I recently got the chance to play the beta of battlefield Hardline on the Playstation 4. This is the new game from Visceral and Dice in the pantheon of battlefield games. This beta does not have any single player elements so this preview is from a multiplayer angle only..
Battlefield Hardline is the type of game that makes me want to play battlefield again. Battlefield 4 was a major disappointment due to bugs and other balancing issues. It was also a very similar game to battlefield 3. Before I get into the game itself of Hardline, it must be said that my first battlefield was Bad Company and the first multiplayer I got into was Bad Company 2. The reason i'm telling you this is I might say things that older battlefields have done, I just simply don't know about it.
The beta had 1 large map titled “High Tension”. This map was smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, skyscrapers that are all around you and will play a major part in how you choose to enter the fray. The best thing about playing in the middle of a city are the little nooks and crannies you can use to either defend yourself or escape danger. I loved sneaking up on someone from below them and them not even noticing me until it was too late. The biggest downside to the city level are the vehicles, they control very well but that matters for not when you aren’t able to drive very far or at top speeds. Now this is only one level so I will cut them some slack and that maybe there will be more open levels upon full release. The level does have a dynamic adjustment to it in that a large crane can fall at any point during a match, and if it does, the paths you can take are now different but not drastically.
The gameplay is very similar to Battlefield 4. the controls are a tad different but not so much so that veterans of the series couldn’t hop right in a play well. The biggest difference I noticed was the speed in which my character ran. It wasn't nearly as fast as the soldiers in other Battlefield games. If this is a way for the developers to make me feel as if the Cops and Criminals are slower because they aren't trained soldiers, then I love it. It’s the kind of subtle nuance that adds to the fresh feel of the game. As stated before, driving is very well done and feels right. In previous games, if you crashed at top speeds into a barricade or something solid, you had the chance of exploding and dying, not here though, and I know this because i'm awful at driving.
Flying a helicopter was something I wasn’t able to do in my playthrough, I rode in a helicopter and even took one down with an rpg but never flew one. I can say that the pilots I saw were very good at flying them and this had just come out so I imagine that it felt similar enough for them to maneuver in a city. In every battlefield game, you must play to unlock your new weapons and gadgets, they simply unlock the more you play and level up, not here though. Every little thing you do earns you "cash to spend", you use this to buy/unlock what ever gadget you want on your character, a few things were locked but I'm sure that was due to it being a beta. What I love about this system is that you don't need to be good to unlock that rad gun or neat skin, you just need to save up and buy it whenever you like.
There were 2 game types to play, Heist and Blood Money. Heist is exactly what it sounds like, the criminals must take the loot to the escape zone before the cops can wipe out their tickets, tickets being respawns. This mode was a blast, every time you respawn, the battle has moved and this makes for very dynamic battles. Fighting for advancement or fighting to push back are great ways to keep the game new and exciting. This will more than likely be the game I play most often.
The second was Blood Money. The idea of this game type is that there is an enormous pile of money in the middle of the map. Players must gather as much as they can and take it back to a location near their base, the first team to collect 5 million dollars is the winner. Here's where things get tricky though, players drop all their loot upon being killed, enemies can pick up that money by simply walking over it, and in order to collect money from the pile, you must hold down Square or X for a few seconds to get only $100,000. What makes this so tricky is you have two plans of attack, defend the pile of money and kill all who take it so your teammates can collect it or attack the area, gather as much as you can and haul ass back to base to collect. And one more little thing, enemies can get to your safe and take money away from your teams total. This game type was pure chaos, and I loved every second. Not knowing where I was gonna need to be, how I wanted to tackle getting money, watching my back every second was exhilarating.
My overall feelings on the beta were that it is just pure fun and I can't wait to play the full game. I wish the beta had something on the story to the single player but I know that's not why we play battlefield. I'm very excited to see the new maps and other game types, if they are as fun as this was, I'm in for the long haul. The beta is still up and running for a while so if you have a good PC or a Playstation 4, I highly recommend going to this link (http://www.battlefield.com/hardline/beta) to sign up for a copy of the closed beta.
Thanks for Reading
Photos courtesy of EA and DICE