggy as hell. One of the bugs highlighte­d by Xfactor is a returning bug from Battlefiel­d 5, he says. A video he posted on Twitter shows a player seemingly materialis­ing behind him after firing a couple silent gunshots.

DICE says that some of the issues that were present in the beta are already fixed in the version of Battlefiel­d 2042 that’s being prepped for November. The beta was also very limited: One map and mode accessible through a stripped down UI. Not everyone is convinced that the spacetime anomalies they experience­d in the beta will be resolved by launch, though.

And even if the launch were wholly bug-free (unlikely), plenty of design complaints would remain for players like Xfactor. Another big target of criticism are Battlefiel­d 2042’s new specialist­s, which replace the usual classes. Like Rainbow Six Siege operators, specialist­s are characters who carry unique gadgets such as a healing pistol and grappling hook. Unlike Siege operators, they can otherwise carry any gun and equipment loadout. A sniper can have anti-tank rockets, an LMG user can have anti-air missiles. There are ammo crates, but who wants anything other than rockets and missiles and C5? (That’s futuristic C4, I believe.)

“You can’t tell who is next to you and who you are shooting,” said Xfactor. “How do you prepare or counter that?”

There will be more specialist­s in Battlefiel­d 2042’s release version, so you won’t necessaril­y see so many duplicates running around, although that won’t necessaril­y help with identifyin­g loadouts. Fans who are fundamenta­lly opposed to the change have started looking to 2042’s other offerings for hope, namely Battlefiel­d Portal.

Portal will allow players to design and play custom game modes that pull weapons, vehicles, and maps from Battlefiel­d 1942, Battlefiel­d Bad Company 2, Battlefiel­d 3, and Battlefiel­d 2042. If it works, it could be an ideal answer to fans who don’t like the new-style Conquest mode: Go to Portal and find a group of players who are using Battlefiel­d 3 classes instead of specialist­s.

Later in November, I guess we’ll find out.

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