Multiplayer FPS Battlefield 2042's Conquest and Breakthrough modes are largely about shooting bullets across vast distances on a vast map while trying to capture a vast number of objectives. They are vast, mate. But the newly revealed Hazard Zone mode? Nope, this is smaller, more survival-oriented, with a hint of Hunt: Showdown.
In Battlefield 2042's Hazard Zone mode revealed today, eight teams of four players fight to find and nab Data Drives scattered around the map. And unlike its Conquest and Breakthrough modes, your squad can't have more than one of each Specialist. To win, you must extract out of the map with as many of these drives as possible. Thing is, there are only two time-limited extraction opportunities during a match, which means that either two teams can make it out with the goods, or none at all.
And then there's the whole PvE double-whammy to consider. AI troops will defend these data drives with their lives and tornados can sweep across the map at random times to make the whole extraction process spinnier than you'd like.
Successfully bring home some drives and you'll earn Dark Market Credits, which can be used to buy upgrades and weapons for use in Hazard Zone. You'll equip your Specialist with a combination of these things before you head into each match. There's no word on weaponry, but at launch a total of 15 upgrades will be unlockable. We're talking armour bonuses, being able to spot enemies for longer, more ammo capacity, that sort of thing.
Well, Hazard Zone is a bit Hunt: Showdown isn't it? Less so scary atmosphere-wise, and more in the whole PvPvE thing it's got going on. It has those same decisions in this regard, as to whether you spray down AI baddies and attract attention, or let others do the work for you before springing an ambush.
Speaking of which, that new Ghost Recon battle royale game that was just announced? Yeah, that also involves teams exploring a map, gathering stuff, then attempting to whizz out of there before others hunt them down. I'm seeing a theme here, and it's big games cribbing off a smaller, criminally underrated game.
I'm definitely excited to give Hazard Zone a try, though, especially as I think I'm into high-stakes, intimate shoot-outs more generally in my FPSes, as opposed to the huge 128-player battles Battlefield 2042's other modes offer. I just get a little bit lost in them, is all. Whether or not it has staying power remains to be seen, but from the looks of things, I'm sold.
If you're keen to find out what Battlefield 2042's other modes are like, I thought the storms were pretty game-changing in Conquest, and Brendy checked out Battlefield Portal's mode-editing tools. And if you can't wait to get stuck in, the game's out on 19th November.