Battlefield 2042 Gameplay Trailer and Q&A with Design Director, Daniel Berlin
In case you missed it: we had an opportunity to preview the reveal of Battlefield 2042, the next-gen first-person shooter that marks the return to the iconic all-out warfare of the franchise.
We also got a first look at the Battlefield 2042 Gameplay Trailer, which just dropped this week! If you thought the Reveal Trailer was hype-inducing, take a look at what absolute mayhem awaits you in these vast battlegrounds across the globe:
Just when we thought we couldn’t get any more excited, we had a chance to sit down with Daniel Berlin, Design Director on Battlefield 2042, and talk about the development, design and inspiration behind what just might be the biggest Battlefield game yet. And robot dogs, of course.
Q: For starters, are there any hidden spoilers or easter eggs in the gameplay trailer that players with a keen eye should look out for?A: There’s definitely stuff in there, and I expect the community to dissect that thing and really find those particular details. I’m not going to call anything out specifically since we’re still in reveal mode, but there are things in the reveal trailer that we have not talked about yet. I look forward to that surgical dissection that the community will do, still-framing the whole thing.
Q: It sounds like these new maps and 128 player battles are truly going to make Battlefield bigger than ever before. What sort of challenges did the developers face in scaling up to such large content modes?A: The largest challenge was probably finding the right format for level design. It isn’t as simple as, “Hey, let’s just take an existing battle map, take the edges and go ‘EXPAND!’”, it doesn’t actually play that well if you do that.
So we had to take a completely new approach with this level design, that is actually inspired by what we’ve done in the past - we call it clustering. What we do is we create very distinct areas on the map that are very high-density with assets and props, like the stadium, for example - where there are multiple capture points within the stadium, and if you want to own the stadium, you have to fight through multiple points there.
Throughout the map, we have these clusters of like gameplay areas that we really lean into, and that’s the map approach that we’ve applied. If you look at older maps, some lean into this concept as well in the past, you have Golmud Railway in Battlefield 4 that does this, for example, Sinai Desert from Battlefield 1 as well. But like you said, it is massive - some of these maps are really huge, and with 128 players as well, to have these massive battles going on? It’s something else. It’s definitely the next generation of Battlefield.
Q: Did the team lean into that cluster design in the interest of creating more of these epic Battlefield moments that you’ve talked about?A: Sure, I mean - the thing we’ve really been pushing is the sandbox. It’s always been a core part of our DNA, that we are a sandbox shooter, and to be able to have these massive play spaces, we were able to take all the different parts of that toolbox, and now it’s modern, too - with cutting edge technology.
When you fuse all of that into the same massive battlefield, I think Battlefield itself becomes all it can be. It’s like, hey - there’s a bunch of infantry moving across the field, but there’s also tanks, there’s jets in the sky, there’s helicopters. When you combine these massive maps with this new technology, you’re able to bring it all together and create something that truly feels like Battlefield.
Q: To that end, did the decision to focus on multiplayer for this new era of Battlefield afford the dev team any opportunities to do things they’ve never done before?A: I think what it really does is it gives us the opportunity to focus on the things we do best. Multiplayer has always been a really core part of our identity, so while we don’t necessarily have a traditional single-player campaign, we found ways to push that multiplayer experience to the next level, and also give that multiplayer experience to a wide array of players.
So as we’re showing all these epic Battlefield moments in the trailers, we’re saying you’re still going to be able to experience them if you want to play alone as well, against AI. You’ll still be able to play with friends, against AI and with AI on your team. We have had AI before, but for the first time we’re really leaning in to their functionality, and their aspect of -- hey, if you want to hop in and play this game at your own pace? You’re not interested in the competitive environment and you just want to play our game, and still progress, still unlock weapons? You can do that. Playing against AI is not a separate game mode in Battlefield 2042, it’s just a way of playing our multiplayer experience.
And it’s worth noting that even without that single-player campaign, we’re still delivering a compelling story throughout the live service, telling the story as the world evolves through the Specialists that we’re creating. Q: We know there are a lot of tech questions that players have in mind in terms of specs, cross play, anti-cheat, but it sounds like most of that will be revealed in the future, right?
A: Yes. And in terms of anti-cheat, it’s important for us to say that it is exceptionally important to us for our players to have play sessions that are free from harassment, free from cheating. There’s an EA wide program called Positive Play that we’re also joining with 2042 - but we can’t go into any specific details right now. We’ll be providing more information on things like cross-play at a later date.
Q: The game takes place in 2042, and we see things like the robot dog and the massive, LED-lit skyscrapers in the reveal trailer. How did the design team approach designing a setting that is both futuristic and realistic & immersive?A: When we first sat down, we had a lot of concepts for this game. We knew that we wanted to lean into the modern, we wanted to lean into cutting edge technology, so this setting was just such a good fit for us in terms of the time, and the name - everything just clicks. But we also wanted to create a place where our Specialists could exist and get really interesting backstories. We also wanted to push the envelope on our dynamic world, with these twisters that come in, for example. We wanted to take away creative barriers and go outside the box.
The world is really important to our games, where we really lean into global conflict. How do we take these massive maps and make them interesting? With the setting of 2042. And the playfulness of the sandbox is something that’s really important to us as well. With that said, the feeling you get when you’re playing 2042 and playing Battlefield in general is a grounded one, in terms of how the world is perceived, and that’s something we’ve always done in the past. It’s a plausible space, even though it is a fictional world in that sense.
Q: Speaking of… enquiring players want to know: can we pet the robot doggos in 2042?A: *Laughs* - Oh my god, well, that’s a little bit too detailed for now. We’ll see. We’ll see what we can cook up. We’ll answer those questions a bit later.
So far, we know that more details on Battlefield 2042 will be revealed next month at EA Play Live, so be sure to tune in on July 22!
In the meantime, you can find the latest Battlefield news online: