The remastered GTA Trilogy isn’t the only high-profile release that could have done with a bit longer in the oven. Battlefield 2042 isn’t technically out until November 19, but it’s already taking heat from those with early access (via pre-orders of the Gold and Ultimate versions, and EA Access members) for delivering a generally unsatisfying experience.
As is now the norm for player protest, the Metacritic user scores are the outlet for player frustration with — at the time of writing — scores of 4.1, 2.6 and 2.5 for the PS5, PC and Xbox Series X versions respectively.
While none of these are exactly stellar, the score on the latter may be especially low because of a troubling bug on Xbox Series X.
In a thread with over 300 responses on the EA site, dozens of players are reporting that their consoles completely shut down. Not kicked to the dashboard with an error message; the console actually switches itself off. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to the crash, with it sometimes occurring immediately, and sometimes towards the end of a match.
EA eventually responded on Saturday, stating that it is “aware of some Battlefield 2042 players on Xbox Series X experiencing a full console shutdown crash during gameplay.” The same problem is, apparently, also impacting FIFA, Madden and NBA2K players.
Confusingly, EA said it will be issuing an “optional update” to address the bug on November 17, and that it will become mandatory on November 23. Why there needs to be a six-day gap between the two — especially when the full game is released to the world in the middle — isn’t something that the company addressed.
To add more confusion to the mix, Microsoft added that “you can already download this update in the OMEGA Ring as part of the Xbox Insider Program.” The post was ambiguous as to whether this was the same patch, but if it is, then it hasn’t worked for plenty of players who’ve applied it and are still enduring system crashes.
However you paint it, this isn’t a good look for EA. Players paid extra for the Gold and Ultimate editions of Battlefield 2042 in part because of the ability to play the game a week ahead of everyone else. If a bug is preventing Xbox Series X players enjoying the game until November 17, then they’ve really been given two days’ worth of early access, rather than the seven they thought they were paying for. And that’s assuming the patch works as advertised.
There’s a certain amount of good will that comes from pre-ordering a game. For many of the players affected by this, it may well be a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy.’
At the very least, the Xbox anniversary celebration livestream can hopefully satisfy longtime gamers.