Get ready for the ultimate adrenaline rush as Battlefield 2042 unveils Season 5: New Dawn. Alexia Christofi, from the dedicated development team at DICE, introduced us to our hands-on preview of the new era of this high-octane shooter, aiming to bring it back to glory.
Reclaim lost ground
Introducing the breathtaking new map, Reclaimed, where the remnants of a battle-ravaged past collide with the world of 2042. Set in the wilderness of Czechia, Reclaimed boasts six strategically designed bases, poised to test the mettle of even the most battle-hardened squads. The dynamic layout caters to both vehicular and infantry combat, promising thrilling engagements at every turn.
For series fans, Reclaimed has a strong Bad Company 2 feel. Storm flag A1, the crash site, for medium-range infantry battles and vehicular warfare amidst a derailed train and rugged terrain. Push forward to flag B1, the landing zone, where a circular layout fuel exhilarating close-quarters combat, with tree destruction opening new pathways. Flags C1, C2, D1 continue the theme of empowering those close combat encounters upon this tightly packed map. There’s still room for long-range and tank fights, particularly at flag E1, the silo. Reclaimed is a fantastic addition to the roster.
The latest arsenal
Season 5 brings an array of new weapons. The XCE bar, a high-precision bolt action rifle, allows for swift attachment swapping, empowering players to engage enemies at various distances. Additionally, fan-favourite weapons from Battlefield 4 make a comeback, including the GEW-46, a bolt-action assault rifle, and the mighty BFP.50 hand cannon, delivering devastating damage at close range.
In our short two-hour session, there were balancing issues with weaponry. The BFP.50 was hands-down the most powerful tool on the battlefield. This compact pistol had minimal recoil and impressive effective range, especially on a map with so many tight spaces like Reclaimed. This isn’t unusual for the series, the meta for what the best weapons are always changing with every update. Something to be wary of if you’re returning to the game.
To add to the excitement, Season 5 introduces a range of gadgets. The spring grenade, a smaller yet powerful explosive, bounces into the air before detonation, wreaking havoc among infantry enemies. Anti-Tank Grenades ensure vehicular destruction upon impact, while Mini Grenades offer extended range and swift throws, expanding tactical possibilities.
Take it up a notch
Season 5 unveils a rich assortment of rewards across 100 tiers of the free and premium battle pass. On offer are legendary skins, instant premium unlocks, cosmetics, XP boosters, and the new premium seasonal booster. Year One pass holders will also be rewarded with an epic skin and XP booster as a token of appreciation for their continued support.
One of the standout features of Season 5 is the revamped squad management system. Players can seamlessly join specific squads or create their own, finally, ensuring efficient communication and effective squad leadership transitions. The battlefield is no place for lone wolves, and this new system promotes cooperation.
Alongside the squad management system, Battlefield 2042 brings further quality-of-life improvements, including revamped vehicle loadouts with enhanced roles and characteristics. Thermal tech and heavy anti-air capabilities ensure that every vehicle serves a crucial purpose. The patch notes have been released in detail on the Battlefield 2042 website.
Although our time was short and restricted to the Reclaimed map, Season 5: New Dawn feels like a fresh start. We admittedly enjoyed our initial time with the game at launch more than most, but the tactical shooter continues to improve with every update.
Battlefield 2042 Season 5: New Dawn is available on all platforms from 7 June 2023.