Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Trailer & Gameplay Breakdown

DICE has released the first official details regarding Battlefield 2042's anticipated Hazard Zone mode. Despite sounding like one, the third and final mode in Battlefield 2042 is not a battle royale but something akin to popular hardcore shooter Escape from Tarkov. The new Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone reveal trailer gives a taste of what the mode is all about.

On current-gen consoles and PC, eight squads of four (32 players total) deploy on one of the seven maps in Battlefield 2042 to find and extract Data Drives from crashed satellites. These vary in value depending on how many are collected and when they're picked up. Not only is every squad competing with each other, but there are also enemy NPC Occupying Forces around the map. It's unclear if these are similar to the AI bots found in the standard multiplayer, or if they've been made more difficult to provide a greater challenge. Battlefield 2042's signature tornadoes will also sometimes appear, throwing a wrench in players' plans.

Related: Battlefield 2042 Was Originally a Battle Royale Game, Claims Leaker

There are many different stages and layers to Hazard Zone beyond simply shooting people and avoiding tornadoes, however. The objective isn't to be the last team standing or to kill everyone else; the goal is to stay alive and get out with as much loot as possible. There's an actual mission at stake here, and kills are irrelevant if a squad doesn't extract with anything of value - if they manage to extract at all.

Players start each Hazard Zone mission by gearing up in the Exodus, a hub in Battlefield 2042. This is where Hazard Zone's Escape From Tarkov inspirations become apparent, as players are able to use a currency known as Dark Matter Credits, rewarded from making out alive with Data Drives, to buy weapons, equipment, and Tactical Upgrades for their Specialist. Tactical Upgrades include things like a one-time-use Reinforcement Uplink that can bring back a dead teammate, the ability to carry more Data Drives, and perks like additional ammo. This initial screen will likely be vital to success. Players will want to prepare for whatever they can and communicate with their squadmates to ensure everyone has a specific role.

EA still hasn't offered the exact ins and outs of this stage, so it's unknown if weapons have to be bought each time or if they carry over from game to game. Battlefield 2042's Specialists will also be available in this mode, but unlike regular multiplayer, players have to choose different Specialists from their squadmates. This means only one player can use Mackay, the Specialist with the grappling hook, and everyone else will have their own unique character. Hopefully, this will help further the idea of teammates having a defined role in a squad and make everyone's choices purposeful.

From here, players will choose their insertion point and enter the map. Players can use an Intel Scanner to find Data Drives after they've landed, even if they've already been collected by other players. Since matches are on Battlefield 2042's big maps with far fewer players, they'll likely want something to quickly cover some ground, and based on the trailer, vehicles are in play. Should players run into combat, they'll have to be mindful amidst the chaos. When injured, they'll go into a downed state, which allows them to be revived, but if they die, they're out of the fight unless the squad uses a Reinforcement Uplink.

Related: Battlefield 2042 Beta's Buggy Build Reportedly More Recent Than EA Says

The stakes are high: If only part of a squad survives a battle, they'll have a harder time getting extracted. That said, only one player in the squad needs to make it to the end for everyone to be rewarded, and there are two opportunities per match to get out of Dodge. Hazard Zone pulls from Escape From Tarkov's concept of allowing players to escape at different times in multiple locations. The first extraction begins in a random location a few minutes after the match has begun. However, those willing to gamble a bit can wait for more valuable Data Drives to drop mid-game.

Around the 10 to 12-minute mark, the last extraction zone will open, creating one big hot spot for the remaining players. If a team survives but doesn't secure extraction, they'll lose everything, so there's a lot of pressure on players to get in, secure some drives, and get out. Those who focus on just killing players will likely get left in the dust. Resources seem to be fairly limited, meaning players should probably avoid picking fights they don't have to take.

Whether or not Battlefield 2042's Hazard Zone can compete with the likes of Escape From Tarkov or Call of Duty: Warzone remains to be seen, but the idea is compelling on paper. DICE creates great shooters, but it has struggled to break into various shooter subgenres - Battlefield V's Firestorm battle royale mode was underwhelming and was ultimately overshadowed by the many other battle royales released at that time. Hopefully, Hazard Zone doesn't suffer a similar fate.

Next: Battlefield 2042: Hazard Zone Is A Better Idea Than Firestorm Was

Battlefield 2042 releases on November 19, 2021, for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC.

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