Battlefield 2042 has some extremely good, extremely low-poly birds plying its skies along with all the drones and futuristic VTOL aircraft.
Dedicated Twitter account low poly animals (opens in new tab) posted a screenshot of one of the avian specimens, presumably captured during the recent Battlefield 2042 beta, and it presents a thought-provoking contrast between the extremely smooth, artificial drone, and the unflinchingly blocky, natural bird. We can't say for sure what species it is, since most real-life birds have at least twice as many polygons, but our best guess is a common grackle.
Bird from Battlefield 2042 pic.twitter.com/8yXJaEzgcqOctober 24, 2021
The same account also shared an image of a frankly adorable rat, which looks like it just crawled out of a stop-motion TV special in which a bunch of stuffed animals have to team up to save a family's holiday.
Rat from Battlefield 2042 pic.twitter.com/5mmLJKuE6EOctober 22, 2021
It may seem jarring to encounter such relatively undetailed creatures in the otherwise visually grand spectacle of a modern AAA game, but they're actually a key part of the (metaphorical) ecosystem. That's because video game developers only have so many resources to go around, both in terms of their limited time and in how much processing power any given gaming system brings to bear.
Animals like these will typically be glanced for a half-second in the background as you're focused on capturing the next objective or on finding wherever that damn sniper is camping. Leaving the animals as suggestions of what they represent rather than explicit, exactingly detailed representations frees up both creative and processing resources to focus on more impactful parts of the game. It also means we get more adorably blocky weirdos like these to try and screenshot, so it's a big win-win for everybody involved.
The Battlefield 2042 devs are using beta feedback to make some substantial changes ahead of launch in November.