There is no way to sugarcoat this. Battlefield 2042's launch was bad. It was historically bad. On top of being a broken mess, many of the game's features didn't sit well with the franchise's loyal fanbase. Now that EA and DICE have put in months towards fixing many of the bugs and glitches that were bogging down 2042 since launch, the time has come to address some of the features. Season 1: Zero Hour is set to launch this week and DICE is introducing a few new additions, as well as a few heavily requested features that make 2042 feel closer to the Battlefield games of old.
Season 1: Zero Hour moves the Battlefield 2042 story forward, giving players a greater look at a world on the edge of catastrophe. Resources are scarcer than ever, nations have collapsed, and war has broken out across the globe. The latest front in this uncertain conflict takes players to a brand new map called Exposure, which is set in the Canadian Rockies. Those looking for a true sense of verticality will find it here. While capture points are located along the surface, players will also find a military research facility deep along the cliffsides, exposed after a landslide. Accessing these points means ziplining or parachuting in from above, as players can only hope that the enemy doesn't intercept them with a hail of bullets.
Helping lead the charge is new Specialist Ewelina Lis. Her focus is purely on anti-armor, as she brings in a rocket launcher capable of demolishing even the biggest tanks and aircraft. Drivers and pilots had better look out for incoming player-guided rockets. Ewelina is also capable of collecting intel on damaged vehicles through her Armor Hunter trait, making her an invaluable presence on the ground.
To help counter this anti-armor presence is new vehicles. Battlefield 2042's helicopter selection was rather limited at launch, but DICE is hoping to fix that with the addition of the new RAH-68 Huron and YG-99 Hannibal stealth choppers. These aircraft come equipped with radar deflection and advanced defensive capabilities. Just be careful flying them, because flight controls in BF2042 are still a bit of a challenge. That doesn't bode well for gunners, either, which still have to put up with visibility and control issues. For those who like to stay grounded, look for new weaponry, like the Ghostmaker R10 Crossbow, the BSV-M Marksman Rifle (a midrange sniper rifle), and a new Smoke Grenade Launcher.
Players will be able to find the aforementioned additions and other new items through the Season 1 Battle Pass. On the surface, tossing in a premium battle pass to a full-priced retail game should rightfully leave a bad taste in people's mouths. At the very least, though, DICE is assuring the fanbase that any weapons and vehicles tied to the Battle Pass will come via the free tier. The premium tier will only contain cosmetic items and sell for 1,000 BFC ($10 USD).
Of course, what good are additions if the core experience isn't any fun? We certainly walked away from the Battlefield 2042 launch thoroughly disappointed, but is DICE doing anything to fix this? Those who are pining for the classic Battlefield experience will be happy to hear that the Season 1 update will include 64-player modes. Furthermore, DICE is now committed to the 64-player experience. While 128-player game modes will still be supported, any maps released in Season 2 and beyond will only be playable with 64 players. In the case of the new Exposure map, Conquest mode will support 64 and 128 players, while Breakthrough mode will only allow 64 users.
By DICE's own admission, the road to making Battlefield 2042 a worthy entry to the beloved franchise will be long and arduous. With that said, expect to see significant changes with the launch of Season 1. Improved animations are expected to be integrated over the next two months, weapons will continue to be balanced, and DICE is also looking to improve PC performance through CPU utilization adjustments, input latency upgrades, and more. Meanwhile, existing maps are currently being evaluated and will likely see some noteworthy changes. An overhaul to Kaleidoscope, featuring more cover spots, greater destruction effects, and some entirely new areas, is being targeted for an August launch. Changes to Renewal will take a little longer, but DICE is looking to remove Sectors A and E entirely for a more focused center push. Look for the Renewal changes to come in Season 2.
It's a small step forward for Battlefield 2042 and DICE, but it remains to be seen whether this lengthy delay to Season 1 will help fix the game's many problems. Battlefield 2042 owners can endeavor to find out how far this game has come when Season 1: Zero Hour goes live this Thursday, June 9.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Battlefield 2042 Season 1 reaches Exposure as it hits Zero Hour
Jesus Christ this Battlefield 2042 patch just takes FOREVER to actually finish even though there's no more to download.
I guess it's verifying cache of the whole thing or something.