“It’s much more than just a re-imagining,” Rob Donovan, Senior Game Designer at Ripple Effect tells me. We’re discussing Battlefield Portal, the new community-driven mode for the upcoming near-future Battlefield 2042. A mode that will for the first time allow players to edit, customise, modify, and create their own experiences using powerful tools.
At its core though, lies a celebration of the franchise’s past. Just one look at Battlefield Portal’s description and for many out there, you might not need to read any further than hearing about how it features classic maps, modes, weapons, vehicles, and factions from Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3. All in one place, and with the features and maps and Specialists from 2042’s All-Out Warfare to boot.
“We have a lot of developers at the studio that have worked on past Battlefield games,” Rob Donovan says. “So, yeah, the team wanted to reimagine some of those classic maps. But we also wanted to combine it with what 2042’s All-Out Warfare was doing. The team at DICE in Stockholm worked with us early on and we were among the first people to know that 128-player, giant spaces were going to be available.”
And with that the team took that All-Out concept and ran with it, not only in the sense of updating classic maps and locations with a fresh coat of paint and supporting the new player-count, but leaning into the very idea of Battlefield as a sandbox.
What is Battlefield Portal?
Battlefield Portal is being developed by Ripple Effect, the studio formerly known as DICE LA. And as a game mode, Portal is all about community and celebrating all things Battlefield. It brings together all seven maps from Battlefield 2042’s All-Out Warfare mode alongside six classic maps from Battlefields of yore into one awesome package.
Portal is all about community and celebrating all things Battlefield. It brings together all seven maps from Battlefield 2042’s All-Out Warfare mode alongside six classic maps from Battlefields of yore into one awesome package.
There’s so much Battlefield here it’s a little overwhelming, with two maps from Battlefield 1942, two from Battlefield Bad Company 2, and two more from Battlefield 3. Plus, all weapons, vehicles, classes, and factions from all three of these classic eras are coming along for the ride.
And with all of that players will be able to create their own custom games from a simple-to-use web browser interface. Battlefield 1942 factions going up against 2042’s Specialists in a near future setting? Not a problem. And with the Builder and in-depth Logic Editor players will also be able to drill down and customise everything from what gadgets appear to how weapons behave.
So many customisation options will be available that the community will be able to effectively create their own ultimate Battlefield experience. Or, go the opposite route and put 128-players on a small 32-player map.
You know, just to see what would happen.
Battlefield Portal will fully support cross-play and feature Official Experiences curated by the development team to recreate some of the greatest battles covering Conquest, Rush, and Team Deathmatch.
In the All-Out Warfare set of experiences of Conquest and Breakthrough, AI Soldiers are used to backfill servers and you cannot opt-out of playing with them. However, there is a cap to how many of them you can encounter in a multiplayer match. In general, you will not experience more AI soldiers than players unless the match is still filling-up, or almost empty. Players will always have matchmaking priority over AI.
As an example: if there are 120 players out of 128 players currently playing in a server, 8 AI Soldiers will join the match to help even out the teams. Should a player leave, another AI Soldier will temporarily replace them until a new player joins the game. We’re providing them as a helpful option to ensure you won’t have trouble matchmaking and can fully enjoy the all-out warfare chaos you can expect from a Battlefield match.
Fight to define the future in a world transformed by disorder. For the first time in Battlefield’s history, 128 players can join the all-out war at the same time – giving you the chance to take part in massive-scale battles where anything can happen. Get an even greater sense of spectacular, large-scale war on seven massive maps where you'll experience ever-changing battle conditions and gameplay challenges.
In The Year 2042…
Climate change, catastrophic weather events, disparity, a growing refugee crisis, technological advances, stateless players making a difference, the usual global superpowers showing up. Battlefield 2042 not only presents the world on the brink, but in the midst of a global conflict that sees the United States and Russia dragging everyone else into the solar-powered fray. With its near future setting that feels as grounded and exaggerated as anything in the series to date -- Battlefield 2042’s all-out-war doubles as a reference to both its scale as a multiplayer shooter, and the conflict it depicts.
“As we moved into developing this new Battlefield we wanted to make a leap,” Daniel says. “And with that we brought forward a bunch of different concepts, there were at least 12 different ideas. But, when we saw this one, the modern setting, we knew it was right. It enables us to do all of the things we want to do, we love to do. We really wanted to push the scale this time around, and we wanted to lean into cutting edge technology.”
“The essence of Battlefield is the sandbox and we wanted to fill the sandbox with new ideas and give players more creativity,” Daniel adds. “Moving into this modern setting and space really does enable us to do so much more. It unshackles us in that we’re not bound by grounding everything in historical accuracy.”
Battlefield 2042 is a first-person shooter that marks the return to the iconic all-out warfare of the franchise. Adapt and overcome in a near-future world transformed by disorder. Squad up and bring a cutting-edge arsenal into dynamically-changing battlegrounds supporting 128 players, unprecedented scale, and epic destruction.