DICE Apologies to Fans in Trailer Form – Battlefield 2042 Announcement Trailer

It feels like we have been seeing Battlefield 6 for a long time, even though very little official information has been released.  There was one brief snippet of a bunch of soldiers on a barren wasteland, which was more about next gen capabilities than the actual game and the rest has just been that they will be announcing something soon.  Then the last month or so have been filled with leaks of images or small snippets of trailer, showing not particularly much, along with some bits of vague information.

We now finally have something a little more concrete coming direct from DICE in the form of an announcement trailer.  No real gameplay featured (that is to come on the 13th June) but there is a reasonable amount to mull over while we wait for more concrete information.

Perhaps it is no surprise given the reaction to the launch trailer of the Battlefield V, this trailer seems to be tailormade to try to assuage their fears.   The moments that are likely to really stick out to most are going to be the sequences that harken back to classic Battlefield stunts, the quad bike into a helicopter and the jumping out of a jet to fire a rocket mid dogfight.  Those unfamiliar, particularly with that latter move, might be a bit confused by the ridiculousness, but it is clear who DICE are trying to speak to here.

Another notable inclusion in the footage that references a fan favourite is the dog tags.  The melee killer brandishing his victims dog tags references the way that you could wear custom dog tags and steal them from other players by performing a melee kill.  Again, a gimmick that means little to most people, but it is clear from the accompanying fanfare in the trailer that DICE want to make sure that all of the Battlefield Reddit knows that they have been paying attention.

What we see of the maps seems to reference the days of Battlefield 3 and 4 too, where many in the community believe the series was at its pinnacle.  Lots of ravaged cityscapes and helicopters ambushing rooftops.  We will likely get a clearer sense of this in the gameplay reveal, but I expect we will be seeing some returning maps from those games.

But what about what is new here?  Well, we have the rumoured robo dog making an appearance.  How that will actually play is left a mystery, but it seems to feature plenty of armaments, so I’m expecting it to be more than just a support tool.  It is looks pretty pacey, so maybe some sort of recon function. 

Plenty of destruction was highlighted, which is a stable of the series, but perhaps hinting at something a little more dynamic than before.  A large neon sign crashed into the road, perhaps signalling that buildings will break apart a little more organically than the magical rubble that we are used to.  It will also link into the weather effects that make the centrepiece of the final beats of the trailer, with a lightning storm transitioning into a hurricane.  Weather isn’t brand new for the franchise, but these seem a little more impactful than just effecting visibility, destroying structures and tearing apart columns of troops and vehicles.  Looks cool and could prove to create some dynamic spectacle, although I could also see the randomness being frustrating and something that people would prefer to have disabled after novelty wears off.

Lastly, the trailer seems to be emphasising the number of troops.  This definitely feels busier than the usual 32vs32 we have seen in previous games.  An increased player count has been part of the rumours and I think it is probably about time that we saw it happening.  Back in the days of 1942, Battlefield’s 64 players in a single game seemed hectic, but it is a rather prosaic nowadays.  I just hope they make sure that the maps are built to accommodate this larger player count; there really is nothing worse than 32v32 on Metro and I hope we don’t end up with those clusterfudges as a staple.

Not being one to side with the normal vocal group in the Battlefield community that really took against Battlefield V (I found the faults with that game to be more technical and it being poorly managed rather than tonal), the fan service here didn’t do huge amounts for me.  What I did like seeing was a good balance between the silly and the serious.  The setting risks going too dour, so remembering that this is the game in which people load up a quad bike with C4 before launching it off a skyscraper is definitely welcome to see.

Hope to see more of that when we get to some gameplay on 13th June.

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