Battlefield 2042 – 6 months in

by Ben Kirby
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Battlefield 2042 was released to more of a whimper than a bang, after some pretty slick marketing, the actual release was a little disappointing to pretty much everyone. I reviewed it a month into its release, right here at FullSync and found it to be alright, but more importantly, I promised to revisit it in six months. So here I am!

Hot off a big version 4.0 update on 19th April 2022 I’ve been dropping back into the Battlefield to see what’s changed. Is it worth playing now?

Battlefield 2042 jumping back in

Big changes

Straight away, I found that I was enjoying a much more stable Battlefield 2042 experience. More stable matches, cross-play working smoothly with all platforms and relatively quick matchmaking.

Patch 4.0 brought with it over 400 changes. Tweaks to the HUD, improvements to specialists and maps. It’s a significant chunk and it shows, because the minor gripes, such as opening menus mid-match are all but gone.

The action feels slicker and tighter. Many times in matches of conquest, I found myself “feeling” that Battlefield thing, it’s all just hitting the right spots and my impressions of Battlefield 2042 have improved significantly.

One of the most important aspects for me is stability in-game. Suddenly I don’t feel like I’m playing terribly. One thing I noticed but assumed that perhaps that fault laid with me, was hit registration. Previously, I was taking shots that I was confident were good, and they weren’t hitting. I’d chalked it up to my needing to get better. But actually, that niggling feeling that Battlefield 2042 was the issue, seems to have been correct.

Now I’m getting kills, and it’s feeling great!

Kills and things aside, I’ve found my comfort zone with the specialists, too. Casper is totally my jam. Playing a bit of a non-friendly ghost. Using my recon drone and my SVD in the custom “recon” loadout I’ve built. The flow of the game just seems to have clicked in that Battlefield way, that I just wasn’t doing before.

I honestly don’t know specifically what’s shifted (although adding scoreboards has helped. Yes, they were missing before….), but I’ve found that everything is just clicking more. Suddenly I feel like I’m actually playing a modern take on the Battlefield series.

Battlefield 2042 Tornado

Small changes

Interested in the minutiae of what’s been changed in Battlefield 2042? Check out the patch notes. It’s fascinating how much DICE/EA is still working on the game. It would be easy to drop it after a few months with a sour release, but credit to the developers still working to make it work.

Better still, in a recent earnings call, it’s been made incredibly clear that Battlefield 2042 isn’t going anywhere. With a commitment to it, similar to that of Apex Legends. A game that’s going to grow, improve and evolve over the next few years.

If six months can create such significant improvements. How much can Battlefield 2042 improve over a few years?

I enjoyed the game at review, and Portal is still a nice harkening back to the past games with bits here and there. But the meat of the game and the most fun for me is in the All-out-warfare. The absolute gem in the crown of the game. I’d play more of everything else if I had more friends that owned the game, but I can happily squad up in a Conquest match and have a blast.

Hazard Zone is still a poorly-realised mode that just doesn’t do it for me, but again, simple, small changes like matchmaking and stability make it a smoother experience at the very least. Perhaps the mode will get the time and attention it requires in due course?

Battlefield 2042 Specialists

Time to dive in!

If you’re a fan of the series, but held off after the initial release. I think you did the right thing. But now Battlefield 2042 is in a solid position. Arguably this is about where it should have been at release, but that’s a different discussion.

Truth is, it’s cheaper now, it’s better now, and Battlefield would be a great addition to your library. Please, come play with me, I promise it’s good now!

I do wonder if it might go onto Gamepass sooner rather than later, too. It’s already part of the EA Play+ subscription, and as time goes on, perhaps the model will go free-to-play or Gamepass? If they’re looking at a multi-year lifespan and massive support, surely changing to a different monetisation model would be inevitable. Don’t take that as gospel, that’s pure conjecture on my part, but in this day and age, perhaps Battlefield is ready for that treatment, too?

It seems like player counts are pretty solid, certainly getting into 128 player matches hasn’t been an issue, so it’s healthy and playable. Give it a go.

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