DICE has revealed the mysterious third mode for Battlefield and it’s neither a battle royale or an Escape From Tarkov clone.
Battlefield 2042 is out in just a month’s time and most people that are interested already got to play the recent open beta, but there’s one element of the game that’s been kept secret until now: new mode Hazard Zone.
Developer DICE describes it as the third pillar of the game, after the standard multiplayer and the game editor Battlefield Portal. The only thing they’ve said before is that it’s not a battle royale and while it has some minor similarities with that style of game that’s certainly not what it is.
It’s closer to Escape From Tarkov but still very much it’s own thing, as you join one of up to eight teams of four (down to six teams on last gen consoles) to hunt downed satellites and get extracted before a deadly tornado forms.
The satellites tie-in to the game’s overall storyline, which involves apocalyptic climate change, the Kessler effect, refugee crises, and World War 3 – which would seem over the top if it wasn’t all so worryingly plausible.
What this means in game terms is that you’re bombing around the map (any of the same ones from the main multiplayer) trying to pick up data drives and then getting back to one of two time-limited extraction points.
One pops up, at random, about halfway through a match, as does a new wave of satellites with even more valuable data drives. The second extraction is much closer to the end of a match, so it’s up to you when you try to make it out.
The risk is that you’ll lose everything if you don’t get out at some point, with only two squads, at a maximum, able to make it out each match.
The other teams have the same objectives but there are also computer-controlled local forces that will fight everyone and anyone.
Each team can only have one of each specialist and while if you die you don’t respawn you can be brought back by other team members if they have a ‘reinforcement uplink’, which can be found in the map or brought in as a tactical upgrade.
As well as Escape From Tarkov, there also seems to be an influence from Counter-Strike in that you can buy items before a match using an in-game currency only found in Hazard Zone, called Dark Market Credits.
How all this is going to play in real life we’ve yet to find out but it’s encouraging that it is at least something new, with DICE avoiding the battle royale band wagon in favour of creating something unique.
Battlefield 2042 launches on November 19 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC. Or on November 12 if you buy the more expensive Gold and Ultimate Editions or are an EA Play subscriber.
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