Battlefield 2042’s maps are so big DICE introduces new pacing concept


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Battlefield 2042 is by far the biggest game DICE has ever made and features 128-player maps of staggering size and scope.

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Battlefield 2042 ships with 7 maps this October, and the 128-player maps in particular are absolutely staggering. In a recent Twitch stream, DICE developers gave more details about the 64v64 Conquest maps and how they’re so big that a new gameplay concept had to be invented.

To keep the action explosively high and varied, DICE has introduced something it calls clusters to Battlefield 2042. The concept is simple: Each Conquest map has multiple key sectors and areas that can be captured that are strewn throughout the map. Each sector has its own focus on battle, whether it’s more for infantry like a closed-off stadium, or a huge open-ended desert made specially for vehicles. Battles are concentrated in these clustered areas.

Conquest’s 128-player Hourglass map, which takes place in the future city of Qatar, is a perfect example. The map has multiple zones including:

HOURGLASS – Doha, Qatar

Fight in a city lost to the desertification around it. Massive dust and sand storms are constantly rolling in, blotting out the natural light, as you battle for control of a convoy trapped in the shifting sands.

  • Neon City – Huge skyscrapers that are connected with ziplines, players have to capture multiple skyscrapers to secure the zone. Great for helicopters and infantry
  • Arches – In the center of the city, features massive highways with abandoned vehicles
  • Stadium – To the West, is more suited for infantry firefights
  • Village – To the South, features expansive city streets you can drive on or have firefights in
  • Desert – Surrounds the city, made specifically for vehicle-on-vehicle combat
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Battlefield 2042 Design Director Daniel Berlin explains the new cluster concept:

“This is a leap for us. When we go to 128 players, when we go to a larger playspace, you can’t just copy what we’ve done before. We’ve had to also re-invent how we approach level design. What we’re doing this time to encapsulate the essence of Battlefield, and the pacing that our players know and love, is that we’re introducing this concept of what we call Clusters.

“While watching the gameplay reveal, for example, we have this map called Hourglass that’s set in Qatar. This map really speaks to the new mentality around the level design and clustering. You can almost imagine it as a massive battlefield, but within that battlefield there’s multiple battles going on. In the Western part of this map you’ll find a huge stadium, and within this stadium there’s multiple capture points. If you want to own the sector you have to fight to control all the capture points within that sector.”

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The same is true for other sectors, like Qatar’s Neon City. The Neon City has multiple towering skyscrapers that can be captured, and there’s ziplines connecting each one.

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Since the maps are so big, gamers need a quick way to get around. Battlefield 2042 will let you call down transport at any time and you can hop in with your squad to travel to specific areas on the map.

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“It’s this concept of clustering objectives into concentrated areas so we can have high pacing but then also have different types of gameplay in these areas. And in between these spaces as well you have vast open landscapes; on the Hourglass map, for example, you have rolling sand dunes. It’s here you’ll see lots of vehicle-on-vehicle combat.

“There’s areas of our maps that are built for the vehicle and infantry mix and in Hourglass, there’s a perfect spot for this; if you go down South of the map there’s a quick sizable village there which has interior for infantry but vehicles can also roam the streets there.

“In the center of the map you have these massive arches that’re overlooking this highway intersection where massive convey and vehicles have been abandoned.”

Belin says Conquest is built on freedom and scope. DICE wants to give players a new level of access to specific experiences, whether they be close-quarter gunfights or all-out chaotic vehicle onslaughts.

“One thing I think is important to mention about the Conquest maps is the freedom and access to the sandbox at your fingertips.

“Do you need a vehicle, okay call it and get it in here. Do you want to change out your attachments, hey okay the plus menu, just do that on-the-fly. You don’t have to respawn or anything like that. And the freedom of choice: Hey I want to have close quarters, I go to the stadium. Hey I want to have awesome verticality, I go to the Neon City. I want to have vehicle-on-vehicle combat, let’s just roam the areas in between.”

This level of scope requires a lot more power, and that’s why the 128-player Conquest mode is exclusive to Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and PC.

More Battlefield 2042 News

Battlefield 2042 releases October 22, 2021 on PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Here’s what EA has to say about the three multiplayer modes:

  • All-Out Warfare – the next generation of fan-favorite modes Conquest and Breakthrough, featuring the largest maps ever for the franchise and for the first time, up to 128 players*. Experience the intensity of All-Out Warfare in large-scale battles like never before on maps filled with dynamic weather, dangerous environmental hazards, and spectacular world events that see tornadoes rip across the map and sandstorms block out the sun. Conquest and Breakthrough have never looked or played better than in Battlefield 2042. Battle across land, air, and sea in frantic 128-player* fights.
  • CONQUEST – Battlefield’s massive, iconic sandbox mode returns – this time supporting 128 players on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®5, and PC. The maps have been specifically designed for this vast scale, with action divided into “clusters” of various kinds. Also, the action now centers around sectors consisting of several flags instead of individual control points.
  • BREAKTHROUGH – The return of Breakthrough sees two teams – Attackers and Defenders – battle over larger-scale sectors as the Attackers push towards the final objective. Each sector is designed to house a larger number of players, enabling more strategic choice and more flanking opportunities. Approach the capture areas from multiple locations and take advantage of more types of tactical possibilities.
  • Hazard Zone – an all-new, high-stakes, squad-based game-type for the Battlefield franchise that is a modern take on the multiplayer experience that is distinctly DICE but very different from All-Out Warfare’s Conquest or Breakthrough modes. Hazard Zone is a tense experience that combines edge-of-your-seat gameplay with the best of the Battlefield sandbox.
  • TO BE ANNOUNCED – the third experience, being developed by DICE LA, is another exciting new game-type for the franchise. This experience is a love letter to Battlefield fans and one that long-time players will feel right at home with. Tune-in to EA Play Live on July 22 for all the details.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and DICE today announced Battlefield 2042, a groundbreaking first-person shooter set to revolutionize the modern multiplayer sandbox. Powered by cutting-edge technology that pushes the capabilities of next generation hardware, the game drops players into a near-future, all-out-war experience that includes the franchise’s hallmark, game-changing destruction. Featuring matches filled with up to 128 players on the latest consoles* and PCs, this unprecedented scale adds a new dimension to multiplayer battles. Battlefield 2042also ups the action with the inclusion of real-time events that reshape the battlefield and tactical combat. All-new weapons, vehicles, and gadgets give players the freedom to be strategic and create jaw-dropping, only-in-Battlefield moments.

In Battlefield 2042, the world is on the brink. Shortages of food, energy, and clean water have led to dozens of failed nations, creating the greatest refugee crisis in human history. Among these Non-Patriated, or No-Pats, are families, farmers, engineers – and even soldiers. Amidst this crisis, the United States and Russia draw the world into an all-out war. No-Pat Specialists join both sides, not fighting for a flag, but for the future of the Non-Patriated in this new world.

Players will jump into the boots of Specialists, an all-new type of playable soldier for the franchise. Inspired by the traditional four Battlefield classes, Specialists will be equipped with their own unique Specialist Trait and Specialty, and will have fully customizable loadouts. As a Specialist, players will have access to a cutting-edge arsenal of weapons, equipment, and vehicles to use in battle. These powerful new tools give creative players a wealth of options as they find the perfect combination to fit their play style and outsmart and outgun opponents on the battlefield.

“Battlefield 2042 is an evolution of the franchise and embraces what our players want – the ultimate Battlefield multiplayer sandbox with intense combat and a ton of incredible, unexpected events,”said Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager of DICE.

“All of us across DICE in Stockholm, DICE LA, Criterion, and EA Gothenburg have had so much fun developing this game and now it’s time to let players jump in. What they’ll find is that we’ve built three distinct, absolutely epic experiences that we think they’ll love.”

The biggest, most ambitious title in the franchise, Battlefield 2042includes:

All-Out Warfare – the next generation of fan-favorite modes Conquest and Breakthrough, featuring the largest maps ever for the franchise and for the first time, up to 128 players*. Experience the intensity of All-Out Warfare in large-scale battles like never before on maps filled with dynamic weather, dangerous environmental hazards, and spectacular world events that see tornadoes rip across the map and sandstorms block out the sun.

Hazard Zone – an all-new, high-stakes, squad-based game-type for the Battlefield franchise that is a modern take on the multiplayer experience that is distinctly DICE but very different from All-Out Warfare’s Conquest or Breakthrough modes.

TO BE ANNOUNCED – the third experience, being developed by DICE LA, is another exciting new game-type for the franchise. This experience is a love letter to Battlefield fans and one that long-time players will feel right at home with. Tune-in to EA Play Live on July 22 for all the details.

Battlefield 2042 is available now for pre-order and is set to launch on retail and digital storefronts on October 22 for $59.99 on Xbox® One, PlayStation®4, and PC, and $69.99 on Xbox® Series X and S and PlayStation®5. EA Play members get a 10-hour trial starting Oct 15, 2021. EA Play members and players who pre-order will receive early access to the Open Beta**. Players who pre-order have three different editions to choose from, including the Battlefield 2042Gold Edition for $89.99 on PC and $99.99 on console, or the Battlefield 2042Ultimate Edition for $109.99 on PC or $119.99 on console.

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