My Battlefield 2042 Experience
Battlefield 2042 is free this weekend, so I thought I would give it a try. So far I'm not even in the game yet and it's obnoxious.
First, I downloaded it off Steam. You would think this would mean no Origin client, but that's wrong. Battlefield 2042 on Steam just launches Origin Thin, which makes you log into your Origin account, so you can play it.
After that, I got it started up, only to have a prompt that my Windows 10 doesn't meet the minimum requirement version, and a black screen that never loaded. So I started searching around for answers to the black screen, then just tried restarting the game and it worked.
Next there was a ton of loading. Like a lot. Just watching a loading icon get started. Finally it starts in a window. So I set Battlefield 2042 to full screen, but guess what? It's at like 1024x758 resolution, I can't even read the text on the screen. I try and figure out where to go to fix the problem, but instead I'm greeted with all these prompts about color blindness, accessibility, etc. Nothing about changing graphics or resolution. After I get my first match I get some notice about how the game is inclusive for all this other stuff.
Then I'm thrown in a tutorial video. I've been playing Battlefield games since 1942 I don't need a tutorial video. This it the first time I've ever seen one in a Battlefield game and quite frankly it's insulting.
The performance is absolutely terrible. I have an RX 580, and the game runs in the 40fps range at 1440p with everything on low. There's a global GPU shortage, this is a $400 GPU right now, yet it can run this game at 40fps on low?
So Battlefield 2042 just throws me in a random match, I have no idea what's going on. Apparently I'm Irish, no class choice, nothing, it doesn't feel like Battlefield. Then I get into the match, there's no way to talk to anyone else, there's no scoreboard. The first thought that comes to my mind is that Battlefield 2042 feels like a single player game. And really, it essentially is if there's no score board and no real way to communicate with other people. The whole experience just felt like I was shooting bots. It feels pointless. I instinctually go to check my scoreboard after I kill a bunch of people, but nothing shows up. I might as well just be shooting bots, and let me tell you the way most of these people were playing bots would be an improvement. The time to kill is so silly, I don't even have to run and take cover like in old Battlefield games, I can just run around and shoot people. You can really see the contrast when you play an older game like Battlefield 4, people are talking. Some of it may be sort of rude, but they are talking. Everyone at the end of a match says "GG". The Battlefield 2042 rounds I played had none of that. Part of me feels like people are afraid to chat in the game because they don't want to get banned and lose the money they spent on the game. The other part of me feels like chat is hidden by default to protect people's feelings. Part of what made Battlefield games special was always feeling like you're in a huge battlefield with a ton of other human players. They've made Battlefield feel like it's not a game you play with a lot of people. It feels like you are playing with bots, there's just not as much player interaction. And it's all been removed to avoid people having their feelings get hurt. I have been playing Battlefield games for a really long time, I don't think the average player is easily offended.
Then I go to join Portal because it is the cool new feature, I find a nice server with 128 capacity and a few open slots, with the damage turned up, because by default it's ridiculously easy. And then I can't join because I keep getting "invalid server state" errors. Eventually I do get in one and at least you can see your squad's kills and deaths.
And now I guess you can't revive people in your squad, so I literally just watched some guy who was down get revived by someone else in their squad. Then the guy doing the reviving comes back and just shoots me as I lay on the ground, because apparently you can't revive people not in your squad anymore.
The first time I saw a load out screen that let me change guns I was prompted to buy them with in game currency.
Both teams have the same models because everyone is a hero instead of a unique soldier. The only way to tell who is on what team is by the little dot above your team mates head.
Overall I don't really get this game. The only redeeming part of it is Portal because it lets the game pretend to imitate older versions of Battlefield. The default online mode of Battlefield 2042 just feels like you're playing bots on easy mode. There were already a few graphical glitches in the game, like flickering textures. Hillariously, when I spawned one time, my player did the gun cock animation but the gun itself wasn't even loaded, it was like he was using an invisible gun.
The scary part about the Portal though, is that there are only 8 servers currently near me that have a ping under 100ms. And this is on a free weekend for a new game that has been discounted. Most importantly I can't believe how much time in Battlefield 2042 is spent waiting on loading screens. The first round you get into, the game just throws you into it after a tutorial, and then that's the fastest you'll ever get into a round. As a long time Battlefield fan I am extremely disappointed. I see no reason to play this instead of Bad Company 2 or Battlefield 4. In fact I think it's a step backwards, at least there I have classes, load outs, voice chat, etc.
They really made the worst Battlefield yet. I don't understand why they tried to market it so hard to long time fans, then turned around and changed so many core parts of a Battlefield game. There was a lot of potential here and they really dropped the ball.
larynx December 18th, 2021