Is Battlefield 2042 Worth Playing in 2023?

Battlefield 2042 had a rocky launch, but with several updates having been released, is it now worth picking up in 2023?

ONE Store Beta Now Available

Should you pick up or return to Battlefield 2042 in 2023? Well, there’s actually a compelling reason to.

The hype around Battlefield 2042’s release was huge back in 2021. The world was still dealing with pandemic lockdowns and here comes the next-gen release of the beloved Battlefield franchise. Previews showed incredible graphics, massive online matches with up to 128 players, and promising post-launch support. 

If you recall, this all sounds familiar given that it was also the same narrative back when Battlefield 4 was set to release during the PS4 and Xbox One era. Everyone knows what happened next. Broken servers, multiple technical issues, and the game just overpromised when it came to it revolutionizing “next-gen” gameplay.

But something about Battlefield 2042 made it arguably so much worse than Battlefield 4’s launch. The controversial decision to stray away from the franchise’s staple class system (Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon) in favor of  “Specialists” which acts somewhat similar to the likes of Apex Legends and Valorant with a specific set of utilities and skills per character. This fundamentally changed the way players went about matches. There wasn’t much point in building the right squad 

That, and the odd shift in tone with character dialogue being more in line with witty quips, bland cosmetics, maps that don’t play well into the sandbox, multiplayer only, and just a general lack of content. What was once touted as a return to form for the franchise came and went and Battlefield 2042 slowly obscured into the sidelines.

Now in 2023, Battlefield 2042 is being offered for free with a PS Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and is constantly on sale on digital platforms. This has effectively brought back a couple of gamers who were initially turned off by the problematic launch. But how about those who have yet to boot up Battlefield 2042 for themselves?

Is Battlefield 2042 worth trying in 2023?

I figured I’d give the game another shot seeing the online population steadily increasing over the past few weeks. Back then, I was scared of logging on as the game struggled to fill 128-player lobbies even with the help of bots. I either had to wait for long cue times or play through an extremely laggy match. 

I’ve been spending a few days already with 2042 and I can safely say that a lot of my worries were put to rest. I’d even go as far as to say that I’ve been having a lot of fun given the number of changes and systematic improvements DICE has made for the game. 

Since its rocky launch, Battlefield 2042 has received about a year’s worth of updates and additional content that have, for the most part, fixed a lot of the issues the community had. The major difference is the return to the traditional class systems. You can now pick and choose which is your preferred play style. This made squad gameplay much more coordinated and lessens the lone wolf playstyle that Specialists promoted in the first few months of the game. 

As of the writing of this article, Battlefield 2042 is currently in its fourth season. Coming back from the bare wasteland that was the launch content of 2042, it was cool to see just how much the cosmetic offerings improved alongside a premium and free battle pass system, new guns to earn, and titles. There are so much more things to play and grind for. 

Luckily, longer play sessions with Battlefield 2042 is much better now that existing maps have received a couple of revamps in terms of their design while adding in new ones as well. Conquest plays so much better and is less of a chaotic melting pot of people just running around mindlessly while spamming vehicles. Snipers picking out on the infantry for a million miles away still happen (as with Battlefield tradition), but are now more manageable given the amount of cover and outplay capabilities that are present. 

I’ve only talked about Conquest but there are also other modes to play around with spanning different eras from older Battlefield titles. I can’t wait to check them out myself.

I was delighted to see that finding a match only takes a few seconds and the connections seem to hold out pretty well. As much as it is weird to say, Battlefield 2042 finally feels like a Battlefield game. Gunplay is solid, the maps look great, there are a lot of things to grind for, and with rumors of confirmation for a second year of content support, things don’t seem as grim as it was back when it was first released. 

People were so quick to dismiss 2042 as a failed Battlefield game. Admittedly, I was one of them. I felt like I was robbed of my purchase with a product that seems to have lost its core identity because it tried too much to follow what other franchises were doing. But now, Battlefield 2042 is just a fun game to play with solo or with friends. If you manage to get it on a sale or through any of the subscription services, I more than encourage you to try it out for yourself. It’s a blast.