Battlefield Hardline Beta Impressions
*DisclaimerThis was Jordan’s experience with the Battlefield franchise, we here at Mouse n Joypad find it important to get the views of gamers who are not necessarily total fans of a franchise. This gives totally non-biased views on titles and provides readers with an informed view on games.
I have always been curious about Battlefield, but for one reason or another I never actually played it. Some of my friends have always sworn by it and claimed that it was way more skill-based than COD, which I have never been a huge fan of (besides the zombies). So when I caught word that DICE was having a beta over the weekend I decided to give it a shot and man was I impressed.
The first thing that stood out to me was how all the gun mechanics felt… well, real. You can’t just aim your crosshairs over a target and expect to get a kill; you have to lead them and account for long distances. The shooting felt very Counter-Strike(y) to me which I loved; that type of skill based shooter really does improve replayability because there’s always something in your repertoire that could be improved. I mean let’s face it, there are a lot of reasons why CS is still one of the most competitive E-Sports around.
Movement in the game is also really, really good. You have unlimited sprint which allows you to reposition quickly without getting “tired” in the middle of a war zone and becoming an easy target for a perched sniper. The abilities to crouch and lay prone are also great, even though they are nothing new, the movement animations when you got your face in the dirt and are trying to get better line of sight with your sniper rifle really do make it authentic and… real. You’re in the middle of a heated fight and it should feel that way which DICE pulls off in spectacular fashion. Also, being near a grenade when it goes off or next to your buddy as an RPG slams into a wall beside you — knocking you back and shell-shocking you in the process also gets the blood pumping. From what I have been told, BF has always nailed the second to second gameplay and in Hardline, it’s no different.
There were four different classes to pick from: Operator, which was a straightforward class that came with an assault rifle and a med pack. There was Enforcer which was the up close and personal style that came with a shotgun that was great for navigating indoor areas. Then there is the sniper class and a fast moving sub machine gun class that was great for setting up perimeters around your zone. They all played drastically different, each with their own pros and cons which really made you think before you pressed the Deploy button.
The new installment of the series centers around the cops and robbers theme which at first felt gimmicky, but soon after I hardly even noticed. One of the new modes and my personal favorite is Heist — which brings the good guy/bad guy theme front and center as the two teams face off during a bank heist. The cop’s objective is to stop the robbers from making off with the cash at certain waypoints and the robbers’ is to fight your way through mobs of pigs and get the loot to the getaway checkpoint. Armed with everything from C4 that blows holes in certain walls which gives quicker access areas to tasers that stop the opponent dead in their tracks, teams face off in tactical gameplay that is so fun and invigorating that I would almost just buy the game for that mode alone. This mode it took place right in the middle of a metropolitan area with a huge bank in the center and a few other side streets on either side for the teams to provide tactical support.
Hotwire, another new mode, was one that I felt a little underwhelmed by. It’s pretty much a zone control mode except the zones are now specific cars, 18 wheelers, and other automobiles. The thing that I did like about it was that hanging out of the cars and shooting down the opponents felt really gratifying. It’s just that kills really didn’t matter and most people just zoom by opponents driving around the block over and over to win, it was repetitive as could be. There were two maps available, one being in a wide open desert town, which was a lot of fun and provided a lot of different positions to hold up in. The other map was similar to the one in Heist as it took place in a downtown area. This map was my least favorite out of them all because it was pretty much a square which left people no choice but to drive around and around.
Conquest is a legitimate control zone mode in the form that people are used to and I found it to be much more enjoyable. It’s baffling to me that they would have two modes that are so similar but anyway… it was a lot of fun getting back from your control zone and picking people off as they tried to contest our base. The desert map from Hotwire is also the one for Conquest and it worked much better for the latter as the open area and numerous buildings really gave players a sense of variety in how they played the map.
Hacker is the one mode that I did not get to try but from everyone that I talked to about it, they seemed to like it alright. You pretty much provide hacker support from up above, whether it’s GPS tagging that lets your teammates see the enemy or shut down protocols which will greatly interfere with the opposing team seizing an objective.
Having never played a single BF game before this, I have to say that I was a little apprehensive, because the market is just so saturated with army based FPS games at the moment. I am happy to report that all changed when I finally sat down and got into the game. It is nowhere near what I thought it would be and that is a major compliment. With so much replayability, depth, and variety in play styles, this game will most certainly be added to my collection come March.
Are you excited for Battlefield Hardline? Sound off in the comments below.