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Battlefield 2042 Season 7 hands-on preview: A Haven for destruction and urban warfare fans

Battlefield 2042 is almost ready to ship its seventh season of content, beginning its third year of continued support. The live service game has easily been through the roughest lifecycle in the Battlefield franchise, with many fans still swearing off the experience due to launch issues. The game has come far since then, bringing back series staple features like classes, reworking every launch map, and going back to the basics by focusing on core game modes.

As unveiled a few days ago, Battlefield 2042 Season 7 is locked in to release on March 19. Ahead of the launch, DICE invited me to try out the incoming content in a preview session earlier this week, so here are my thoughts on the new map, weapons, animations, and other incoming changes.

Battlefield 2042 Season 7 Preview

Haven is the latest map to join the ranks of 2042. DICE says it is a love letter to classics like Arica Harbor (BC2), Strike at Karkand (BF2), and Amiens (BF1), and this was instantly noticeable from the moment I spawned in. The surrounding desert, the way the main roads cut through the small but busy town, multiple layers of elevation to fight in, and the hectic urban combat all remind me of the hundreds of hours my friends and I spent on the streets of those old games. You can see its sights in the screenshots I’ve embedded throughout this piece.

DICE has provided ample cover everywhere except for the open roads, making quick dashes and from building to building the safest route when under fire. Every standalone building can be blown up until only their skeletons remain. No matter how much I and another preview-goer tried though, we weren’t able to bring down a two-story building completely. I still miss the Bad Company 2-era of being able to demolish almost everything, but there definitely is more destruction in Haven than in most other 2042 maps.

Battlefield 2042 Season 7 Preview

I got to play Conquest and Rush modes during the preview, but the map will support Breakthrough, TDM, and FFA modes, as well as Portal, for community editing, at launch too. Conquest was easily the most balanced of the two I tried. The flags have you running through houses, blasting through walls, and diving for cover as heavy vehicles bulldoze their way through everything. Possibly because of the teams’ inexperience with the new map, the two tanks, APC, and little bird available for both teams were dominating the arena depending on what was alive at the time.

Battlefield 2042 Season 7 Preview

Rush is one of my favorite Battlefield modes of all time. Here though, It feels a little undercooked. The Attackers have spawns that feel like they are just a few seconds of sprinting away from getting back to the objective site to plant. Defenders, however, have a much larger area to cover. It almost feels like Attack and Defense rolls are swapped here. Every match of Rush I played, the attackers won quite easily by overwhelming the sites with endless players, and death meant almost nothing. There are no vehicles involved in this mode.

This is a 64-player arena, and after playing so many of the 128-player maps in the base 2042 experience Haven did feel a little too small at times. I could sprint across the map from one corner to the other in what felt like no time at all. On one hand, this is great for quickly responding to objectives that need attention. On the other hand, imagine using a vehicle (in Conquest at least) and being able to cover over half of the map’s objectives with ease.

Battlefield 2042 Season 7 Preview

Most fights were close to mid-range bouts as well, which is where the new weapons come in. Both the AK 5C and SCZ-3 weapons, despite being an assault rifle and submachinegun respectively, felt they are just made for maps like these. Of course, Battlefield 2042’s attachment customization system lets you edit their proficiency to almost any scenario, but in my hands, they felt just right for close-quarter engagements. Weapons also feel more impactful when shooting thanks to recoil animation overhauls.

Keep in mind this hasn’t affected the handling at all. It’s just that when firing a SMG or an LMG, the gun’s kickback and vibrations are much more visualized than before, upping the immersion entirely. If you’ve played Battlefield 1, this might feel familiar.

Battlefield 2042 Season 7 Preview

The new content I got to try out is only what will be available at the start of Season 7. DICE is also preparing a mid-season update that will have another map, with Stadium coming back as its own infantry-only arena that will probably join Redacted as another meat-grinder experience. This is also when the studio will add a brand-new vehicle in the form of the XFAD-4 Draugr, an actual stealth bomber with EMP bombs and missiles to wreak havoc across many maps with jets support.

Like I said before, Battlefield 2042 has come a long way since its disastrous launch. Season 7’s content is not some massive infusion of stuff like in the old expansion pass days, but the new map is it’s still a high-quality addition to keep things fresh and interesting. Even with DICE working on its next Battlefield, continuing to support 2042 with new maps, weapons, balance changes, and animations is both surprising and welcome.

Battlefield 2042 Season 7 Preview

Battlefield 2042 – Season 7: Turning Point arrives to PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on March 19 for owners of the game as a free update. The title is also available via EA Play, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and PC Game Pass subscriptions. EA will also be hosting a free play event from March 14 through March 24 across all platforms.

These gameplay impressions and screenshots in this article were gathered during a digital closed preview session of the upcoming content provided by EA and DICE.

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