As a franchise Battlefield has earned a reputation for big cinematic moments both in its campaigns and multiplayer. With the shift in focus from big war zone encounters to urban police shootouts and bank heists, the game has certainly changed, but Battlefield Hardline is still a Battlefield game at its core.
Smooth and fast paced
For those who thought the previous titles were somewhat clunky feeling and too big in size to keep up the tempo, this game will be a breath of fresh air. I was one of the people who got rubbed raw by the buggy and inconsistent feel of the previous Battlefield titles. This game, even as a beta, feels incredibly smooth and I’ve only had a few encounters that felt off which seemed to be a specific player having connection issues. Also, there were times I felt the previous releases were too spread out, which allowed for much of my team to ignore objectives and not work together. The two game modes I played in the beta, Heist and Hotwire, are in constant motion with very little lull in the action.
In this game mode you are either robbing a bank and making your getaway or you are defending the bank and stopping the potential escape. I enjoy playing either side equally and always felt thrust back into the action without too many occurrences of quick spawn deaths. Because the game offers so many ways to attack or defend, no game will ever feel exactly the same. The robbers have numerous entry points and walls they can breach, and the boys in blue can take a variety of flanks or elevated positions to defend any of the breach points. Once the two cases are stolen from the vault, if it can be broken into (good defense can prevent this), those cases must be taken to two different spots indicated on the map. The intensity shift from attacking and defending to what feels like a presidential escort is fantastic. If the robbing team gets killed enough before escaping with the cases they will run out of tickets and lose. But if they manage to get both cases to the extraction points they will win. Much like previous Battlefield titles, if your team isn’t working together or paying attention, victory is almost impossible.
This is by far my favorite game mode in the beta, and maybe in any PVP shooter experience thus far. I only had one game out of probably 10 that was actually frustrating. So aside from that one game, I have consistently had an absolute blast. The goal is the same as in previous titles when playing the game mode Domination. The major difference? The capture points are vehicles. So instead of sitting hunkered down in a room that will get spammed by grenades, you are hopping into sports cars, vans, or semi-tankers and getting them to top speed in order to, “capture” them. Just like in Domination the goal is to have more points captured while killing the enemy because tickets run out faster for the team with less vehicles. Needless to say, it is absolute mayhem from start to finish. Friends can hang out of windows and shoot grenade launchers or get in gunfights with enemy passengers in hot pursuit. It’s like a Die Hard movie car chase scene that doesn’t stop. In just one high octane sequence of events, my friend hung out the window of my car and blew up a van full of enemies with a grenade launcher, and then I careened through an intersection at top speed as an enemy motorcycle drove in front of me and vanished beneath my car in a blink. When my friends and I have played this mode it has been a regular dose of laughing with excitement as cars blow up, helicopters crash, and enemies are turned into road kill.
This game may prove that delaying a launch can ultimately be the best decision, because it feels much smoother than even the most recently patched version of BF4. And as someone who has historically been a bigger fan of Call of Duty, I think this title may convert me. I will say, however, that much like previous Battlefield releases, a bad team quickly ruins the experience, and the Battlefield community seems replete with ignorant and mindless players who can’t seem to grasp the simplest of game modes and directives. We had a few Hotwire games where almost all of our teammates either didn’t understand the premise, or didn’t care. The small maps and more focused action will hopefully minimize the lone gunmen who ignore objectives and seem to enjoy losing. In any case, my friends and I can’t wait for the official launch to try out new maps and see what kind of bedlam we can bring to the world.