Have you always wanted to fight a modern fighter jet in a plane from the Second World War? Battlefield 2042 gets a mode with Portal that makes exactly that and so much more possible.
To the reveal of Battlefield 2042 EA announced three multiplayer experiences. “All-out Warfare” is the classic battlefield with the modes Conquest and Breakthrough. Hazard Zone is only known to be a squad-based experience – the last experience was a big secret – until now. At a press event, EA and developer Ripple Effect Studios (formerly DICE LA) Battlefield Portal in front.
Battlefield Portal: An adventure playground
You will probably read or hear the playground comparison quite often – but it just fits. In Portal EA sits down in the Battlefield sandpit and gives you thousands of scales and molds so that you can get really creative.
You are allowed in the portal create your own multiplayer modes and events and then share them with the community. That’s what you get for Battlefield-Builder, an editor with which you can change tons of game parameters and thus build your own game modes. This editor is web based, that means you can use it from anywhere on your PC, tablet and even with your smartphone. The only requirement is an EA account, so theoretically you can use the portal without buying the game.
In this case, a leak was the truth:
A Blast from the Past
We’ll get to that in a moment, how exactly the Builder works, first of all we clarify what kind of toys are actually available to you. You are not only allowed to play around with all the content from Battlefield 2042, but also with the content from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Bad Company und Battlefield 3. You can also happily throw the four games into the blender.
You can Weapons, vehicles and equipment from the four games compete against each other. From the three older games, six maps that have been pimped up for Battlefield 2042 are added to the map pool:
- Ardennenoffensive (Battlefield 1942)
- El-Alamein (Battlefield 1942)
- Arica Harbor (Battlefield Bad Company 2)
- Valparaiso (Battlefield Bad Company 2)
- Caspian Border (Battlefield 3)
- Noshar-Kanäle (Battlefield 3)
As with the seven Battlefield 2042 maps, there will be 128 players on these maps (does not apply to PS4 and Xbox One), but you can also create different modes with fewer players per team. Different team sizes and free-for-all modes can also be selected.
This is how the builder works
If you want to create a new game experience, you first select one of the currently 13 cards. Then you decide on a mode. You can use established modes like Rush or Conquest or even some in the Mode settings design. There you can set the team sizes, for example, whether players have a normal and restricted HUD, whether players can lie down or whether or not aiming is over the rear sight.
Once that is done, you vote for each team one of the four eras. So you can let the Americans from Battlefield 1942 compete against the No-Pats under the Russian flag from Battlefield 2042. This is followed by the Class (or Specialist) restrictions on weapons, attachments, equipment, and vehicles. It then continues with further settings to refine the game, for example changing headshot multipliers, fall damage or friendly fire. All of these things can be set differently for the teams.
Then it goes to the Logic-Editor, a Visual-Script-Tool with which so-called logic blocks can be created. With this you can, for example, link actions and events in the game to conditions or set them dependent on each other. Here is a simplified scenario for clarification: You want to create a gun game? So choose a free-all mode and now specify in the logic editor that the action “kill player” will give the executing player a new weapon.
Many new creations can be created with the Builder. From sniper fights to tank battles to pure knife fights, the possibilities are diverse and it is up to the community to exhaust them.
My personal conclusion
In our interview with Senior Game Designer Rob Donovan, when asked how all of this should be balanced, he simply answered with „Not at all”. And I really like this approach. It has been clear since Reveal that EA wants the players to do it and with the Battlefield Portal it gives them the tools to do this. The craft mode is only there for fun, so the developers themselves make balancing the responsibility of the players.
The return of a lot of old content has also pleased me and I’m excited to see how the pimped up El-Alamein will look. I see a lot of potential in Portalto keep the community busy and active, and even those who don’t know what to do with the Builder can still play the creations of the others. All post-launch content from Battlefield 2042 will also be added to the portal, whether more maps from older games will appear has not yet been revealed.
I also see an opportunity here to stand out from the competition and I think EA could hit the right nerve with the fans with Portal.