Battlefield 2042 has seen quite evolution since its initial launch back in 2021. This year alone has seen a tremendous amount of work put into the game to address fan feedback, including the return of the Class system, continuous quality of life improvements, and getting a handle on its expansive in-game narrative with a new Codex feature. Now its next steps forward are with a bit of a look to its past, with a new infantry only map that harkens back to Battlefield 3 and a major Gadget inclusion that could potentially be a game changer to keep players in the field longer.
What struck me immediately as I ran through a Conquest match on Battlefield 2042’s new Redacted map – coming soon with the launch of Season 6 – Dark Creations on October 10, 2023 – is how familiar it felt to the Close Quarters expansion pack for Battlefield 3. In that, the epic scale of all-out warfare was brought indoors for a tight-knit series of interior firefights that were equally a blast to play in and destroy, as bullets shattered just about everything in sight.
Here on Redacted, the whole map takes place under a ruined, domed facility – a recent “incident” has unearthed this gigantic hidden tech lab – thus negating any flying or drivable vehicles. Even though it’s infantry-only, it’s still a tremendously large play space, with unique traversal options like underground ziplines (effectively standing in for vehicles), allowing players to quickly move from one end of the map to the other. These kept the action moving at a chaotic pace, having to work with my squad to capture and defend on an epic scale – there was almost never any downtime.
There were a few solid “meatgrinder” spots as well – common chokepoints where the body count can quickly pile up. One area in particular, that could best be described as a type of loading zone, saw action constantly. But overall, it felt incredibly balanced and a ton of fun to play. I hope this is the start of a series of additional interior-focused maps because the team seems to have a good feel for what makes for some exciting corridor shooting. Season 6 – Dark Creations and Redacted both feel like the start of the next major phase of support behind Battlefield 2042, by tapping into a bit of its past (e.g. Close Quarters) to help inform its future.
Season 6 – Dark Creations will also see the arrival of some additional quality of life features, like aim assist improvements on console (helping with fairness during cross-play matches), vehicle handling improvements for jets and tanks, and balancing the Recon class a bit – these were all items we did not have a chance to test (see above: interior map with no vehicles) as our preview session was PC-only. While I can’t expertly speak to how these new features will be incorporated on console, I appreciate that – like DICE has done for much of this year – continues to make solid quality of life changes to help meet fan expectations.
One new feature I was able to try that’s coming with Season 6 came in the form of Pouches, a Gadget item that can come in Ammo and Health varieties. These are not intended to replace Crates (those will still hold more resupply value), but are designed to bring a mobile option for resource replenishment to squads and players that like to push deeper into enemy territory without the need to hunt for a Supply Crate. An added benefit here is that it gives some versatility to some of the other Classes as well, providing a valuable lifeline that hadn’t been so readily available before. I am very interested to see how this plays out across all the larger maps in the game.
Also, as you may have seen from the recent reveal trailer, the narrative surrounding Season 6 – Dark Creations continues to take the series down a heavy sci-fi, almost cyberpunk-like path, with modified soldiers and mysterious bio labs making an appearance. Most of the core details surrounding this and how it ties into the larger narrative are things the dedicated Battlefield community is trying to crack. If you’re interested in following their progress, check out The Exodus Archives where they have expanded upon the current Season 05 lore and what that may mean for players in the upcoming Season 06.
Tying that together will be a pretty exciting looking Season 6 Premium Battle Pass (for purchase) with an awesome looking Legendary Skin for Mackay as a part of the Premium reward tier, which gives me some strong Enemy Territory: Quake Wars vibes. There will also be a free Battle Pass that includes a specialist skin for Boris, new weapons, gadgets, and more.
While DICE may have picked the work “dark” to refer to their latest creations this Season, its inclusions to Battlefield 2042 with this upcoming update are making the future of the game shine even brighter. We’re excited about where this game is heading into the next year and are eagerly looking forward to the launch of Battlefield 2042: Season 6 – Dark Creations starting on October 10, 2023.