Battlefield 2042 review: The future of warfare is meaningless

There’s a compelling game buried in the weather-ravaged wastes of Battlefield 2042‘s grim, apocalyptic premise that has almost nothing to do with hectic firefights and chaotic vehicular blowouts the series is known for.

Instead, the setup—which is practically nowhere to be found within the game proper—reads like something out of Metal Gear Solid: in the near-future, extreme weather events and environmental disasters from climate change destabilize countries across the planet, causing more than a billion fleeing refugees to coalesce into a new class of nationless exiles called “No-Pats.” Without homes to return to, they form private mercenary groups to protect themselves amid rising tensions over resources.

Already on the brink, civilization is struck another blow when an unknown event knocks out most satellites. That leaves America and Russia (the only two superpowers left standing) pointing fingers at each other over the ensuing blackout and global economic collapse. Each side responds via a proxy war, covertly deploying No-Pat task forces to safeguard its interests in climate conflict zones. You come in, boots on the ground, as one of several special-ops personnel, fighting meaningless battles ad nauseam in a ruined world for whichever side pays you.

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