During Battlefield 2042's week of early access for people who paid extra, players were more forgiving of bugs and wonk with the expectation that it would be fixed by a launch patch. Well, the game is out today, the launch patch has hit, and the game is still in a bit of a state. 78% of the 5500-odd player reviews on Steam are negative right now, with many complaining about crashes, poor performance, and more. Dice have said they plan to launch two patches in the next month.
I'm wary of treating negative Steam reviews as a metric uncritically, especially given the rise of review bombing, but yeah lots of complaints seem legit. Some are straight-up unhappy with the game Dice intended to make, not liking what it does differently, or the absence of familiar features (like the traditional scoreboard), or balance issues (hello, hovercraft!), and so on. Those are critical matters, on which I'll defer to the Battlefield 2042 review our Ed is working on right now. But many are unhappy of the unintended state of the game, the performance issues, the hit registration problems, the input lag many feel, and the bugs.
On Wednesday, Dice launched a wee update which turned out to be the anticipated launch update. They said it fixed "some critical issues that we identified shortly before the start of Early Access" and detailed plans for future patches.
"In the coming weeks, we'll have more to share around further upcoming fixes, balance changes, and QoL enhancements," they said. "Over the next 30 days, we're presently scheduled to release two further updates, with our next update delivering more fixes and improvements that we've identified during this first week of Early Access, and a larger and more substantial update following after that."
It seems unlikely they'll fundamentally change Battlefield 2042, but maybe it'll become the game it's actually trying to be. Launching a huge team-based multiplayer game without voice chat, planning to add it later, is wild. The game does not seem ready.
If you are getting started, Hayden has some Battlefield 2042 tips for you.
Still, I do want to know what's up with these ducks.