Now, before we get started, I just want to say that I wasn’t a fan of the Alpha or the Beta. The gunplay didn’t feel right, the movement didn’t feel right and it just didn’t feel like the Battlefield we had come to know and love over the last few years. So, did I have high hopes for Hardline? No, not really, but I left pleasantly surprised with the fastest Battlefield yet.
The Battlefield: Hardline Beta will include three maps, Downtown, Dustbowl & Bank Job. A few of the new game modes found within Visceral’s Battlefield entry will be found within the beta too, with Hotwire and Heist taking centre stage among other favourites such as Conquest.
First up was one of Hardline’s new game modes, Hotwire. Players from both teams are tasked with hot-wiring and keeping control of selected vehicles placed around the map; The faster you drive, the more points gained. Destroyed a car? No problem, they’ll respond but make sure you get to them before the opposing team does. It’s fast paced, frantic action and extremely fun at times.
Downtown, a map many will have played before due to it’s inclusion in the past beta and first alpha which was surprisingly announced during Electronic Arts’ E3 Press Conference last year. Downtown is exactly as you’d expect - Set within a downtown section of a City, it’s full of interconnecting blocks with an overpass and the odd destructible section.
Dustbowl is considerably more open than Downtown with it’s sweeping roads, Breaking Bad style drug labs and significant lack of aerial obstacles making offensive helicopter attacks considerably riskier. While it doesn’t have the verticality of Downtown, it does bring the ever elusive sniper/recon out to play.
Bank Job isn’t your typical Battlefield map. It’s something more akin to Counter Strike or Call of Duty. On Heist, the premise is that of your favourite bank heist but with the usual Battlefield twist. Terrorists have to make their way into the bank’s vault, plant a drill, steal two bags of dosh and get to a designated pick up point where on arrival, a helicopter will be called in allowing for escape.
Visceral Games have also added a few licensed songs to the game. In Multiplayer, they’ll play in the car radios as you’re cruising around the map increasing those precious Hotwire points. I asked the development team how many licensed tracks we could come to expect in the final game come March and they couldn’t give me a definite answer due to contracts and licensing laws being a ever-changing subject. It’s a nice little feature that adds to the experience and atmosphere; just another little Battlefield moment as you and your terrorist buddies are ploughing though a blockade of police officers as “Woop Woop! That’s the sound of da Police… That’s the sound of da beast” is blaring from the car stereo.
Visceral aren’t redeveloping Battlefield: Hardline’s multiplayer, in fact, it’s more like Battlefield 4’s gunplay and movement than ever before. It’s redefining it for the new title where some might suggest the main focus lies in single player. Worry not Battlefield fans. You’re going to enjoy Hardline’s beta.