So I was invited to the Battlefield Hardline BETA for PC, one of the first of my friends to get their official invite. I was pretty surprised, not expecting to have received it so soon after registering when EA announced it at their E3 2014 Press Conference.
I’ve managed to play about 1 hour of the beta, which is a feat considering the sheer volume of traffic currently flooding the servers.
I’d never played a game on Origin before, so having to install Battlenet software was a bit odd to me. Anyway, I did it and played it with an open mind, so let’s get this doing.
Battlefield Hardline is the cops and robbers we all played as kids in a video game, and just a little crazier. Right now you can play two modes in the beta: Heist and Blood Money. There are sprawling stages featuring the environmental dynamics that the Battlefield series is famous for, such as cranes collapsing and shearing off the sides of entire buildings while you’re gunning for your target. The weapons handle the same, fire the same and sound the same, as authentic as EA money can make them. Because that’s essentially what this game is: Battlefield 4 with police officer and bank robber skins pasted over it. And this is where my “meh” attitude towards this game comes into play.
Most of the success behind FPS multiplayers is their familiarity to fans, the fact that it always feels like coming home when you fire up one of these titles. That’s completely understandable; human beings love what they know and who am I to begrudge them that? This Battlefield Hardline beta only makes me wish that The Division was coming out sooner, because I find myself leaning more towards these open-world RPG style multiplayer experiences as time ticks by. We know little to nothing of the single-player campaign of Battlefield Hardline to be able to offer up a full preview review (is that even a thing?) before the game’s launch, though Visceral has promised that details on SP are coming later. Considering their track record of providing well-written, deeply involving single-player campaigns, I have some hope.
But too many issues still plague Battlefield 4 players for Hardline to seem even necessary to me. What is the point if it’s meant to be a crime game when it’s just a military game with different character skins splattered all over the place? I find it difficult to suspend belief when police officers are rocking grenade launchers and SEAL-level weaponry, and the criminals possess the same. It just seems a bit too ridiculous, you know? Rather than sink their resources into developing Hardline, I believe that more effort should have been poured into enhancing and improving the Battlefield 4 experience, particularly considering that game’s horrendous problems at launch with the multiplayer component. It just sums up the general feeling I got from E3, from many developers:
Are you in the Hardline beta? What are your thoughts? Were they right to pump this title out while still struggling to resolve existing BF4 issues?
FYI, someone asked me why I hadn’t yet reviewed Watch_Dogs. It’s because it would essentially be a rewrite of every Ubisoft game I have ever reviewed, and well, that joke is getting played out right now by other reviewers. I will also start testing my Twitch channel and possibly begin streaming some titles online. We’ll see.
Until next time, peace.