Battlefield 2042 gameplay trailer causes a storm at Xbox E3 showcase

Battlefield 2042 Hourglass Map
Battlefield 2042 Hourglass Map (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

What you need to know

  • Electronic Arts has debuted a gameplay trailer for Battlefield 2042, providing our first look at the title in action, with 128-player multiplayer on the new Hourglass map.
  • The three-minute trailer showcases various additions to its large-scale vehicular and infantry combat, including new extreme weather effects that shake up the battleground.
  • Battlefield 2042 launches October 22, 2021, on console and PC.

Electronic Arts has debuted a new gameplay trailer for Battlefield 2042, providing the first two minutes of the title's multiplayer mode in action ahead of its slated October 22 release. The publisher showcased the footage at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase on Sunday, Microsoft's annual press conference for E3 2021.

The latest Battlefield 2042 expands upon the premise from its recent unveiling, set during a near-future conflict, host to military robots, drones, and other advanced gadgets. The trailer provides the first look at actual pre-alpha gameplay capture, centered around its new "All-Out Warfare" experience, supporting up to 128-player battles across its classic large-scale modes.

The action converges around the new map "Hourglass," the second-largest scheduled for launch, set within Qatar capital, Doha. The lavish desert-set city finds itself a warzone in Battlefield 2042, host to the usual mix of vehicular and infantry combat. Hourglass also features a new dynamic sandstorm, fierce and unpredictable by nature, capable of obstructing visibility and sweeping players and vehicles into the sky.

The trailer showcased some of the biggest changes with Battlefield 2042, including the new Specialist system, building upon the traditional four classes from earlier with new gadgets. The "Plus System" allows players to swap attachments on the fly between encounters, and vehicle call-in tablets debuts on-demand airdrops. The trailer concludes with a brief montage of the other maps included at launch, calling back to the locations from in the initial reveal.

Battlefield 2042 is expected to release on October 22, 2021, headed to console and PC. While headed to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Electronic Arts has repeatedly pitched the title as a "next-gen" entry, designed for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 5, and PC. That leaves 128-player lobbies exclusive to the latest consoles and PC, with older systems limited to 64 players with condensed maps.

Battlefield 2042 preorders are also live, starting at $60 on older consoles and PC, while fetching $70 for the upgraded Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.