What you need to know
- EA and DICE have announced Battlefield 2042's first season, Zero Hour, with a new gameplay trailer.
- The season includes the new Exposure map, a new anti-vehicle Specialist, two new weapons, the new stealth helicopter vehicle class, and a new gadget.
- DICE has also confirmed that updates to the game's animations are coming in June and July, and that an extensive balancing overhaul to the Kaleidoscope map is coming in August.
EA and DICE have officially revealed Battlefield 2042 Season 1: Zero Hour with a gameplay trailer that provides an overview of everything players can expect from the game's first season when it launches on June 9. This includes the new map Exposure, a new Specialist, new weapons and vehicles, and a Battle Pass complete with 100 tiers of rewards.
Exposure represents DICE's attempt to address fan criticisms of the Battlefield 2042 launch maps, which many have argued are too flat, too sparse, and too large. With its mountainous terrain, abundance of cover, and reduced size compared to other maps, Exposure sounds like it might end up being one of the best maps in the game. Both Conquest and Breakthrough will be available on the map.
The new Specialist is Ewelina "Lis", an anti-vehicle expert that automatically has damaged enemy vehicles marked on her HUD and can use a special G-84 GTM launcher that fires manually-guided missiles. These missiles allow players to get around traditional counters to missiles like flares or sightline-blocking cover, though they can be shot down, and skilled pilots can avoid them with fancy flying.
Zero Hour also brings some new gear into the fray, including two new weapons, a new vehicle class, and a new gadget. The BSV-M is a new mid-range DMR with the ability to toggle between semi and full auto, while the Ghostmaker Crossbow is a silent sniping weapon with a low rate of fire but high damage. The crossbow can also be used to fire explosive bolts against vehicles that deal moderate damage to them. For vehicle players, Season 1 introduces stealth helicopters that have an assault and stealth mode. The former allows the pilot to use machine guns and rockets, while the latter trades them for bombs and nullifies the targeting systems of all anti-air weaponry. Finally, there's the new Smoke Grenade Launcher gadget, which gives players the ability to create smokescreens to block off lines of sight or hide an advance.
These additions to the player's arsenal come as part of Zero Hour's 100-tier Battle Pass, though it's important to note that everything gameplay-related will be available on the free version of the Battle Pass. Additional unlocks like premium cosmetic skins for Specialists, weapons, and vehicles are exclusive to the Premium version of the Battle Pass, which will cost $10.
DICE has also confirmed that later in the season, other changes and additions will be made as well. These include improvements to character animations that will make them more readable in June and July, an overhaul to the Kaleidoscope map that adds significantly more cover in August, a new Builder for the Superiority mode in Battlefield Portal, and adjustments to bolster performance and the game's overall "feel." The developers also say that fans can expect an overhaul for Specialists that will make them feel more grounded and "aesthetically faithful to 2042's gritty, war-torn world" in the future, and an overhaul to the map Renewal is coming in Season 2, too. According to DICE, the design of new maps as well as overhauls like this for vanilla ones is part of the studio's effort to focus on making sure they play well for 64-player matches.
Overall, it's great to see Battlefield 2042 getting some much-needed new content and beneficial improvements, though it would be nice to see more than just one map, a new Specialist, and a handful of new gear. Still, it's a step in the right direction, and hopefully things will only go up from here.
Battlefield 2042 is the latest entry in DICE's famous multiplayer military shooter franchise. Though the game has struggled significantly after a disastrous launch in 2021, the changes and additions coming with Season 1 are a small, yet solid step in the right direction.
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