The developer of Battlefield 2042, DICE, has insisted that the near-future setting of its upcoming shooter isn’t social commentary. It claims that the setting purely exists for “gameplay reasons” [via IGN].
Battlefield 2042 takes place in a world much like our own, but around 20 years in the future. In that time, the climate crisis has accelerated to cause unnatural weather events. Tornadoes terrorize cities. Huge dust storms bury buildings. Changing sea levels run container ships aground.
The result of this climate crisis is that resources begin to run low. Some nations dissolve entirely, creating a massive influx of refugees known as ‘Non-Pats’ [Non-Patriated]. As tensions rise between the remaining nations to fight over what’s left, the US and Russia hire Non-Pats to fight their war. There’s slightly more to it than that, but that’s the gist of Battlefield 2042’s setting.
Much of this set dressing mirrors our own world. The climate crisis is something to be concerned about, and we’re already facing refugee crises. Despite these political parallels, DICE insist that it’s all just a stage for gameplay and doesn’t commentate on any real social issues.
“It’s for gameplay reasons across the board”
When asked by IGN if Battlefield 2042 made any efforts to provide social commentary on its setting, DICE developer Daniel Berlin responded:
“It is definitely purely a multiplayer game for us. The reason we decided to go down this route is so we could create a narrative with this world that we could create through the eyes of the No-Pats. We wanted to get more spectacle in there, and more massive events happening. The setting fits that perfectly. It fits that scale, and it gives us reasons to go all over the world. […] It’s for gameplay reasons across the board.”
This isn’t the first time that a developer has struggled to admit that its game has political themes. Recently, the Far Cry 6 narrative director claimed that the game, in which you play as a freedom fighter against a fascist regime, wasn’t political. He later backtracked on his statement and admitted that the story of Far Cry 6 was rooted in political themes.
To learn more about the setting and gameplay of Battlefield 2042, read our extensive guide on everything that the reveal trailer didn’t tell you.
[Featured Image Credit: EA/DICE]
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