Stop me if you've heard this one before.
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DICE and EA showed off the Hazard Zone gameplay mode today for Battlefield 2042. This mode, which will be included with the purchase of the base game, sounds familiar. Like, it sounds really familiar.

The mode will have you inserting into a point on one of the base Battlefield 2042 maps as a squad of four. Once on the ground, you must locate and retrieve Data Drives that are scattered around the map. All the while you will be fighting against opposing human squads that have the same objective as you. There will also be A.I. controlled "Occupying Forces" to contend with. You win by securing the Data Drives and extracting "before a storm overtakes the area." Players have just one life in this mode. Once you're dead, that's it.

Now, let's compare that to the recently indefinitely delayed Ghost Recon Frontline game that was just announced last week.

The main mode in the game is called Expedition. It allows up to 102 players divided into teams of three to find and located three pieces of intel from drones. Once all three are found, it will point towards an extraction zone. Get extracted first to win. The catch is that once an extraction helicopter is called, everyone else knows where you are. Those teams can kill you and steal the extraction for themselves.
The reception to Ghost Recon Frontline wasn't exactly what I would call good. People are drawing comparisons to other games that are also pretty similar that did find success, however. Those games include Escape from Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown. So, who knows, maybe Hazard Zone will be a mode that's worth playing after all.

Here is how Hazard Zone rounds will play out:
  1. You will pick a Specialist and choose your weapons and gear.
  2. You can spend Dark Market Credits to give you and your squad some extra boosts via Tactical Upgrades.
  3. You and your squad will be inserted into one of the seven Battlefield 2042 maps.
  4. You will attempt to secure the Data Drives contained within capsules scattered around the map. Rival squads and Occupying Forces will be fighting you every step of the way.
  5. After retrieving the drives, the squad must extract from one of two randomly selected locations on the map.
  6. You are rewarded based on how much intel you gather. More risk brings increased XP and Dark Market Credit rewards. DICE does note that Dark Market Credits cannot be purchased through microtransactions, and are only earned through gameplay.
  7. Rinse and repeat.
Scattered around the maps will be what DICE are calling Uplinks. These are laptops that you can collect and use when you need extra support. There will be three types of Uplinks at launch: Vehicle, Ranger, and Reinforcement Uplinks.
  • Support Uplink: Give your squad a Ranger Call-in
  • Vehicle Uplink: Give your squad a LATV4 Recon Call-in
  • Redeploy Uplink: Give your squad a squad redeploy Call-in.
There will be 15 Tactical Upgrades available at launch. DICE provided a look at just a few of them:
  • Extra Throwable - Carry +1 of your selected throwable Gadget.
  • Insider Information - Show the landing position of crashing capsules 30 seconds before they arrive.
  • Loadout Insurance - Reimburse 25% of upgrades and Loadout cost if you die.
  • Negotiated Bounty - +50% Dark Market Credits bounty when killing Opposing Forces
  • Quickdraw Holster - Swap between weapons 15% faster
DICE also put up a blog detailing a few other aspects of Hazard Zone. The blog, which can be found here, also included a little FAQ that might address some of your burning questions. For instance, DICE says that a round could last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes based on how well you play. They also say that Hazard Zone will be limited to 32 players on next-gen consoles and PC while the previous-gen consoles can support 24 players.

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