The world is at war in the next installment of DICE’s Battlefield franchise, but the series isn’t going back to the early 20th Century with its next installment. Instead, it’s projecting into the near future with Battlefield 2042, a multiplayer-focused entry that’s imagining a future for us that’s not particularly bright.
Electronic Arts and DICE gave GameSpot an early look at Battlefield 2042 with a big rundown of some of what we can expect from the game and a chance to check out the game’s reveal trailer. First and foremost, DICE is foregoing a single-player campaign for Battlefield 2042–instead, the developer says, it’s focusing on “what it does best” with multiplayer. But that doesn’t mean there’s no narrative driving the conflict at the heart of the game. Instead, it’s maybe a little too close to home, imagining a world 20 years from now that’s been thrown into turmoil by real-world issues like climate change. And it looks like DICE will still find ways to deliver story through its multiplayer gameplay, albeit in a new, as-yet-unclear way.
Battlefield 2042 puts you in the role of a “No-Pat,” a person from one of the many countries that has collapsed as climate change worsens, resources dwindle, and governments fail. No-Pats, or non-patriated people, have no country of their own, with Battlefield 2042 imagining a worldwide refugee crisis creating a whole lot of conflict itself. The No-Pat people come from all walks of life, but just as farmers, doctors, engineers, and factory workers are displaced by the global problems, so are soldiers–and without a country to fight for, they’re also searching for a way to make a future in the world.