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Video Game / Battlefield 2042

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Spoilers for Battlefield entries preceding this one, namely Battlefield 4 will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

"Fire, flint, language, machines - in the face of crises, humanity adapted. We became warriors, explorers, builders, dreamers flying forward. Make control of a changing world. I'm old enough to remember what that world used to be like. We had places we belonged, country, community, family. One failed state became a dozen, and now there's million of refugees heading every direction, except home. We call ourselves No-Pats, Not-Patriated, stateless warriors fighting for our survival. Caught between the last two superpowers, as they circle each other, fighting for resources, threatening to draw us into a new kind of war...."
Kimble "Irish" Graves

Battlefield 2042 is a First-Person Shooter in the Battlefield series, and the 17th game in the series overall. It is developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts, and released on PC, Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One on November 19, 2021.

Set in the near-future following the events of Battlefield 4, the world is in turmoil after Global Warming brings destruction across the Earth, causing world economies and superpowers to collapse. In the wake of the disasters, millions that were displaced form together from all different types of backgrounds and are called the Non-Patriated, or No-Pats. No longer bound to any nationality, they grow into a major force as the United States and Russia remain as the last two superpowers vying for control.

More disaster ensues in 2040 when a majority of Earth's orbital satellites suddenly malfunction and crash into the planet, sowing chaos into global communication systems and supply chains, and the U.S. and Russia soon blame each other. Two years later in the year 2042 and at the brink of war, the two countries recruit No-Pats to fight for them over the planet's remaining resources, and whatever else is left of a storm-ravaged world.

Releasing alongside 2042 is Battlefield Portal, a custom game editor that allows players to mix and match factions and maps from previous Battlefield games as well as modify the game's logic to create custom gameplay modes.

Previews: Reveal Trailer, Gameplay Trailer, Portal Trailer, Exodus Short Film, Specialist Reveal, Open Beta Trailer, New Specialists Reveal.

Tropes in this game include:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: It's in the name. The game takes place in 2042, with the "How We Got Here" page's timeline starting in the 2030s up to the United States and Russia on the brink of war.
  • Aborted Arc: The game hinted at post-launch content that would expand on the world of 2042 and continue the story of the No-Pats. However, delays to release schedule and the death of Michael K. Williams have put these plans on ice.
  • A.K.A.-47: Unlike in the previous entries, many of the guns seen in the gameplay trailer have fictional names assigned to them. For examples, the MCX Spear is renamed the "M5A3" while the TDI Vector is the "K30".
    • Averted with one of the Battlefield Portal weapons, the 93R burst-fire pistol, as it is the first time in franchise history that the weapon is modeled after a genuine Beretta 93R with its distinctive features, rather than simply taking a 92SB and sticking a folding foregrip on it, as it was done with the Battlefield 3 and 4 iterations of the "M93R".
    • These name changes are mostly justified as the guns being "future" developments based upon the real weapons such the PP-29 Bizon being a "new" version of the PP-19 Bizon that was originally developed in 1993.
  • Anachronism Stew: Battlefield Portal is basically this trope as a game mode, where you can pit WWII Wehrmacht soldiers against cutting edge specialists from 2042 in a map that is set in 2014 at the Iranian-Turkmen border, among many other things. Even if you accept the fig leaf justification for the 2042 weapons being 'new' versions of old guns, these designs are based on weapons designed ~30 years before the current timeframe, with the PP-29 Bizon and GVT 45-70 designs coming from 1993 (50 years) and 1948 (95 years!) respectively.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Vehicles and weapons with unlockables can be progressed to Tier 3 in solo matches against bots. Not only does this give the player a chance to familiarise themselves, but that is also sufficient to unlock all unlockables requiring kills.
  • Armor As Hit Points: Assault class specialists can equip armor plates, which confer 20 additional health.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The Hourglass map is said to be set in the Qatari capital city of Doha. However, the actual map isn't set in Doha proper. It is set in Lusail, a planned city just north of the actual city of Doha.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 1. According to "How We Got Here", many countries, including first-world ones like Germany, collapsed due to climate change, but others are still standing or even starting to rebuild. And then Kessler syndrome occurs and the US and Russia are back to the brink of war.
  • Ascended Meme: During the reveal trailer, a pilot ejects from his fighter jet to shoot a rocket launcher at an enemy jet before coming back to his plane, just barely grabbing the rim of the cockpit and climbing back inside. This scene is based on a Difficult, but Awesome tactic by Battlefield players called the "rendezook", where they eject from their planes flying straight upwards at high speed to shoot a rocket at an enemy plane before re-entering their plane as it coasts along in the air.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: While most vehicles can seat up to four players, the MAV and CAV Brawler take the cake in carrying more passengers and being absolutely bristling in weapon stations.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Played With. The Neon City in the Hourglass map consists of skyscrapers lit up in orange, yellow and red, making them resemble pillars of fire at dusk.
  • Bigger Is Better: What happens when you combine the Mi-24 "Hind" with the Mi-8 "Hip"? You get the Mi-240 "Super Hind", a behemoth of a helicopter with four engines, two minigun pods, a chin-mounted grenade launcher, and enough armor to survive a direct hit from a tank or multiple Stinger missiles.
  • Combat Medic: The three dedicated supports, Irish, Falck and Angel, fight as well as any other soldier and can quickly pick up downed teammates outside of their squad. Falck is equipped with a Syrette Pistol that can heal herself and teammates from a distance and her revives restore them to full health. Angel restores gadget ammo on revive and call in supply drops. Irish restores weapon ammo and can deploy fortifications.
  • Conflict Killer: The trailer features a scene in which two factions are vying for control of Songdo, Incheon (the "Kaleidoscope" map)...only for soldiers from both sides to look up and see a massive tornado bearing down on them. At that point, everyone momentarily forgets their qualms to run for their lives.
  • Cool Old Guy: Irish. By the time of the game, he's 54, which is a pretty advanced age to be running around as an active combatant, and yet, juding by the Exodus short, Oz trusted him enough to let him run solo operations.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Inverted. While there are faction-specific jets, helicopters, and tanks (that are functional clones as Battlefield tradition but have separate unlock trees), both sides can use many of the same vehicles and the same specialists, which in turn can use any weapon. In the open beta, only four characters and the lack of cosmetics means two armies of visually identical clones are shooting at each other, but each player may be using their character in a completely different way.
  • The Cracker: Recon specialist Rao is able to inflict Interface Screw on enemies, disable hostile vehicles and activate some map elements remotely.
  • Crapsack World: As seen in Global Warming, the lore in "How We Got Here" lays out that world is not in a good place. By 2042, Earth has gone through hell due to global warming, a refugee crisis due to many nations collapsing, and various calamities. The United States and Russia are not just the only remaining superpowers left on Earth, but two of the few remaining countries.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The maps Kaleidoscope and Renewal revealed on the official website are glittering, environmentally-conscious locales bordering on Solar Punk, however, the lore also states that the countries that adapted excluded millions of climate refugees displaced from other parts of the world and are soon turned into battlefields between competing superpowers.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: As revealed in the Exodus trailer, Irish canonically survived the end of Battlefield 4's Sadistic Choice. Pac also makes a return, if only briefly, which implicitly rules out the story following the Valkyrie's destruction — and possibly cementing Hannah was the one who ultimately sacrificed herself to blow up Chang's warship.
  • Diegetic Interface: The in-game UI is presented as futuristic take on the American "Future Force Warrior" project. This includes certain weapon sights being networked, with integrated bullet counts.
  • Death from Above: The series staple attack helicopters will make a return since Battlefield 4, including futuristic variants of AH-64 Apache and Ka-52 Alligator seen in the gameplay trailer.
  • Deployable Cover: Irish, as a playable specialist, is able to deploy static chest-high covers for his teammates.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Averted, as the tornadoes that occasionally spawn suck in debris (and players) that are a considerable distance away from the funnel itself.
  • Drone Deployer: Specialist Casper can deploy a recon drone to scout for enemies.
  • Easy Logistics: Previous entries in the series placed vehicles at pre determined spawn points. In the gameplay trailer, players call in a tank that is airdropped into the battlefield.
  • Future Copter: In addition to the conventional helicopters, the American air transport is a tilt-jet VTOL transport called the MV-32 Condor, a future development of the current MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • As usual for a Battlefield launch the game can get broken in various ways, some like the "Persistence Data" or "Direct X Function" error will just prevent you from playing entirely, while others will break once in-game or prevent the player using certain equipment.
    • Hit registration was brutally bad after launch, with horrendous penalties for moving, and just generally poor recoil & deviation mechanics. On top of this, there was a bug where a player could effectively get "disconnected" from receiving accurate information from the server which would result in players being able to stand next to a stationary enemy, plug them with an entire magazine of ammo and get no hits.
    • The same "stuck in a downed state" bug from Battlefield V returns. Nothing fixes this except quitting the game, or having your fallen body gibbed by a vehicle or explosive. If you don't get exploded, then you can't be revived, you can't redeploy, you just sit there.
    • Certain high magnification sniper scopes will glitch out and become non-magnified, making them pretty much useless.
    • The loadout system will also glitch and stop working, forcing players to use the defaults for an entire round. Most commonly seen when a player attempts to lock in a vehicle in the pre-game, but misses out and none of the other vehicles are available.
    • The way the vehicle huds work is that they are an 3D overlay on top of the camera. Occasionally these can bug out, and moving the aimpoint will cause the overlay to glitch, moving around at random, blocking vision making it impossible to properly use the guns.
    • The Party System is very buggy, causing a split in groups when a map ends. The lack of a server browser makes getting back into a server with your party impossible (eg, you got hit by the unable to revive bug), forcing everyone to quit back to the main menu to join a new server together.
    • Dice had to remove the Sensor Grenade from the game for a short period of time because it was causing severe, game destroying rubberbanding lag. They patched it and placed it back in the game within days.
  • Gatling Good: Miniguns are a default weapon station on many vehicles, and engineer specialist Crawford can deploy manually-controlled minigun turrets.
  • Global Warming: The "How We Got Here" page of the official website explains that global warming in the 2030s kickstarted the events of the game's story, causing all superpowers but the United States and Russia to collapse, and leads to the rise of the No-Pats.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: One of the Specialists, Mackay, carries a device that fires a grappling hook, which can be deployed to quickly scale and swing your way across a map.
  • Gun Accessories: Players can now change their weapon attachments on the fly — swapping sights, muzzle devices, grips/bipods, and ammunition without having to redeploy.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The RAH-68 and Ya-99 stealth helicopters are capable of dropping bombs that make a loud screeching sound as they fall towards the ground. The sound is utterly terrifying to hear, though it can allow quick-thinking infantry players to escape the blast.
  • Hero Shooter: In a departure from the regular class system, 2042 introduces named "Specialists" within each class with unique gadgets and passive traits such as a Syrette Pistol or a Grappling Hook, taking Battlefield in this direction. With the same characters available for both sides, it could lead to some odd situations like multiple clones of the same person shooting at each other.
    • This was eventually changed so that classes were returned and the heroes becomes more akin to an extra equipment slot than a hero. Class now determines which equipment and which extra grenades you can choose as well as weapon profiency and the hero gives a unique equipment and passive.
  • Hostile Weather: Similar to 4's Levolution, maps have various weather hazards that appear in the middle of a match to force players to adapt to the sudden change, such as tornadoes.
    • The Exodus short sees the eponymous No-Pat ship passing a Category 5 storm just as hostile No-Pat aircraft approach them. Knowing that what he's planning to do is just as dangerous for the Exodus and everybody on board, Irish orders the ship to head into the storm in order to hinder the enemy, referring to the Category 5 as their "home field advantage".
  • Hyper-Awareness: Recon specialist Paik automatically spots enemies that damage her.
  • Idle Animation: Stand still for too long and your character sneezes.
  • Jack of All Trades: The Wildcat recon vehicle has a highly modular upgrade setup and a good player using it can be a threat to anything on the battlefield, in addition to also being capable of being highly specialised. The 40mm and 57mm can kill infantry and other vehicles including helicopters. Using the anti-aircraft or anti-tank missile secondary makes it easier to kill those types of vehicle, and if it has additional gunners on board they have access to even more modular weaponry.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Assault specialist Dozer's gadget is a damage-blocking shield.
  • Magical Defibrillator: The defib returns to bring your teammates back from the dead, except that while they are ragdolls to the enemy, on your side they are still conscious and crying for help.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": By the end of the reveal trailer, both sides that were earlier fighting in the city immediately stop once they realize a tornado is coming, causing everyone to just run as fast as they can.
  • The Mockbuster: Dissatisfaction with 2042 allowed two Retraux, low poly Battlefield clones to gain traction on Steam. Battle Bit Remastered and Clownfield 2042.
  • Mood Whiplash: The backstory of the game is a world collapsed by climate change, with bands of stateless refugees forced into conflict to survive, fighting a proxy war on behalf of the United States & Russia. The main trailers advertising the game and the way the characters interact in-game is cheerful and whimsical, on game maps that don't portray the dystopian, ruined future in the backstory. It's hard to take things seriously when your character hollers and hoots if you drive a vehicle off a sand dune to give it some air, or when the map ends and there's never ending smartass quips like "well well well, that was fun", "I think I pulled something back there", "that's it, I'm ready for round 2".
  • Mythology Gag: Singapore is again featured in the series, this time with the harbour island of Brani as the setting of the map "Manifest". Backstory reveals that Singapore is now a vital location for American supply lines, so it can be inferred that the US liberated the city-state since the previous outing.
  • Neon City: Hourglass, the map featured in the gameplay trailer, is a Qatari city slowly getting consumed by sandstorms and the surrounding desert.
  • Not Quite Flight: Sundance wears a wingsuit, allowing them to glide long distances, even crashing through skyscraper windows unharmed.
  • Player-Guided Missile: Engineer specialist Lis is equipped with TV-guided missiles in lieu of a secondary gadget launcher.
  • Polar Penguins: Penguins are briefly seen in the portion of the reveal trailer set in Antarctica. How would we know where it was otherwise?
  • Proxy War: The "How We Got Here" page of the official website explains that United States and Russia are now in a new Cold War but are unwilling to make it hot, so both sides recruit refugee soldiers from the No-Pats to fight for them.
  • Saharan Shipwreck: Downplayed on the maps Discarded and Stranded. Discarded takes place in an Indian shipbreaking yard with container ships dragged up onto the mudflats, while Stranded takes place on the drained bed of Gatun Lake in Panama due to some incident on the Panama Canal while the titular ship has been converted into a black market weapons hub.
  • Sentry Gun: Engineer specialist Boris can deploy autonomous machine guns, which improve in performance if he is nearby.
  • Shout-Out: One of the player subtitles is "Flag Smasher".
  • The Stateless: The Non-Patriated, or No-Pats, are a group of people that were displaced by the climate disasters explored in the "How We Got Here" page of the official website. Numbering more than a billion, they answer to no governments after being exiled by them and refuse to reassimilate. When tensions between the U.S. and Russia spark, the two recruits soldiers from the No-Pats to fight for resources.
    • The Exodus short reveals that Irish defected from the USMC sometime after the events of Battlefield 4 and became a No-Pat.
  • Stone Wall: Assault specialist Dozer's passive allows him to shrug off explosion shockwaves and stun grenades.
  • Tank Goodness: As per norm of the series, the game offers a plethora of main battle tanks that the players can ride and wreak havoc with, such as fictional upgrades of the M1 Abrams tank and the T-14 Armata.
  • Translation Convention: On the Russian team, your own squadmates speak English, while the rest of the team speaks Russian.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: The armies in the reveal trailer immediately stop fighting when they see an incoming tornado and decide that they'd better run for it instead of continuing their fight.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Sundance, the wingsuit-clad assault specialist, is a nonbinary French-African.
  • World War III: Another modern/near-future military shooter featuring large scale, combined arms warfare that set on many places around the world including Qatar, South Korea, India and even Antarctica. With the reveal that 2042 takes place in Battlefield 4's continuity, we're technically now on World War IV.
  • Wronski Feint: In the Doha section of the reveal trailer, a helicopter pulls this off, causing two enemy helicopters to crash into each other.
  • X-Ray Vision: Recon specialist Paik has the ability to spot enemies through walls in a limited radius.

"We've faced crises before, the No-Pats were born out of it. We are the warriors, we are the adaptation, and this ours."