It should be no surprise to franchise fans that Battlefield 2042's opening weekend was a bit less than auspicious, but some longtime aficionados of the series seem to think this future-tinged entry is a bridge too far. Between complaints of major changes to the game's core formula, a lack of basic features like voice chat, and a panoply of bugs, DICE has a lot of work to do this holiday season.
Over the years, the long-running shooter series has developed a reputation for launching in a sorry (or in some cases, frankly incomplete) state, so it's fair to say that fans expected some bumps in the road. But while the chaotic scale that people expect from Battlefield is still there in 2042, a deluge of complaints about 2042's bugginess has assailed the game's subreddit for the past few days.
Into the storm — Journalists at outlets like Eurogamer have noted serious stability issues with the Xbox Series X version of the game, with one writer stating that more than half the matches he entered ended prematurely due to server issues. Besides the game-ending crashes, many players have harped on a bug that appears to affect the number of bullets required to down a foe. It's unclear if this is the result of hit registration issues or simply the fact that the game has a high time-to-kill compared to previous games in the series, but it's produced a number of popular threads on the subreddit.
But while most of these bugs will hopefully be fixed over the coming weeks, fans have expressed concerns over some of 2042's more fundamental changes to the series formula. Chief among these is the replacement of the usual class system with customizable "specialists" that can use almost any item in the game. Abilities that were previously limited to special classes can now be used by everyone — like healing, repairing weapons, and using anti-aircraft weapons. This means that the game is functionally much less team-oriented than previous entries.
Future past — As a whole, fans don't have a lot of positive things to say about Battlefield 2042 at the moment, though some are more than willing to give the game a bit more time to develop. (It's worth noting that it's not even officially out yet — it releases November 19, making this a sort of Early Access period.)
Early critical scores aren't too bad for the game, as it has a respectable 78 on OpenCritic. However, fan outrage can be seen on 2042's Metacritic page, where it has a dismal user score of 2.5. That's a lot of F's in the chat. Some fans have praised the game's Portal mode, which allows players to mix and match memorable elements from previous entries in the series for maximum fun.
Live fire exercise — As a whole, several previous Battlefield games have been able to escape the stigma of less-than-perfect launches and maintain a respectable userbase. Then again, those entries didn't have to compete with the high-profile surprise launch of a beloved shooter franchise like Halo Infinite, and for free as well. There's a lot of big shooters out there these days, but if the likes of Battlefield and Halo can continue to maintain their numbers, more power to them.