Battlefield Hardline Beta Impressions ~ Top Cop or Worlds Dumbest Criminal?

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The Battlefield Hardline open Beta has been live for more than a week and the PSGamer crew have spent more time with it than we would care to admit. Ross killed Paul (he has always wanted to do that). Sean bailed on a bike sending Ross hurtling into a nest of angry crims. Tim even tested the Xbox One version. Has it changed our mind about Battlefield Hardline? Impressed us? Disappointed us? We have all chipped in a few paragraphs on our thoughts.

Sean Davies – Review Editor

Sean-Davies_avatar_1422959351-72x72I was worried – terrified actually – about Battlefield Hardline. The theme of cops vrs. robbers did not feel like a natural fit for the Battlefield series and recent world events (yes, I’m talking Ferguson) had convinced me that Hardline and its heavily armoured police might be as blunt as a sledgehammer to the kidneys in a time that required subtlety. Thankfully, the theme barely effects the multiplayer, at least in the Beta anyway. Apart from different skins on characters and vehicles and a different (but similar in structure) set of weaponry, the two opposing sides of Hardline are indistinguishable. The game doesn’t have that “YeeHaw! I gunned down a criminal” feel nor does it feel like you are committing crimes.

The game then? Hardline has benefited greatly from the extra time in development. While Battlefield 4 launched as a half baked flan, Hardline is set to deliver upon its premise of massive action as a well prepared, multi-layer gateaux right from the outset. Putting aside some connectivity issues (which can be expected during a Beta), it has ran smoothly with virtually no lag or stutter. Hit detection seems to have been working perfectly (even though I may have used it as an excuse for a few particularly bad matches) and I didn’t once fall through the floor or walk through a wall coughCallOfDutycough. Visually, the Hardline Beta is not what I expected. Smoke effects look distinctly “last-gen”, even on the PS4, and some of the textures on walls (particularly on the Dustbowl map) look washed out. It is the new game modes which really set Hardline apart from the crowd. Hotwire is quickly becoming my new favourite online FPS game mode. It forces a focus on objectives because of its ticket sapping penalties and there are always tactical choices to be made – Do I blow this enemy car to kingdom come? Shoot out the types to disable it? Or do I snipe out the driver and take it for myself? Heist is basically Hardlines version of capture the flag except only one team is trying to deliver the flag. Great fun and can get quite hectic. The Conquest mode is the only stalwart game mode that was carried into the Hardline Beta and felt much like a new map pack for Battlefield 4. Still massive. Still manic. The one factor that does carry across to all of these game modes is speed. Matches felt much faster paced than those in Battlefield 4 an you rarely feel out of the action.

This beta has convinced me that Hardline, or the online portion at least, will be worth the price of admission. Each of the game modes feel well balanced and objective orientated, none of the maps in the Beta seemed to offer a distinct advantage to either starting point and, all in all, I have had a lot of fun screaming around streets on motorbikes with my gun toting partner riding pillion. If only I was better at it… Roll on March 17th.

Ross Keniston – Managing Editor

Ross-Keniston_avatar_1422453101-70x70How did I know I was going to enjoy this beta? It was the moment that this song started, Hardline had me. I’ve been on board with Battlefields new direction since it was announced. The faceless superhero soldier schtick was getting old and tired – not just in this franchise – and I was looking for something a little more deep. Who knew I’d find it in the most bombastically ridiculous interpretation of Cops’n’Robbers I’ve ever seen?

Hotwire was where Sean and I got off the grid first and it was clear that this was a mode that I’ve always longed for online. I have no real desire to jump into Call of Duty/Battlefield online, I never have, but this new Battlefield had me intrigued from the get go. The vehicles-based gamelay made the whole mode feel exciting and unpredictable. I got run over many times, for some reason I just never learned to get out of the way (‘This time, this time I’ll take them dowFUCK’) and this led to many redeploys. When I finally found Sean on the staggeringly large maps it wasn’t long until one of us was dead. However, our dear co-founder Paul Collett was on the other team, and it was immensely satisfying watching his body explode next to a burning car I just took care of. Ah, bliss.

Did I experience lag? I did. Plenty. I recorded the lot for you right here. It’s monumentally awful.

I had a quick game on Heist, which was fun but was Capture the Flag by any other name. Hotwire is where I spend the majority of my time in the Beta and it’s simple to see why, pure and simple – it’s immensely fun. More fun than I’ve had on Call of Duty since Kino Der Toten, Battlefield Hardline could be the next big online game that many gamers have been craving. Hotwire specifically is fast paced madness from beginning to end. I couldn’t take the grin off my face. Especially after murdering Paul. Despite the lag issues – I should stress, this was in one game out of many I played without any sign of lag whatsoever – I’m excited to get my hands on the game in full.

Battlefield Hardline – with a solid single player campaign – could reaffirm my belief in first person shooters. It seems to have done something which CoD has just forgotten to do.

And it’s easy really. Make it fun.

Tim Utley – Content Editor

Tim-Utley_avatar_1414519750-70x70When I first heard that Visceral, the studio behind Dead Space, was making a Battlefield game–I had a few reservations.  A studio that seemed deeply routed in horror and exploring the occult was going to make a high octane Cops and Robbers FPS, it didn’t quite register at first, but upon playing the Hardline Beta I can see what they are attempting to do and they have my attention.

Battlefield Hardline isn’t reinventing the wheel by any means, but is simply taking what elements made previous entries enjoyable, refining them and also borrowing a little from Payday.  Most notably is reinforcing the idea that Battlefield is a TEAM game–that’s right a TEAM game.  I wasn’t privy to the mess that BF4 was upon its launch, but it never felt like a team game when I picked it up later.  It was every man for themselves and that approach turned all modes into a glorified death match.  That could be a console problem, but I digress.  When I was playing Hardline I felt like I had a team around me–a team of complete strangers–but a team nonetheless.  Whether I was playing Heist or Hotwire the other players took accomplishing the objective seriously and worked with one another–something that is rare and something I haven’t experienced since the days of Bad Company 2.

It’s also worth mentioning that what’s there is fun.  Games are well paced and strategic.  It doesn’t feel as intelligent as either Payday game, but is a breath of fresh air for Battlefield.  Also, who doesn’t love base jumping off a building and killing an enemy thereafter?

But for everything that Hardline does right it still does a few things wrong.  The UI is still cluttered and trying to decipher what is happening on the map is a complete nightmare.  It might sound nit picky, but most maps are populated with tons of unusable vehicles–seems silly for a robber to not be able to steal a vehicle off the street (or is it just me?).

Is the beta convincing me to buy the game?  Not quite.  I applaud Visceral and DICE for trying to shake up the Battlefield formula, but I think the multiplayer offering needs to be paired with a really solid single player experience or will ultimately end up just being par for the course in my book.

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Battlefield Hardline Open Beta announced

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It’s time to live out your cops and robbers fantasies with the news that Battlefield Hardline beta has been announced. The beta will be available to all platforms (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC) Although there is no news on the exact date the beta will begin. But we do have some details for you thanks to Steve Papoutsis, Battlefield Hardline General Manager and Executive Producer.

“The Hardline beta will allow players to use new gadgets, form new strategies and showcase their skills on two different maps and modes.

Hotwire is an all-new mode coming to Battlefield which focuses on combining all-out warfare with all-out vehicular speed, while players will also have the opportunity to go all out in 64-player cops and criminals warfare in a traditional Battlefield mode, Conquest.

While it’s just a taste of the whole game, we want you to come in, take your jacket off, stay a while. There won’t be a cap on the max progression level so whether you’re busting criminals or fleeing the cops, unlock away.

We want you to play this beta to death. We need you to. This test is only going to make the game stronger, and help us take a look at ways we can ensure we deliver the most stable launch you deserve. We’ll see you on the streets of Battlefield Hardline soon.”

 

Battlefield Hardline release on all formats March 17, 2015

Every trailer from The Game Awards 2014 – No Man’s Sky, Metal Gear Online, Kings Quest and tonnes more

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Didn’t bother to stay up to watch The Game Awards 2014? Don’t worry. We have you covered. Here are all of the trailers from last nights show. You can also catch our full write up of all of the announcements and winners here.

Mario Maker (Wii U)

Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain – Metal Gear Online (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Tacoma (undisclosed)

Bloodborne (PS4)

The Banner Saga 2 (undisclosed)

*Untitled* Hazelight Project (undisclosed)

Adr1ft (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (3DS)

Before (PC)

Battlefield: Hardline (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The Order: 1886 (PS4)

Until Dawn (PS4)

Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

No Man’s Sky (PS4)

Godzilla (PS3, PS4)

Kings Quest (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360)

Human Element (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Battlefield Hardline has a confirmed release date in 2015

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EA’s delayed military, or should I say cop shooter, Battlefield Hardline now has a confirmed release date of March 17th, 2015 in North America and March 19th in Europe on both Playstation 4 and Playstation 3 according to the official Battlefield Blog.  The shooter that was supposed to drop this fall will feature a rich single player experience centering itself around the turbulent world of the Miami drug trade and a robust multiplayer that is essentially cops and robbers, which is pretty sweet.  For more on Battlefield Hardline in the coming months hang around PSGamer.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOABuPJtGmg] [source: Battlefield Blog]

Here’s whats been happening at the EA press conference.

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EA has just finished their press conference, far to early for my liking but here at PSGamer we were wide awake ready to bring you all the action from the press conference.

What we hoped to see was some new footage from Star Wars: Battlefront and Mirrors Edge 2, but as expected EA focused their attention on the games that are well on their way to completion. FIFA 15, and Battlefield Hardline were the main stars of the show, plus, finally the big reveal of Bioware’s new game they have been teasing for the last few weeks, Shadow Realms.

As is our style, here are all your trailers in one easy place so you can see all the action and miss out all the boring stuff.

Battlefield Hardline took up most of the presser with EA revealing the single player campaign, which is a bit of a break from the Battlefield norm, and actually looks quite interesting.

Battlefield Hardline Single Player:

Bioware’s new game Shadow Realms, this is a online multiplayer game that pits heroes against a diabolic shadow lord, I guess a little like evolve. At the moment it’s only been announced for PC but other versions are likely.

FIFA 15 Goal Keepers trailer (free trial coming next month)

Sims 4:

Dragon Age: Inquisition:

Hands on: Battlefield Hardline beta

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Allowing access to Battlefield: Hardline the moment it was announced was pretty impressive. On EA’s conference stage, Sony VP Adam Boyes revealed how owners of Battlefield 4 on PS4 could get in the beta immediately. Unfortunately, this is most impressive aspect of the game so far.

If you’re not familiar with Hardline, it’s fairly simple. This is Battlefield 4 given a twist; gone are the armies of the world, and in their place is the classic combo of cops and robbers. The core gameplay is still the same, but with some new game modes and ideas.

bfhbeta1

In the beta, there’s two modes available: Heist and Blood Money. Both are pretty much what you’d expect given their names, with the latter being the more interesting choice. Heist has criminals stealing packages from two armoured vehicles – which explode over a bridge at the start match – then returning them to an extraction point. Blood Money has each side stealing cash from a central location and returning it back to base, and players can steal cash from each other’s bases too. There’s only one map in the beta, an approximation of downtown Los Angeles, with wide open freeways and towering skyscrapers.

Hardline’s biggest problem comes with its content. It’s actually pretty thin…

Now, where do I start? While Hardline has certainly fixed many of the issues that the last iteration infamously had at launch, it doesn’t really provide much worthwhile beyond it. The new game modes are nice and all, but they’ve certainly been done before, and only provide slight variations on existing modes. The weapons are identical, with some small additions like grappling hooks and riot shields. These go largely unused, with the single map on offer not demanding their use. The vehicles on offer look cool, with the abundance of police/muscle cars making for the occasional street chase, but they don’t add much to the game, simply being re-skins of what we’ve seen before. The map itself is a little smaller than the usual Battlefield kind, and isn’t particularly inspired, even if it does look fairly pretty. The car parks and open streets offer a decent variation for combat, but the entire aesthetic (a mass of concrete) is a little bland and uninteresting. The map does offer “levolution” – a feature of Battlefield 4 where something goes bang and changes the map a bit – which consists of a crane collapsing. Not quite as impressive as before, but decently destructive, as it hits another building and comes to rest as a bridge of sorts over the freeway.

bfhbeta2

Most of the bugs have been squashed – it’s worth mentioning that even in a beta state, it runs fairly well – but there are still some serious framerate fluctuations. This most often happens during levolution, and can dip shockingly low. It’s extremely distracting and taints an otherwise stable performance. Of course, this could improve by release time, but considering it still happens in Battlefield 4 on certain maps, I’m not entirely convinced it will.

Hardline’s biggest problem comes with its content. It’s actually pretty thin, which makes it rather difficult, based on this beta at least, to understand a full-priced retail release. The game would go very well as DLC for Battlefield 4, or even better as a cheaper offering like Battlefield 1943 was, or more recently, MGS: Ground Zeroes. What Hardline amounts to is a bunch of re-skinned content, offering very little over the base it has obviously been built upon. Giving that EA have laid the Medal of Honor series to rest for now, this seems more like filler to ensure they reach their annual FPS release quota. Of course, this is a beta, and there will be several maps and two other games modes to play on release, but even considering that, it’s difficult to give a good enough reason for this to exist as a standalone offering at full retail price.

All-in-all, Hardline is a bit disappointing. This is more of the same wrapped up in a new package with most of the bugs, that shouldn’t have been there in Battlefield 4 the first place, ironed out. If you didn’t get into the beta, you’re not really missing out on much.

Battlefield Hardline beta available on PS4 NOW!

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In a step away from the norm, EA has released a Battlefield Hardline beta today, just after their E3 press conference. And it’s on PlayStation 4!

And it couldn’t really be simpler all you have to do is highlight the game on tile on your screen and that’s about it. Be warned though, it’s a first come first served basis so you need to get in real quick and expect some epic download times.

Battlefield Hardline is set for release on October 21

Source: Eurogamer