At today’s EA Play event Ripple Effect, formerly known as DICE LA, unveiled the third main mode for this October’s upcoming release of Battlefield 2042. Titled Battlefield Portal, the mode brings in every weapon, vehicle, gadget, and faction from the games Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 into the game. Through a focus on community-created modes, map variants and servers, players can pit factions from each game against each other.
We were lucky enough to be invited to EA’s preview event earlier this week, where we got a deep dive behind the curtain at Ripple Effect to see just what Battlefield Portal has in store. Safe to say, we came away impressed, and one thing is for sure – this is a love letter to fans of the Battlefield franchise.
Six classic maps have been completely remade in the newest version of the Frostbite engine, and along with the seven maps from the main game, the mode will offer up to thirteen in total for creators to utilise when tweaking the largest Battlefield sandbox we’ve ever seen.
These maps are:
- BF1942 – El Alamein and The Battle of the Bulge
- Bad Company 2 – Arica Harbor and Valparaiso
- Battlefield 3 – Caspian Border and Noshahr Canals.
Each map also has smaller sections of it available as a play space if you want something more up close and personal for your game type. There is no limit on player counts though and you can have 128 players with shotguns going at it in a map 1/10th the size of a normal one if you’d like. Older maps that were never designed to hold 128 players have been lovingly brought back to life with additional areas to accommodate the increased player count. As an example, for Battle of the Bulge, the tide level can be adjusted, providing more terrain for players to traverse.
Updated for a new generation
Each map has been given full destructibility (yes, even the maps from BF1942) and the Battlefield 3 maps have retained their classic “Levolution” events. Making use of these will be Official dev-created and User-generated Community experiences. The game will offer up three ways of finding game types. First is the developer’s own creations, next is a curated list of community modes, and finally is a search to go through and find things that best suit your tastes. The game modes available to creators will be team death match, conquest, and rush.
The Battlefield Builder is the name of the incredibly powerful and comprehensive new toolset that has both a graphical UI and a full-on logic coding interface for community creators. Similar to the main multiplayer modes there can be up to 128 players on PC and the new generation of consoles, and up to 64 players on the previous generation of Xbox One and Playstation 4. Templates will be available along with a comprehensive guide for those interested in building playlists entirely from scratch.
At launch, you are able to pit Battlefield Era’s against each other. An example shown was a Battlefield 1942 squad on one side pitted against a Bad Company 2 squad. When asked how they plan to balance this the developers answered “We don’t, that will be up to the creators on how to compensate for the weaker equipment from the older eras. There’s a mode called classic tuning, to replicate the original game eras Time-to-kill…It would be impossible for us to try and make it all work at the base level”.
Examples given were things such as having more troops on the weaker side or restricting exactly what items the more modern team could use. A comprehensive AI system is available to help back-fill matches so that you can quickly get into the action after making your custom experience and test it out.
Progression for all
The new Specialists from the main 2042 modes will be available alongside each class system that the previous games offered. You will be able to earn experience in Battlefield Portal via a global system, so no matter which mode you’re playing you will always be progressing. There is no map or traditional terrain editor planned at launch, but the phrase “this is the start of a journey” was used often to denote how community feedback will help shape what this mode becomes over the coming years and how that feedback will lead to updates for the logic editor over time.
It’s clear the focus for Battlefield 2042 is on what makes the series special in the first place; it’s expansive, bombastic multiplayer. For fans of the franchise, the options and potential on display here is tantalising, and much like the developers, we’re just as curious to see what players come up with. If you’re especially keen, there’s one last exciting piece of information – there will be an open beta for Battlefield 2042, with players that have pre-ordered the game getting earlier access.
Jesse and Jon got together and had a quick discussion on everything we saw – for a deeper and more conversational dive on everything we saw, check out the video below. If you have additional questions, please hit us up on the XboxEra forums, we’ll be on hand to answer what we can!
Battlefield 2042 releases on October 22th with 7-day early access for the Gold and Ultimate editions.