Battlefield: Hardline Beta Preview: Can It Breathe New Life Into The Franchise After Disastrous BF4 Launch?
After the disaster of Battlefield 4's launch behind EA it looks as if they are coming back around and hitting hard! When you first load up Hardline there is a feeling of similarity all over, the customization screen is typically battlefield but when you look closer at the options the differences become clear. Weapons can be bought (with money earned in game) and although attachments are scarily similar to battlefield 4's, it's still good to see Visceral pull them as well as DICE did.
Gadgets are back and this time with a spin. There is a new syringe where you can instantly revive yourself as long as you were not killed with a headshot or explosive, the grappling hook always access to the high ground faster than others who go the long way round and the stunt driver which always goes for nitrous on vehicles and taking less vehicle damage (these named were on the Operator class, some may not be available on other classes) These new gadgets feel fresh and add a new flare to the battlefield gameplay where many felt battlefield 4 played it safe. A quick note as well are the melee weapons with some interesting ways to dispatch foes!
Gameplay modes available in the beta include Heist, Hotwire and Conquest large. Heist is an interesting new mode for Hardline where 2 teams (cops and robbers) robbers have to crack the vault(s) and take the loot to drop off points to win whereas the cops have to stop the robbers (they achieve this by draining the robbers lives to 0) this game mode is fast and frantic and it is highly rewarding when you beat the coppers in this mode! Hotwire again turned out to be a surprise. This mode is a spin on conquest where the two teams have to go to certain points and capture them – the spin being the capture point is a vehicle and to start capping points you need to drive fast! The mode is frantic, explosive and damn right adrenaline boosting. The XP gain in this mode is also fast!
Finally we come to Conquest. This is the least changed mode and is just classic Battlefield. Compared to the newer modes this is starting to feel a little stale but for fans there is no doubt this will be the go to mode at launch. Hardline is feeling fresh and unique and the way that it improves on the formula and still makes it not feel like a cash in, is very impressive, but there does seem to be a couple of problems worth mentioning. On the graphics front it's just not impressive and doesn't even reach Battlefield 4 (even though it is the same engine) don't get me wrong, the lighting is good but some of the vistas on the map look bland and hardly (this could change as this is the beta) I also want to bring up the way you hold the gun, the arm just looks in a weird spot.
With a stable server performance during the matches I would say Overall if the full game is as fun as the beta has been, Hardline could breathe new life into the franchise which took a tough hit with It's last outing. Now where is Bad company 3!