Fans of Battlefield have been asking for a remaster of Bad Company 2 and, apparently, at some point SHE e DICE they may even have actually worked on it. However, this kind of request seems destined to quickly become obsolete, since Battlefield Portal has among its prerogatives to put the entire “remastering” process of this and other classics of the franchise in your hands.
- PC, PS4, PS5, XONE, XSX
- Exit date:
- October 22, 2021
- Electronic Arts
“Battlefield Portal”? Did we miss something? In recent days we have been guests, strictly digitally, of Electronic Arts, DICE and Ripple Effect to get to know this new mode, the second that we can deepen with you (of the three included in the complete package), by Battlefield 2042. Now that the veil has been removed, just in time for the end of EA Play Live, we’re here to finally tell you what we know.
In the wake of the success of the so-called UGC, user-generated content that goes viral as in recent games such as Dreams, Electronic Arts has also decided to try this path. Unlike Media Molecule, it will not allow you to create real games within Battlefield ma modalities and “experiences” that can be built in the utmost freedom, even trespassing on the alteration of the logic of the game, and shared with others.
“A love letter”
Battlefield Portal was described to us as a “community-driven” mode, in the sense that it will literally go, like expansions and balances (potentially slippery theme, this one), where the players will take it. It will be a mix of player creations with an ad hoc tool and others produced directly by Ripple Effect (l’ex LA DICE) to entertain users but above all to show them templates on which to place their ideas.
This process will focus on a box containing as many as four different games of Battlefield, for as many historical periods (“theaters of war”, to use the official terminology) e altogether 13 maps, including – in addition to the 7 from the All-Out Warfare mode of Battlefield 2042, like Hourglass in Doha that we explored around E3 2021:
- Battle of the Bulge e El Alamein da Battlefield 1942
- Arica Harbor and Valparaiso from Battlefield Bad Company 2
- Caspian Border e Noshahr Canals da Battlefield 3
The maps have not been inserted sic et simpliciter from the games of origin in Battlefield Portal: the developers of Los Angeles have taken care to produce “reimagined” and “updated” versions to overcome the limits of the time, and offer them at 4K resolution and frame rate of 60fps. Some examples: Battle of the Bulge had no environmental destructibility, now it did; Arica Harbor was stuck at 24 players, not now.
The player count will be the same as in the main game, that is 128 players for next-gen editions and 64 on PS4 / Xbox One. We will see it later, it will be up to the user to decide if he wants to put all 128 players (maybe arm them with RPG because yes, to use a funny example of the senior design director Justin Wiebe) in a map like the aforementioned and “small” Arica Harbor for create a delusional experience for its users.
An aspect that underlines how this delirium is encouraged concerns the welcome mix between the various eras: on a map of the Second World War, in practice, it will be possible to have a team play against each other. Battlefield 2042 against one from Battlefield Bad Company, thus having fun in a kind of fantasy war to understand who would win if they challenged all-star representatives from different scenarios.
Weapons, vehicles and gadgets will be determined by the selection of the faction (those of BF3 they will be modern, for example) in the “simplified” mode, in which we will only touch the settings and not the deep functioning of the game. There will be 40+ weapons (such as the M1 Garand, G3 and M416), 40+ vehicles (including the Spitfire and B17 Bomber), 30+ gadgets (including the MAV and radio beacon), plus all those expected at launch for Battlefield 2042.
The traditional factions of Battlefield – who have been replaced by the Operators in the new chapter – will make their return, although they will function as “simple” characters, and will be available across all seven armies (for example, there will be UK, USA and Germany from 1942, USA and Russia from Bad Company 2) included in Portal, so as to have them with the different abilities designed according to the era in which they happened to the times.
Upon exiting, players will be able to explore the official experiences created by Ripple Effect which will trace the historical battles of Battlefield, with Conquista, Corsa and Team Deathmatch, to make them feel a little more at home in such a disruptive episode. In the same way, it will be possible to share and enter the experiences designed by the community, which can be created with the “simplified” editor above, which will only touch the settings that are predominantly visible in a game, or through an editor of deeper logic.
Enter the builder
Everything we have told you so far is made possible by a powerful tool called Battlefield Builder. The Builder is divided into two main sections, which will allow respectively to modify the settings of their experiences and even the logic through a visual scripting tool that will be very close to a programming language.
This tool will be available both in the game and in the web browser, in order to be usable at any time and also via smartphone or tablet on the go. A curious news is that, being hosted on the official website of the series, it will also be accessible without the compulsory purchase of a copy of Battlefield 2042, so paradoxically you could create and share (but not play) without running into any limitations on this front.
It is true that there will be Ripple Effect templates that you can access to make a cast or almost for your own experience, but these creation options will still remain very complex and that is why the studio plans to launch video tutorials and a portal Wikipedia style to explain in detail the functionality of the editor.
In the mode in which we are going to touch only the settings we will have an entry for the maps, in which we will be able to determine elements such as which ones must be in the playlist and in what order they must be arranged; in this regard, smaller ad hoc arena maps have been created, in which up to 128 players can be interlocked in any way to create an unprecedented din.
The other items concern the modalities we would like to understand (whether the three classics or something completely customized), with a number of players that can be customized with a slider that could even lead to asymmetrical teams; the factions allowed and their composition; the classes; weapons, individually or in categories; the vehicles; gadgets; the accessories; the rules.
Rules are the most important and advanced aspect of the simplified editor, of course, and they cover things like friendly fire, point multipliers for bullet speed or headshots, enabling running for all or none or for a certain class, and health regeneration, just to mention. a handful.
Finally, players will be able to tweak elements of the interface and artificial intelligence. In the first, you can do things like activate or deactivate the minimap (for everyone, for a team, for a class …), while in the second branch you can think of using the AI as a bot to test an experience first to launch it or even organize a PvE by putting all non-human users in the other team, adjusting the difficulty, number and so on.
The Logic Editor is a real visual scripter designed for advanced “Builders”: it can be used to create a rule from scratch instead of choosing from those available (for example, how many health points should health regeneration award? When does it activate? Maybe when a player will complete a kill? How long will it be distributed?).
Basically, it is almost programming, although with a more agile tool based on a drag and drop system with which to drag the elements made available by Ripple Effect to the part of the page used for your code. We can also use it to force a block originally placed by the developers, such as to insert a weapon of Battlefield 1942 in an experience of Battlefield 3.
As for the user experience, players will be able to filter experiences based on the characteristics they like the most, thanks to a “robust” tagging mechanism, or access it through a link that can be shared by the creator or enter a password if we want our creation to remain private. The availability of the contents will be guaranteed not only by a sort of browser server in which to sift independently, but also by the weekly alternation of “featured” creations handled by the development team.
It will be possible to share, always with a link, our logic to involve others in the work (even on a forum: the link will remain active forever, just like the one to a real site) or ask for advice from the most experienced, although the recipients will not be able to overwrite the material produced by us.
The progress we make as players on Battlefield Portal will be grafted into the same progression as Battlefield 2042, and all post-launch content that will arrive on the latter will also be shared in the futuristic editor; cross-play will work exactly like on the main title and will therefore be limited to two different pools with PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X | S, and Xbox One and PS4. On the subject of further classic contents coming from the historical chapters of the saga, however, the developers preferred not to go too far: do you want to see that in the end they can do a remaster too?
If you want to get ready to enjoy Battlefield 2042 at the peak of adrenaline, how about equipping yourself with a nice monitor with a high refresh rate?