The next release in Battlefields franchise, Battlefield 2042 is bringing a not so distant future theatre of warfare to the collection. Well known for the rich and immersive situational grandness of the franchises multiplayer gameplay. It is no wonder it is a focus of this release.
With support for massive-scale 128 player battles and a battlefield that changes due to destruction and dynamic environmental hazards. It seems Dice are seeking to out-do themselves. The most ground-breaking aspect of this offerings multiplayer however, is the advent and inclusion of the new Portal system.
A system that means players have much more to customise and get creative with, maximising the potential for fun with friends.
Where Does the Portal Take the Player?
Whilst not a tool for modders to get too pumped up about. For the creative lay-gamer, it is an exciting and accessible way to spice up gameplay and get inventive. Portal is essentially a web tool that permits players to design, create and share their own game modes.
Allowing for the customisation of many variables, from weapons tuning to vehicle speeds. Even including a logic editor for more intricate and innovative game modes. The biggest reason Portal seems to be creating such a stir amongst fans is this. Players have access to a selection of maps, classes, weapons and vehicles from 3 other games in the series. That is assets from 1942, Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3, assets that can be utilised and mixed and matched within the Portal, of course, with varying results.
Do players want to see what a single squad of specialists from 2042 can do against 34 soldiers with bolt-action rifles from 1942? Now they can. Do fans want to have the most crowded and hectic experience in any Battlefield game ever? Now they can. As stated in an Aus Gamers interview by Rob Donovan, Senior Game Designer at Ripple Effect;
“You can put 128-players on our smallest map location too, something designed for 32,” …I think it’s going to be terrible, but there’s going to be people that love the chaos, our community loves to push the boundaries and we’re giving them more tools than ever to push those boundaries.”
Fobbed Off or Fun?
Whilst almost every title in the franchise has released with a single-player campaign mode alongside the beloved multiplayer, 2042 does not. It has been dropped in favour of ‘evolving the multiplayer narrative’, which with the Portal they certainly seem to have succeeded. As it is very much being spoken about and lauded as an exciting new innovation.
However is it just a new toy to distract from the lacking campaign or is it all good fun? With recent campaigns being more forgettable than commendable the focus of Battlefield players has most certainly been in the realm of online multiplayer. That being so, it is welcoming to see developers focussed on what a game is most loved for, then developing and enhancing it to allow for more fun with friends.