One of the biggest blockbuster games to be slated for release this autumn is Battlefield 2042, the latest in the long-running series of military-themed first-person shooters.
But what exactly happens in the game, and when can fans expect to be able to get their hands on it?
Here is everything you need to know.
What is Battlefield?
The first game in the Battlefield series - Battlefield 1942 - was released in 2002, and was set at the height of the Second World War.
Since then, the series has become one of the best-selling franchises, regularly rivalling the Call of Duty games as the must-have shooters each year they’re released.
11 games on, 2021’s Battlefield 2042 is set 100 years after the first game in the series, and brings with it some suitably futuristic gameplay.
What happens in Battlefield 2042?
It’s been confirmed that there will be no single-player campaign in Battlefield 2042, so the game does not have a traditional“story” as such.
Instead, the focus will once again be on the large-scale multiplayer battles that the Battlefield series has become so well known for.
The story will be told through the game’s playable characters, which are fully-voiced characters who have their own story and perspective.
The narrative has been described as "evolving", and new characters and locations will be added to the game post-release.
“In Battlefield 2042, the world is on the brink,” said developers Dice, highlighting some of the context around the multiplayer-only game.
“Shortages of food, energy, and clean water have led to dozens of failed nations, creating the greatest refugee crisis in human history.
“Among these Non-Patriated, or No-Pats, are families, farmers, engineers – and even soldiers. Amidst this crisis, the United States and Russia draw the world into an all-out war.
“No-Pat Specialists join both sides, not fighting for a flag, but for the future of the Non-Patriated in this new world.”
What is the gameplay like?
The current-gen consoles (that is the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5) will be able to support online battles featuring up to 128 players, fighting with futuristic weapons and technology to be victorious across multiple game modes.
In Conquest, two teams combat against each other to capture control points; once control points in a sector are captured, the team will control said sector.
In Breakthrough, one team must try to capture another team’s control points, while another team must defend them.
The series’ trademark large-scale maps will be back, with locations we’ve seen in trailers include a sandswept group of high-rise buildings that could easily be in Dubai.
The maps - of which there will be seven at launch - are also prone to level altering environmental effects, such as tornadoes which can lift players into a vortex, and sandstorms which drastically reduce visibility.
The game also includes a cooperative multiplayer mode called Hazard Zone, and a community-driven platform called Battlefield Portal, which allows players to create customised multiplayer modes that can be played on select maps from past Battlefield games.
Is there a beta?
An open beta will be made available prior to Battlefield 2042's official launch.
Swedish developers Dice had previously said players would be able to get their hands on with Battlefield 2042 during September.
But since the game’s launch has been delayed (see below) so too has the expected date of the beta.
It’s now thought - though not confirmed - that the beta will begin on 8 October.
The open beta will be available to all, though member’s of EA’s Play subscription service and those who pre-order the game’s Gold or Ultimate editions will be granted access to it a couple of days earlier.
How can I pre-order it?
Players who pre-order have three different editions to choose from.
These are the Standard Edition, the Battlefield 2042 Gold Edition and the Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition.
The Standard Edition is available for £69.99 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, £59.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and £49.99 on PC.
The Battlefield 2042 Gold Edition is available for £89.99 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles and £79.99 on PC.
And the Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Editions available for £109.99 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles and £99.99 on PC.
The Gold and Ultimate editions come with the Year 1 pass, which grants you access to multiplayer content like new playable characters, battle passes and skins.
When is Battlefield 2042 released?
Battlefield 2042 was originally announced as releasing on 22 October.
However, due to the impacts from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the game has been delayed, and will now be released on 19 November 2021.
"Building the next generation of Battlefield during a global pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for our development teams," Dice said in a statement explaining the delay.
"Given the scale and scope of the game, we had hoped our teams would be back in our studios together as we move towards launch.
“With the ongoing conditions not allowing that to happen safely, and with all the hard work the teams are doing from home, we feel it is important to take the extra time to deliver on the vision of Battlefield 2042 for our players."
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