Battleground 2042DICE gamers haven’t been quiet with their criticism of DICE’s latest competitive multiplayer shooter. A refund petition launched several weeks ago now has more than 200,000 signaturesand the list of game bugs and glitches continues to drive away the players. Now, players have turned their wrath on a new area of 2042: the game’s character models.
Over the Battlefield 2042 SubredditFans have been heatedly discussing the similarities between the playable Specialist character Maria Falck, a character from 2018’s Battlefield V, and an Imperial Official character from DICE’s 2017 shooter Star War Battlefront 2.
side by side comparisons show that the three character models are remarkably similar in their appearance, albeit with some noticeable tweaks to their structures and facial features. It looks like the character model was used in all three games. This has angered some fans over what they see as recycled content in a game that is already riddled with quality-of-life issues and game-breaking bugs.
Some fans are simply angry that a feature from previous Battlefield games has been reused in this latest installment, seeing it as an excuse or shortcut to save made by DICE for profit purposes. Others are more dismayed that older models have been reused, but other features from previous Battlefield games (like the scoreboard) were not kept intact.
The sentiment is compounded by the fact that the game’s pundits were billed as unique characters with their own combat roles, identities, and personal backgrounds, in a deliberate departure from the elusive foot soldiers that populated previous games in the series.
According to some disappointed fans, reusing a character for one of the game’s ten experts isn’t enough to bring this unique personality to life on screen.
Opinion: an irrational critique
Battlefield 2042 has come under a lot of criticism since it was released late last year, much of which has been vindicated. A game with as many clipping, rubberbanding, framerate, and connectivity bugs as 2042 had at launch probably shouldn’t be considered in a ready-to-release state.
The fact that the game reuses assets from previous Battlefield titles, however, is not uncommon for a large AAA series. Battlefield V reused several weapon models, building interiors, and vehicles from Battlefield 1, and Call of Duty: Vanguard reused several animations, weapon models, and UI elements originally found in previous titles in the series. More examples can be found in Halo, Forza, and any massive video game series that require massive amounts of development time and resources.
Asset recycling isn’t uncommon, but it isn’t bad either and shouldn’t reflect poorly on developers. The idea that every feature in a video game must be totally original is a bit of a misnomer and a rather unfeasible goal in contemporary game development. The amount of time, resources, work and money spent on producing AAA games is so great that reusing content is often the most efficient and least damaging way to cut costs. This is hardly an outrage when the content is already well designed and fit for purpose.
These recent criticisms of Battlefield 2042’s character models are similar to a comment made about God of War: Ragnarok last year following the release of its PlayStation showcase trailer. A Twitter user drew attention after criticizing the game for reusing a boat animation from God of War 2018. It didn’t take long for commentators and developers to point that reusing such a small part of the original game would hardly detract from the overall quality of its sequel.
Battlefield 2042 differs, of course, in that the current state of the game leaves a lot to be desired. Players are understandably frustrated with DICE, but criticizing its reuse of assets, which have even been tweaked and updated, isn’t as justified as pointing out its game-breaking flaws.