When Morgan got his hands on Battlefield 2042's beta, it reminded him why he loved the series in the first place, but the beta's reception hasn't been all positive. 2042's new specialists (characters with unique gadgets that replace the old class system) are interesting in function, but some players think they make it difficult to tell who is who on the battlefield, and what role each player is actually filling.
Complaints about the role of specialists have been common on Battlefield 2042's official subreddit since early access to the beta began this week (here's how to get in). Some are begging DICE to bring back the old generic soldiers of Battlefields past.
"Love getting mowed down by a fat dude with a machine gun and having five grandmas run past me without reviving me cause they didn’t know I was on their team," said Reddit user Copter53, referring to the specialist Falck, who acts as a support unit with a pistol that shoots healing syringes. Despite the medic classification, that really just describes what Falck's equipment does. It's still possible for a Falck player to run around as a sniper who repairs vehicles with a blowtorch.
Another common complaint is that it's much more difficult to round out your squad when you can't tell who is carrying what supplies. Is my squadmate carrying a medkit, explosive, or ammo boxes?
Figuring out who's on which side of the fight has also been a problem for some players.
"I wish they had faction specific skins because damn it was awkward in the play test," Reddit user Zeth_Aran said. "I found myself shooting at or being shot at by teammates pretty consistently. Even if there is that blue dot above the enemy’s head in the heat of the moment I’m not looking for that. I’m just gonna shoot first and ask questions later."
"I walked around a corner playing as Mackay and witnessed an enemy Mackay shooting at his friendly Mackay. Scored two free ones there," said Reddit user kmr220.
Community sentiment isn't completely negative. As always, there's a portion of the Battlefield fanbase willing to roll with it and see if the changes keep things fresh.
"I know when an enemy is an enemy because they don't have a blue dot over them, so I don't really think this is a concern," said Reddit user Mariosam100. "I mean in BFV everyone looks completely different anyway no matter what side (unless I’m on Pacific maps), so I don’t mind them looking similar."
Changes to Battlefield's multiplayer have almost always been at least somewhat divisive. (Don't even mention time-to-kill to a Battlefield player.) Player visibility was also an issue in Battlefield 5, with YouTubers like JackFrags pulling impressive feats of stealth by… laying down on a pile of books. DICE later released a patch that added more of a highlight to players, making it easier to see them in shadowy interiors and environments with colors similar to their uniform.
One thing Battlefield 2042 brings to the table that past Battlefield's don't is the enticing Portal mode, which promises a level of match customizability that fans might glom onto if regular multiplayer meta gets too stale or unwieldy. (Or they don't like the TTK.)
Here's how to get into the Battlefield 2042 beta if you want to play it this weekend.