After playing Battlefield 2042 for a few days, it’s clear that it’s got some wrinkles to iron out.
We weren’t all too impressed with what DICE’s latest shooter has to offer, describing it as “disappointing in its current state”. For a full reasoning behind our criticisms, give our full review a read.
However, we’re not all doom and gloom here and GameByte. Here are a few suggestions that we think should be prioritised for Battlefield 2042 to become a much more fun experience.
Okay, okay – this is the last time I’ll complain about Battlefield 2042’s performance, I promise. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that the game runs awfully on even the beefiest of PC hardware. We’ve published a guide to help boost your frame rate as much as possible, but it’s not a miracle worker.
The fact is that 128 players running around huge maps is a massive resource hog. Performance in Hazard Zone and Portal – where the player count is much lower – is far better, proving that much of the load seems to be caused by the large-scale chaos.
While there’s not much that DICE can do to reduce the scale of the battles it’s created, it could do with working some optimization magic. When monitoring PC resources, Battlefield 2042 rarely goes beyond 70% GPU usage, and CPU usage tends to hover around 40%. In other games, these figures are usually much higher, allowing games to take full advantage of a PC’s hardware.
It’s worth noting that Battlefield 2042 is technically still in its Early Access period with the proper release date set for November 19th. It could be that Nvidia and DICE were aiming to have the game properly optimised for that date and not November 12th. An Nvidia Game Ready driver has also been released. That includes the DLSS feature which can drastically improve performance in some games.
I discussed this briefly in the full review, but the user interface design of Battlefield 2042 is in need of a heavy overhaul. Not only is it dysfunctional in several areas, but it’s an atrocious presentation with regards to accessibility. That neon teal colour scheme is harsh on the eyes, making it difficult to tell when menu toggle switches are on or off.
Elsewhere, the menu system is extremely cumbersome to use. Adjusting weapon attachments on the fly is a fantastic addition to Battlefield. It’s super quick and easy to achieve while running between objectives, too. But that plus shaped UI design doesn’t translate well to the loadout customisation menu. It desperately needs some sort of list or grid layout to streamline the experience.
The same can be said for the match scoreboard, or lack thereof. Previous Battlefield games let you view the entire friendly and enemy team statistics. This was a fantastic way to see how you were performing in comparison to your foes. Especially in smaller scale modes – something that Portal does well – it can be fun to chase teammates up the board to be the best of the best. That’s sadly not possible here with only your squad displayed on the scoreblock.
With a lot of Battlefield 2042’s UI, it’s unclear whether the design is intentional or careless. The menus are littered with spelling errors and formatting inconsistencies that have slipped through the quality control cracks. It’s not a good look for a game that costs £70, and it’s an issue that should be prioritised for launch.
Part of the poor weapon handling is down to Battlefield 2042’s atrocious performance, but that’s not the only diminishing factor. The time to kill in 2042 is long, sitting somewhere between Call of Duty: Vanguard and Halo Infinite. That’s due to most weapons dealing a pitiful amount of damage beyond a certain range. It makes little sense, given that the scale of these new maps is immense.
To make matters worse, the bullet spread on a lot of weapons is barely controllable. Just look at this Reddit clip of someone’s bullets going anywhere but the crosshair.
The result is a shooting model that feels floaty, imprecise, and generally dissatisfying to play with. A buggy netcode often means that bullet hits don’t register properly, resulting in frustration as you see blood splatters from an enemy but earn no damage.
Shooting is the main activity you take part in while playing a first person shooter – who’d have thunk? As it stands, it seems that there’s plenty of tweaking DICE needs to do to make the core gameplay mechanic more enjoyable.
Number of weapons
Speaking of weapons, there aren’t a great deal in the mainstay mode of Battlefield 2042. There’s 22 to be exact, and that’s including the few number of sidearms. It’s a disappointing roster of weapons that only provide a small amount of variety in how they shoot. What’s more is that they’re spread rather thinly across the 60 levels of progression. You’ll be playing for a long while to unlock some of the later weapons.
As I said in my review, Battlefield Portal feels like it will be the mode that most players will fall back to. That mode has 75 weapons, most of which are borrowed from the history banks of Battlefield’s gone by. While plenty of them wouldn’t really fit the theme of Battlefield 2042, it would be great to see some of them make their way over to All Out Warfare. It would certainly bolster the roster of weapons and bring some variety to the otherwise dull battle zones.
If you’ve played Battlefield 2042, you might have noticed that the audio is currently extremely funky. It sounds as though everything within a 50m radius is happening right next to you, and it’s almost impossible to pinpoint directions.
This is especially noticeable on maps with tight spaces. In previous Battlefield games, the audio design was so tight that you could pinpoint exactly where enemies were. Obstructing walls and containers all affected the sound waves so that you could paint a clear picture in your head of your unseen surroundings.
If DICE has implemented similar technology in Battlefield 2042, it’s certainly difficult to tell. Being able to pinpoint enemy decisions is a key gameplay pillar for first person shooters. It’s a shame that Battlefield 2042 misses the mark in this area.
What are some other areas where you feel Battlefield 2042 could be improved? Let us know across our social channels.
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[Featured Image Credit: Battlefield]