Reviews - Updated on March 31, 2022

As promised, at the EA Play Live event they showed one of the components of the upcoming Battlefield 2042 – the same “love message” for fans of the series. It is called Battlefield Portal and is being created by Ripple Effect Studios (formerly DICE LA). From the trailer, you can already understand what exactly it is, and at a recent closed presentation, we were told about it in detail.

All About Battlefield Portal

Everything is mixed up

Battlefield Portal is a mode in which players will share entertainment with each other, invented using the presented tools. It mixes elements of the four parts of the series – Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 2042. The developers promise countless combinations of settings.

In addition to the seven maps from Battlefield 2042, six more will be added to the mode:

  • “Caspian Border” (Battlefield 3);

  • “Nowshahr Canals” (Battlefield 3);

  • “Ardennes operation” (Battlefield 1942);

  • El Alamein (Battlefield 1942);

  • Port of Arica (Battlefield: Bad Company 2);

  • «Вальпараисо» (Battlefield: Bad Company 2).

The developers have completely recreated these maps on the latest version of the Frostbite engine, so they are available in 4K resolution with an increased frame rate. You can play these maps with classic rules, with the same number of users that they previously supported, or arrange matches with 128 players – but only on PC and next-gen consoles. The previous generation supports no more than 64 members.

All About Battlefield Portal

The cards were transferred in almost original form, but modified using modern technologies. As the authors say, in this way they managed to do what was impossible before. Take, for example, the map “Ardennes operation” – now it has destructibility, and in general, what is happening looks more realistic thanks to improved graphics and increased draw distance – this is important for a map created based on a real historical event. The same is true for the El Alamein location.

All content that will be added to Battlefield 2042 after release will be transferred to the Battlefield Portal. From the old games, many vehicles, gadgets and weapons will move there – the developers chose them, taking into account their own statistics and community feedback. The Ripple Effect team will offer some official entertainment at launch that is fully consistent with what was available in the old Battlefield – for those who just want to plunge into the past, and not try the experimental modes. The rest will be able to either scroll through the entire list of user creations, or check out the ever-changing section with favorite entertainment, which will be selected by the developers.

The Battlefield Portal Builder will be available on a site that has yet to be linked. An interesting idea can be implemented right on the spot, simply by opening a browser on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. It will also allow developers to make changes to the builder without having to release patches and get certified on consoles. You don’t even need to buy Battlefield 2042 to access the site – just have an EA account. True, in this case it will not be possible to test your own creations.

All About Battlefield Portal

When the user starts creating their own project, a menu with sections appears on the left side of the screen. In the first one, you need to select a mode: the usual “Capture” of the new generation or its smaller version, the classic “Storm” or a custom mode with its own settings. Then you have to decide on the cards – you just drag them from the left side of the screen to the right side and decide in what order they will go one after another. In addition to regular maps, small sections of them will be available in case you want to play matches not in the entire territory.

Nothing prevents a player from taking a small map, sending 128 users there, giving each of them rocket launchers and seeing how it plays out. Maybe something very funny will turn out, or maybe not – it’s up to the creator of the entertainment to decide.

Justin Wiebe, Senior Design Director, Ripple Effect

The last step in the mode settings is related to the number of teams. One of the features of the constructor is the ability to create asymmetrical squads: you can put one person against 127.

All About Battlefield Portal

But the most interesting awaits further, in the Series section. Here we first choose which sides from which games and eras will face each other. If you wanted to see how the soldiers from Battlefield 1942 would feel against the warriors from Bad Company 2, then now it will be possible. The choice will depend on what types of weapons, gadgets and vehicles will be available to a particular team.

We decided on the eras – it’s time to decide on the characters. We choose the parties to the conflict and indicate which classes we would like to see in matches. At the presentation, the developer created the “Sniper Rifles vs. Shotguns” mode: he chose Battlefield 3 for both squads, after which he left only scouts in the first team, and only engineers in the second.

All About Battlefield Portal

Next, the weapon menu opens, where all guns are divided into categories – you can remove all automatic rifles or pistols at once, or uncheck each weapon. The same applies to vehicles – if you want only helicopters or only tanks, there are no obstacles. By the way, the system of calling vehicles from Battlefield 2042 will be available regardless of the era. And, of course, body kits will also allow you to customize – it will be easier than ever to play matches with standard guns.

In search of the ideal

The third section is called General, and there are even more settings. You can turn on friendly fire, increase the speed of bullets, adjust the weather, remove automatic reloading, increase the damage multiplier when hit in the head – and that’s not all. Settings are available for both teams – if you expect one squad to be stronger than the other, give it an advantage.

All About Battlefield Portal

Soldiers are also customizable: you affect the damage multiplier when falling from a height, the amount of maximum health, the delay on respawn, the ability to look through the scope, run, roll, and even lie down on the ground. For example, turn off the ability to lie down for snipers and turn on the run for a team with shotguns – at least some kind of balance will already appear. There is also customization of the interface, which can also be different for teams – disabling and enabling the compass, mini-map, target marking system, and so on.

The last tab in General is related to artificial intelligence. If you want to test your mode before publishing, you can fill in all the commands with bots and check what you got. The AI ​​will also come in handy in situations where you want to try out some weapon that you are not familiar with. Or maybe you just want to shoot dummy with your friends in a kind of PvE. The main purpose of the bots is to fill empty places in the match and the abyss when a live player takes their place. But this can also be turned off.

All About Battlefield Portal

Where is the logic?

The final section is called the Logic Editor, a logic editor with the ability to fine-tune the match rules by moving and modifying logic blocks. In our example, the developer moved the Rules block onto the field and named it Health. He wanted to add a rule with which the player would automatically restore his health when eliminating an opponent. From the drop-down menu, he selected “When killing an enemy”, in the search for blocks, he found “Health Regeneration” and moved it to the large Rules block. There are empty cells in the health block that you fill with other blocks, indicating who exactly will restore health (in our case, the player is the Event Player) and in what quantity.

The settings in the logic editor seem to be innumerable. If desired, you can arrange something like a team mode Gun Game, in which the guns will automatically change for the entire team when someone makes a kill. You choose the types of weapons, arrange them in the right order in the appropriate block, set the rules and so on. Moreover, it doesn’t matter to the designer what era you have taken – as the developer explained, you can put any guns, choosing them from a huge list. That is, from a machine gun of the future from 2042, they allow you to switch to a rifle from 1942.

All About Battlefield Portal

You will probably want to add more dynamics to matches and add messages that appear during the match. For example, in the case of the Gun Game, you can display notifications on the screen when your or the enemy team changes weapons – all this is also indicated in the corresponding blocks.

When everything is ready, it is enough to publish the creation, but you can put a password on it and give the generated key only to friends. To make it easier for other players to find the entertainment they want, the site automatically generates tags that briefly describe your mode. So, if you are not interested in friendly fire or do not want to play without an interface, tags will allow you to hide such creations in the list.

Big future

Obviously, not everyone will be able to figure out the details, so Ripple Effect is preparing educational articles and videos. Developers want to create something like a “wiki”, and there are certainly those in the community who will volunteer to publish their own guides.

All About Battlefield Portal

As Wib said, the release of Battlefield Portal is just the beginning. After that, new options will begin to appear in the constructor. For example, at first it will not be possible to change the location of the points in Capture – but if the audience asks, the authors can add it. The same goes for the replay system – due to technical difficulties, it will not be at the start, but they would like to implement it, and perhaps in the future this option will appear in the Battlefield Portal.

The question may arise: how will developers achieve balance by mixing four different games? But in any way – everything is in the hands of the players. Weapons from the Second World War lose out to guns from Battlefield 2042, but numerous settings will even out the chances of teams. Perhaps you try to make one unit bigger than the other, tweak the time to kill, or otherwise scatter the advantages and disadvantages.

We recently held a kind of “game jam” where we created our own modes and played them. One of the trainees came up with a mode in which everyone had a Saiga shotgun in their hands. No vehicles, slightly increased running speed, small maps and every man for himself. Even if it didn’t feel like a classic Battlefield, it was a lot of fun, and that’s the most important thing.

Rob Donovan, senior game designer

If you spend time in Portal and only occasionally look into the main modes of Battlefield 2042, you will also earn experience and unlock rewards in Seasonal Battle Passes. In addition, cross-play is supported in these custom modes, but you need to be aware of the difference in power between old and new consoles – PS4 and XB1 owners will only be able to play with each other, while PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S will have enlarged maps with 128 players.

All About Battlefield Portal

We already know almost everything about the two components of Battlefield 2042 – the All-Out Warfare mode (a ton of details – in our recent article) and Battlefield Portal, an entertainment platform based on four games in the series. It remains only to understand what Hazard Zone is – the developers call it “a completely new squad mode with big stakes”, and this is not “Battle Royale”. They will tell you about it closer to the release of the game, which will take place on October 22 this year. In September, they plan to conduct open beta testing of the shooter with early access for pre-orderers.

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