Beleaguered multiplayer shooter Battlefield 2042, which has not exactly been the success EA would have been hoping for, will take another step towards being an actual video game this week with the release of its next update.
While the game has been justifiably lambasted by fans (and non-fans) alike, I’ve always had a soft spot for it, partly because the stuff I like in a Battlefield game has been there since launch, but also because this game—developed partly during the worst months of the pandemic—was clearly nowhere near being done when publishers EA rushed it out the door.
Developers DICE have thus basically had to spend the months since launch…finishing the game, adding things like scoreboards and extra UI that under less hellish circumstances would just have made up part of the regular development process, and been with Battlefield 2042 at launch.
The game’s Season One update made a lot of players happy because it simply dragged the game so much closer to what they would have expected in October 2021, and the 1.2 update—out tomorrow, August 2—inches even closer.
It introduces some fixes for the game’s weakest map (Kaleidoscope), finally gives players a lifetime statistics page (letting you track stuff like your K:D ratio, games played, etc), and perhaps most noticeably, makes the first of a number of planned “Style and Tone” changes for the game’s Specialists.
Battlefield 2042’s Specialists, characters similar to those you’d pick in other shooters like, say, Apex Legends, are a first for the series, and have been pretty poorly received. Not only for the changes they’ve made to the game’s structure (replacing traditional classes like Medic), but for the way their cocky swagger and corny one-liners were at odds with the game’s grim, climate apocalypse setting.
Dice’s first move to fix this was to simply shut them up, so that the characters no longer shouted catchphrases during the end-of-game roundups. The next step here will be to make them all look a bit more appropriate for the setting. This means making them all just generally look more tired, dirty and haggard, and in the case of the male Specialists, giving them beards. And if they already had a beard, giving them more beard, and some extra wrinkles to boot. Here’s a look at the changes:
I like it, everyone does indeed look a bit more appropriate for the setting. I will say though, as someone who mains Mackay—for gameplay reasons, not aesthetic—I was hoping for a bit more of an improvement. His original look (Guy Who Stans Elon Musk Under Tesla Car Reviews On YouTube) has now been turned into Guy Who Thinks Wrestling Is Too Woke Now.
The update will also introduce some other smaller nerfs and changes to gameplay, and you can read all about it here.