DICE is attempting to add a little class into Battlefield 2042 with its next major update, but our experience was mixed

What’s old is new again.

image via EA

During a recent preview play session, we got hands-on with Battlefield 2042’s most significant update yet. The 3.2 update features a slew of changes alongside its headlining feature, the return of the classic Battlefield class system. In our hands-on time, we played an early build of update 3.2, which features the class system, a rework of the Breakaway map, and new gadgets. This is new content on top of the usual assortment of bug fixes and several quality-of-life features each patch brings to the table.

We were able to play two matches and test out several of the changes to the Specialists and the new custom class gadgets. In the 3.2 update, DICE will separate the Specialists into four distinct classes: Assault, Engineer, Recon, and Support. The unified class system works alongside new gadgets, one for each class, that every Specialist in a given role can use.

Unlike older Battlefield titles, classes can still use any primary weapon they prefer, but a new Weapon Proficiency system grants bonuses for sticking to a class’s identity. For example, a Recon class will have an easier time sniping than a Support class. In a roundtable Q&A, the developers at DICE said they wanted to bridge the gap between older Battlefield titles and 2042 by folding the Specialists into the classic class structure.

In our time with this update, it provided a much improved in-game experience, but navigating the Specialists and class system was confusing. The build featured no tutorial on such a major change, and we can’t help but feel this change will be tough for new players to learn. Loadouts will be unified on a per-class basis beginning with this update, but we couldn’t sample this ourselves during our play session.

The 3.2 class update is certainly Battlefield 2042’s most ambitious one yet. Following a disappointing launch, EA installed Respawn CEO Vince Zampella as the new head of the Battlefield series. Since then, DICE has made many fixes and changes to Battlefield 2042, including its core map design, player counts, and multiplayer modes. Update 3.2 is slated to release sometime next week.