Battlefield 2042 Season 3: Escalation is a good time to give the game another chance

Battlefield 2042's Season 3 content is a blast, and it's a great accent to a game that has improved immensely since launch.


Back when Battlefield 2042 first launched I wondered how long the game would survive. I think we can all safely say it was in quite a dismal state when it first game out. Yet here we are on the cusp of Season 3 of the game. I had heard murmurs that Battlefield 2042 had gotten quite better through patches and polish in the months since it came out, but when I was invited to check out the content for Season 3, I was floored. Not only is the new content fun, but the core game itself is head and shoulders above what I saw back in November 2021. And if you’ve been out of the game or never tried it before, Season 3 just might be the time to stop in and see what EA and DICE have done with this game. You might just find yourself as surprised as I was.

Ride the rails to Sweden

Battlefield 2042 Season 3: Escalation features a lot of impressive content for the game, the highlights of which include a new map, Specialist, weapons, vehicles, and a new Battle Pass. The map is probably the most ridiculously good thing here. Spearhead takes players to a Swedish countryside dotted with factories, camps, helipads, and other military outposts. There’s an excellent mix of indoor facilities for close-to-medium combat and outdoor verdant hills and fields with which to battle mid-to-long distance with more marksman-favored weapons and vehicular combat. The camps and helipads also provide close encounter points as you weave between stairs, crates, tents, and more. It’s a gorgeous map and it felt really good playing Breakthrough as both attackers and defenders.

The new Specialist is a neat addition to the Assault category as well. Rasheed Zain comes packed with an XM370A semi-automatic airburst launcher. He can use this to break and splinter flimsy enemy cover, forcing combatants into the open. Then, he gets a bit of a berserker boost on kills, gaining health back quicker for a limited time whenever he takes out an enemy. Zain is a great option for aggressive players that don’t want to play the waiting game for opponents to peek from behind their defensive positions. He’s made for breaking those positions, killing off stragglers, and moving quickly to his next target.

Rasheed Zain with the new Rorsch Mk-4 Railgun in Battlefield 2042
Source: Electronic Arts

Then, there are the weapons themselves. Season 3 introduces the Rorsch Mk-4 Railgun, NVK-S22 Shotgun, and NVK-P125 Secondary Weapon. In particular, I freaking love the Rorsch. It takes a second to spin up your shot, but when you fire, it feels impactful and devastating at a distance. Body shots won’t kill, but there will be little left after. Meanwhile, every time I hit a headshot with the weapon, it felt exhilarating in a way other snipers in the game don’t (not that there aren’t other good melon poppers. I just like the feel of the Rorsch more).

The NVK-S22 feels like a weapon made just for Zain. This semi-auto shotgun kills effectively at close-to-mid range and you can fire it fairly quickly. A very slow reloading process is its weakness, but with a full stock of shells, you can devastate a squad if they’re not ready and you’re hitting your shots to the head and body. Finally, there’s the NVK-P125. This is considered sort of a marksman pistol. You can actually engage at a semi decent range with it and kill effectively. If you’ve chipped someone with a shotgun or they’ve retreated out of reach, you might just keep the P125 handy to finish them off with its surprisingly stable and accurate semi-auto fire.

Not the same Battlefield from 2021

Battle in the Spearhead map in Battlefield 2042 Season 3: Escalation
Source: Electronic Arts

All of this content I’ve been praising wouldn’t be possible without the work EA and DICE have done on Battlefield 2042’s core experience. There was a lot here that I was hugely impressed with. Yes, you have specialists, but now there are proper classes and loadouts you can arrange for them. The classes are spread between Assault, Engineering, Sniper, and Medic, and much like classic Battlefield style, they each play a particular role on the field with Assault being heavy attackers, Engineering handing both destroying and repairing vehicles the best, Snipers specializing in long distance engagement, and Medics keeping downed teammates in the fight.

I think the best part of this is not only can you use any Specialist in any class, but you can also build any class loadout pretty much entirely the way you want. Want an Engineer with a sniper rifle? You can. Want a Medic rocking an HMG? You can. Sure, some kits and Specialists are better suited to one class than another, but having the options and availability is great.

There’s also the level of optimization and polish EA and DICE have poured into this game since last year. During my time with the Season 3 content, I didn’t run into a lot of bugs, glitches, or issues that were plaguing Battlefield 2042 at launch. My matches were clean and smooth without really any noticeable hiccups outside of an occasional janky ragdoll effect, which was quite the surprise to me. No, instead it felt like some of the best times I had when I was playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 back in the day. The chaos of the fight, spawning up on my squad mates, playing one objective or another, watching a tank pluck a helicopter out of the sky, making a slick headshot only to get shellacked by a squad I didn’t see on my flank… All of it just felt like good Battlefield vibes, and I’m really happy to feel that again.

The Escalation approaches

Battlefield 2042's Season 3 roadmap
Source: Electronic Arts

Season 3 isn’t just a good round of content, it might be one of the best new entry points to get back into Battlefield 2042. I think EA and DICE know this too because between getting the game onto Xbox Game Pass and throwing out free play dates in December, they are inviting a lot of folks to come back and see what’s currently going on with the game without risk. I have to admit, I think it’s a good point to see if Battlefield 2042 is your bag or not, too. I’ve been away for a while, I came in not sure what to expect, and I ultimately left the preview wanting to get my friends back on board to squad up when Season 3: Escalation officially launches this November. I can’t promise you’ll get the same mileage, but maybe Season 3 will be your turning point for the game, too.

These impressions are based on a hands-on preview of Battlefield 2042’s Season 3 content on PC. Season 3: Escalation is set to launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on November 22, 2022.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      November 18, 2022 8:12 AM

      I wish the new classes system were coming sooner

      • reply
        November 18, 2022 12:32 PM

        Are they really still bothering with that crap?

        They're not going to salvage this game no matter what they do. Even if it went free to play it would not be thriving. They need to flush it all and start anew.

        • reply
          November 18, 2022 1:01 PM

          I think they're in a phase trying to save their face and regain some of the trust of the community that they completely lost with this mess. It is still a mediocre (at best) BF game and missing a lot of what made every BF special but i'm looking forward to seeing how Class System is going to make it better.

          • reply
            November 18, 2022 1:08 PM

            Sounds like the 'fix pubg' campaign. What an awful dev lol.

        • reply
          November 18, 2022 1:35 PM

          I think they are using it as a tool to teach/learn the newer devs at DICE on how to make a game. Sure glad I helped fund their education.. (sarcasm meter is pegged).

        • reply
          November 18, 2022 2:14 PM

          they poop out a new game every couple years and this one is a year old so you'll probably get your wish in like a year

    • reply
      November 18, 2022 2:07 PM

      Game was super fun at release and is way better now.

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