Battlefield 2042 was widely assumed to feature some sort of free-to-play battle royale mode to compete with the likes of Call of Duty: Warzone. Hazard Zone, which takes a little different take on the same battle royale formula, will however require players to own an actual copy of the base game.
Taking to Reddit earlier today, Battlefield fans shared their concerns as well as disappointment after knowing that Hazard Zone will not be free to play. Some are already pegging Hazard Zone to not survive in the face of a free-to-play Warzone option, especially since developer DICE already tried (and abandoned) the paid-for Firestorm battle royale mode with Battlefield 5.
Hazard Zone could end up as a missed opportunity as far as fans of the franchise are concerned. The mode has the making of a good battle royale game but with tactical and slow-paced gameplay. The mode also provides players a reason to invest long hours of progression since doing so allows them to earn Dark Market Credits which can be used to purchase Hazard Zone-exclusive upgrades.
Take note that Halo Infinite releases right after Battlefield 2042 and its multiplayer will be free to play. That just adds to a growing list of attractive free-to-play games which already includes the likes of Apex Legends. Battlefield 2042 would have hence been a strong contender to turn a lot of heads in the coming months if its Hazard Zone offering would have been free to play as well.
That being said, one good thing about Hazard Zone being a premium purchase is that the attached cost will help push away cheaters. All free-to-play games can quickly become a den of cheaters. Call of Duty: Warzone is a good example. Its unfortunate situation forced publisher Activision to green-light a new anti-cheat system which was announced just a day back and which already has its kernel drivers leaked into the hands of cheat makers.
Battlefield 2042 launches for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and PC on October 22, 2021.