Battlefield Hardline – Beta Review

So I was able to play the alpha — or the alpha beta they put out before.  The driving was absolutely awful.  The cars were blocks, had nothing underneath, and really added nothing to the game other than transport.  This time around that has definitely changed.  The driving is better, you can’t turn on a dime and really need to plan… but the physics of it all is still way off.

I played the main modes of Bank Heist, Conquest, and Downtown.
If you’ve played Payday, you’re familiar with Bank Heist.  If you’ve played battlefield, you are familiar with conquest, and if you’ve played midnight club (R*) you’ve played Downtown.  Essentially you need to control the most cars, keep them moving (you get a bonus for driving at least a certain speed for a period of time) don’t get killed by the other guys and try and take them out.  The driver can’t do too much except keep the car moving.  The passengers have the job of keeping the other team off your ass.  You can shoot from inside the car with limited movement or lean out the window and shoot from there.  I played as the mechanic so I was able to shoot the guys following us, repair the car, and re-equip the gun waiting for the next batch.

It’s somewhat original.  It’s very cops and robbers, almost too cops and robbers in that you feel like you’re playing grown up cops and robbers.  It’s original in that you are battling from cars, relatively fast cars.  The pace itself is fast, new cars pop up after old cars blow up and like I said they encourage you to keep moving with the bonuses… also you’re on the map so it’s pretty safe to say if you stayed in one place you’d have company momentarily.

It’s a niche genre and I think it will be very popular with some people.  Primarily I think this is a great teenager game.  It’s got enough shooting and driving and flying to keep everyone happy, while still enabling them to use their battlefield engine (with little to no improvements, mind you) in a non-war setting.  I just can’t get past the driving.  If they put the same effort into the driving in this game as they did for the helicopters in Battlefield they could have a definite winner.  The maps are far too small, especially in the city mode because you’re inclined to just drive around in a circle.  If you choose not to do the circuitous route, you’ve got back alleys, weird blown up stuff that conveniently turns into a ramp, and plenty of things to get caught up on.  There’s little reason to stray from the route you know and that gets repetitive pretty quick.

This is a mod for Battlefield 4.  It should be $20 and a DLC for the existing game.  They changed the GUI – they added little improvements to the spawning maps like blocks on vehicles to show how many are spawning and based on the order your block shows up you can determine if you are going to be driving or a passenger but otherwise there’s not much better than Battlefield.

Also, I understand that it is beta, but put some quality into the graphics.  Battlefield 4 was the first where they actually went next gen instead of older current gen, though the chopper cockpit view in BF4 still gives me the willies.  I have an example back in the archives somewhere.

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Right, so Battlefield Hardline — meh.
If you want a different change of pace, like Battlefield but don’t like that it’s not cops and robbers than give it a shot, but I can’t see this being a top selling blockbuster regardless of what the EA marketing machine tries to do with it.  I will continue to see it as the red headed stepchild of the franchise.

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