Battlefield 2042 has given us a lot to talk about: It's doubling the usual player count (two teams of 64 for a total of 128 players per match) and totally changing the typical Battlefield class system. The near-future setting barely feels important. It's pretty much the opposite of the Battlefield 5 reveal, which focused on that game's WW2 setting, granular details like character animation, and the E3 announcement that a battle royale mode was in development. Case in point: There's definitely no battle royale mode this time.
During a presentation last week, DICE said both that no battle royale mode is in development for Battlefield 2042 and that no battle royale mode is planned, in case there was ambiguity in the first statement. And they want us all to know that Hazard Zone, one of two unrevealed modes, is not a battle royale mode, even if the name kind of makes it sound like one.
What DICE will say is that Hazard Zone is squad-based and high-stakes. To me, that suggests a take on Escape from Tarkov, Hunt: Showdown, and The Division's Dark Zone. It could be a mode in which you and a squad have to enter one of the giant maps, complete objectives, and then get out safely. Battlefield might lend itself to that style of FPS better than it did battle royale—Firestorm just didn't do it for me, or many others—but I'm speculating.
The other unrevealed mode hasn't been named. All DICE will say is that it's being made by DICE LA and that it's a "love letter to Battlefield fans."
We knew that DICE LA, which at last check was being directed by Respawn head Vince Zampella, was working on something related to Battlefield (opens in new tab), but not exactly what. It was senior design director Justin Wiebe who tipped us off (opens in new tab) when he tweeted: "It's wondrous I get to work on a game I fell in love with almost 20 years ago! The sandbox play of 1942 was just amazing for its time. I look forward to hearing from all of you what you loved and hope for in a future BF game."
The mention of Battlefield 1942 aligns with DICE's statement about the mode being fan service of some kind—could it really be a rendition of BF1942 in the modern Battlefield engine? That'd be a lot to stuff into a tertiary mode, so maybe I'm going too far there. Then again, there's no singleplayer mode this time, so maybe it is something fairly big to compensate.
The main Battlefield 2042 mode is called All-Out Warfare, and it's really a category that includes typical Battlefield game types such as Conquest. You can read all about the big changes to that core Battlefield experience here.
Battlefield 2042 is releasing on October 22. There'll be betas before that, including one for Hazard Zone, so we'll get a preview of that at some point. EA says that the mystery DICE LA mode will be revealed at EA Play on July 22, so we'll know what that's all about soon.