EA and DICE have finally unveiled the third multiplayer experience that makes up Battlefield 2042. Hazard Zone is a “squad-focused survival experience” where rival squads battle with a single life to retrieve data drives scattered throughout the map and extract before a storm closes in on the area. The mode sounds exactly like a battle royale, except there will only be a maximum of 32 players on the battlefield.
Hazard Zone is set two years after a worldwide event known as The Blackout took out around 70% of the satellites orbiting the planet. However, this didn’t stop the US and Russia making use of satellites in a different way by fitting them with capsules containing radiation-hardened data drives. These capsules were dropped into controlled territories for their Occupying Forces. The problem is they’re valuable to the Non-Patriated soldiers too, both for their price on the Dark Market and for the intel that will keep them safe. Players will join a four-man No-Pat Task Force squad to locate and extract these Data Drives.
Players will be able to choose which of their Specialists they take into battle. As each one has different skills and equipment, a balanced squad is vital to mission success, especially when everyone has just a single life. Dark Market Credits can be used to purchase better weapon loadouts, Tactical Equipment and upgrades like extra equipment slots before the game begins. Those who don’t have any credits will be equipped with a free attachment-less Assault Rifle as a starting weapon.
Players then deploy onto one of the seven new maps introduced in Battlefield 2042; classic maps aren’t used for this mode. They’ll be up against AI-controlled Occupying Forces and other player squads as they find and retrieve the data. Those playing on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC will be part of 32 players on the same map, while those on PS4 and Xbox One will have 24-player matches.
To give players an edge throughout the match, Uplinks can be found throughout the map. These are laptops that can be used to call in extra support in the form of vehicles, rangers, or reinforcements. Reinforcements bring back lost squad mates who will parachute back into the match after a countdown timer has ended. Ammo stations are also dotted around the map.
Once the data is acquired, players need to extract. There are just two extraction windows per match and these happen in randomized locations. The first happens shortly after deployment, meaning little data is extracted but risks aren’t as high. The second happens towards the end of the match. Players can choose how many data drives they collect before they extract; as the match progresses, more satellites will fall from the sky containing an increased number of data drives. Bear in mind collecting more data before extracting results in better XP and Dark Market Credit payouts, but you don’t want to get caught by the storm that’s closing in on the area and getting increasingly dangerous. If you fail to extract, all that hard work counts for nothing.
Despite EA’s insistence the game would not have a battle royale mode, Hazard Zone is pretty close to that genre, with some notable objective-based variation. (In fact, add another 70 players and you have Ghost Recon Frontline.) Anyway, Hazard Zone will be one of three different multiplayer experiences that also includes the standard All Out Warfare modes and the Battlefield Hub. Unlike previous speculation, Hazard Zone will not be free-to-play and is a part of the whole Battlefield 2042 experience. After a brief delay, Battlefield 2042 will launch with all three modes on November 19.
[Source: EA (1, 2,)]