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Battlefield 2042‘s ongoing open beta (which is currently available to those who pre-ordered the game but will be available to everyone starting on October 8) certainly showcases the game’s potential, but it’s easy to imagine that most fans’ biggest takeaway from the playable preview may just be this game’s technical shortcomings and how they strongly suggest that Battlefield 2042‘s November 19 launch might be a rough one.
Before we dive any further into this topic, it’s worth reminding everyone that this is just a beta and doesn’t necessarily represent what the launch version of Battlefield 2042 will look/play like. Furthermore, EA Dice GM Oskar Gabrielson recently confirmed via Twitter that the Battlefield 2042 team has already made improvements to the game that didn’t make it into the open beta build.
The point here is that betas are never entirely representative of the final product and Battlefield 2042 will almost be a much smoother game at launch.
That being said, Battlefield 2042‘s open beta certainly suggests that there is still a lot of work left to do.
Some of the bugs I’ve seen in Battlefield 2042 are the kinds of glitches that cause absurd, often funny, things to happen which don’t necessarily impact the outcome of a match. For instance, I once saw a player run around the map with their parachute still floating just above them. Another shot into the air like a rocket after dying. Most of these kinds of bugs will almost certainly be fixed ahead of launch.
What’s more worrying at this time are the game’s various visual, audio, and UI bugs. While Battlefield 2042 is an incredible-looking game overall (especially on higher-end gaming PCs), there are just so many little things about the game’s visuals that feel…off. Obviously, things like corpses twitching around the map endlessly shouldn’t happen, but the bigger concern at this time is the game’s somewhat poor animations and the way that those animations can sometimes negatively impact the gameplay. I’m not sure how many of Battlefield 2042‘s movement and combat issues can be attributed to visual shortcomings and how many are the result of fundamental design issues, but there are certainly times when the game’s marquee epic battles are hindered by choppy movements, poor collision detection, and the times that these problems can cause you to die and possibly even eventually lose the match.
The game’s audio is slightly better but clearly not quite ready. A lot of the audio in Battlefield 2042 is actually pretty good (this game’s explosions are particularly impressive), but every now and then, you’ll encounter a gun or vehicle that almost seems incomplete. This could just be a case of the audio files needing a little fine-tuning, but presentation annoyances aside, it’s the way these audio issues can sometimes make it difficult to properly identify nearby enemies that really starts to frustrate you. I know a nearby tank should be louder than a player’s footsteps, but the numerous times when it’s almost impossible to hear said footsteps regardless of what else is happening suggests that there’s still work to do here in terms of being able to use the game’s audio to enhance and improve the gameplay experience.
Battlefield 2042‘s UI, meanwhile, may just be the worst part of the game at the moment. From the generally cluttered HUD to the bizarre menus that make it difficult to tell what you’re actually doing, there are so many little problems with Battlefield 2042‘s UI that feel like they could have been prevented and most certainly need to be addressed before the game is released. Again, maybe this is more of a fundamental design problem than a “bug,” but even some minor tweaks to Battlefield 2042‘s current UI would make things better.
Generally speaking, though, Battlefield 2042 just feels rough at the moment. From incomplete textures and bad collision detection to glitchy animations and occasionally hilarious bugs, the entire game just seems like the kind of thing you’d play at a trade show roughly six months before the full title is scheduled to be released. As we mentioned, though, Battlefield 2042 is currently scheduled to be released in just over a month and has already been delayed once.
Whether the game should be delayed again is the big question at the moment. I have to imagine that the current build of the game is much smoother than the beta build of the title, but assuming that the current, existing build of the game largely improves the more obvious bugs and doesn’t entirely address the variety of little UI, audio, and visual issues, I also can’t help but feel that potential Battlefield 2042 players need to be warned that this game may very well launch as a “work in progress” kind of experience.
When Battlefield 2042 is working roughly as it should, it’s a very, very fun game that hints at a bright future for the title and franchise. The Battlefield series has always excelled at offering the kind of chaotic, large-scale conflicts that other games simply can’t match, and Battlefield 2042 still offers that fundamental experience while incorporating a few welcome ideas/changes. At the very least, it’s going to offer a fascinating alternative to Call of Duty: Vanguard and Halo Infinite this holiday season.
Such as it is, though, I’d encourage anyone who doesn’t want to endure another potentially rough launch to keep an eye on Battlefield 2042‘s progress and maybe check in to the game closer to release (or shortly thereafter) to see whether or not it feels a little more retail-ready than it currently does.