|Biggest highlight: Driving a squad car and getting to play with the siren! Wheee-ooo Whee-ooo Wheee-ooo Whee-ooo|
So there I was one day, logging into Origin to play a bit of BF4 when a window popped up giving me the opportunity to sign up for the Battlefield Hardline beta. While I don't usually like betas I had heard about this new Battlefield game of cops and robbers, and I received the news with skepticism. How on Earth could they make a Battlefield game with police versus criminals? Wouldn't it just be Counter-Strike with vehicles? How different or similar is the game to Battlefield 4? Curiosity got the better of me so I signed up and within a couple of days I was granted access! So if you're curious to see what I think is good and bad about the game so far, read on...
What I like
- Atmosphere: They've really done a good job with the atmosphere and there's nothing quite like the distant sound of wailing sirens, increasing in volume, as the police squad cars near your gang of thieves - or a police chopper's loudspeaker blaring, ordering you to lay down your weapons. However, this is one of the strengths of the Battlefield series so I wouldn't have expected any less.
- Music: It's refreshing to have a different style of music for a Battlefield game, similar to what DICE accomplished with the Battlefield Vietnam games. Hardline's soundtrack consists of hard rock and the sort of music you'd expect from an action movie involving cops and robbers.
- No jets: Like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam, there are thankfully no jets in the game, the only aerial threats being choppers which thankfully can be shot down with small arms fire.
- Choice of weapon unlocks: Unlike Battlefield 4 where you unlock guns in a linear fashion you can choose which weapons to unlock first provided you have enough cash.
- At least the killcam works: Just saying. How come Battlefield Hardline's killcam works yet there are still issues with it in BF4?
What I don't like
- Copy and paste: The game copies quite a bit from Battlefield 4. It's clear the same engine is in use but not only that, even the same classes! You've got the Operator that can heal or revive teammates (i.e. Medic/Assault), the Mechanic that can repair vehicles and shoot rockets (i.e. Engineer), the Enforcer who can drop ammo packs (i.e. Support) and the Professional who can use sniper rifles and lay trip mines (i.e. Recon). But wait, there's more! Half of the guns in the game are very similar as well although it's probably a bit harder to get fix that (considering how many guns are available in BF4). The game even manages to copy some concepts from its competitors such as Counter-Strike where you use cash earned in order to purchase new weapons (although it seems that purchasing weapons is actually unlocking weapons for future use - instead of a once-off use as is the case with Counter-Strike).
- Unrealistic: There are several things here you just wouldn't expect in a game of cops versus robbers - things that make it seem less realistic (and hence not as immersive). For example, there's one mode called Blood Money where both the cops and the criminals have to steal money from a pile and take it back to their base. Makes sense with the criminals, but not really with the cops. Yes, they try to get around that saying the cops are taking the money for "evidence" but who are they kidding ;)? Also what's with the ability to use military hardware like Stinger missiles? And why does everyone have a parachute (admittedly, why does everyone have a parachute in Battlefield 4 while we're at it)? Why are there medics and mechanics in the field? True, there needs to be a balance between realism and gameplay but this is getting a bit ridiculous and is probably just laziness (read "Copy and Paste").
- Price: Criticisms aside, the game is still pretty fun but the biggest disappointment about this game is the price. When the DLC Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam was released, it only cost $15 and like Battlefield Hardline it contained a re-skin of the troops, different audio, different weapons, different vehicles and different maps. However, Battlefield Hardline will cost you $80 for what basically feels like a BF4 DLC. How can they justify this?
VerdictThe atmosphere is great and the gameplay is fun if you can set aside how ridiculous it is for cops and robbers to be so heavily armed to the teeth. However, I cannot bring myself to pay the $80 they are asking for this game when it's basically DLC for Battlefield 4. Maybe if it goes down in price to under $20 I would reconsider but then you'd have to ask yourself one question with respect to how many players will be playing the game: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?
[LINK: Official Battlefield Hardline website]