The rumors were true. The next Battlefield game, Battlefield 2042, is set in the future, EA announced during a digital showcase today that started after a “countdown to a countdown.” A gameplay reveal is scheduled for June 13. The game releases October 22 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC.
In Battlefield 2042, the United States is locked in a cold war with—and, given the series’ history, you’ll never guess this—Russia in the wake of global climate disaster. Maps, of which there will be seven at the start, can host up to 128 players depending on the mode, a significant increase over the 64-player limit in recent entries. (Matches played on PS4 and Xbox One will still be limited to 64 players.) Oh, yeah, and there are robot dogs. And wingsuits.
Here’s a cinematic trailer:
Those initial maps will feature locations like a desert in Egypt, a city in South Korea, and, thrillingly, an outpost in Antarctica. Two stalwart Battlefield modes—Breakthrough and the big team battle Conquest—will return. EA is light on details about a new mode, Hazard Zone, though describes it at “tense.” A fourth mode, currently under wraps, will be revealed during EA’s not-E3 event on July 22. There won’t be a campaign, nor will that long-rumored battle royale mode show up, Eurogamer reports.
But the most quietly meaningful change is the new specialist system, which was not discussed in today’s cinematic reveal but is detailed on the game’s official website. Recent Battlefield games have allowed you to play as one of four classes—Recon, Support, Assault, or Medic—that dictated what weapons and gear you could start with. In Battlefield 2042, that’s gone. The specialist you choose features two specific perks, but the rest of your loadout is entirely customizable.
An open beta is scheduled for an unspecified future date. According to the terms and conditions, your character data will not transfer over to the main game.
Battlefield 2042 isn’t the first Battlefield to take place in the future. Battlefield 2142, released in 2006, takes place during a futuristic cold war set amid the backdrop of a new ice age.
Perhaps no game in the E3 2021 press cycle has spent more time in the rumor mill than Battlefield 2042. Over the past few weeks, a steady drip-feed of screenshots and speculation has plastered the internet. Just this morning, as GameSpot reports, leakers on Reddit posted apparent leaks from Origin, EA’s digital games storefront. Some stuff (setting, specialists) panned out. Some stuff (a release date of October 15) did not.
EA’s stream was initially scheduled for 10:00 a.m. ET. Once it officially “started,” a countdown—this one an hour long—kicked off. On Battlefield’s official YouTube channel, right before the stream began, north of 360,000 people were tuned in. Within a few minutes, that dipped below 200,000. “HOLY SMOKES LETS GOO!!!!!” one commenter wrote in the chat at 10:00 a.m. ET on the dot. “WOW COUNTDOWN.”
Update: 11:45 a.m. ET: Tweaked text to add further details about the game.