The Battlefield name is one that is not easy to live up to even with a spin off that seems to be competing with other established series. Add in high expectations from fans of the series and you get what is commonly referred to as “Baptism by Fire” when a beta is opened to the public (even if slots are limited).
This is what Battlefield: Hardline is getting itself into with its recent closed beta after announcement during the recent E3. Straight off the bat, one doesn’t need to even be in the close beta to have expectation that is the Battlefield gameplay that many have come to love mixed with a cops and robbers scenario that many are familiar with thanks to the likes of Counterstike and Payday.
This is the challenge that studio Visceral Games, the people currently working at Battlefield Hardline, are up against as they look to meet the expectations of a Battlefield game that DICE have set.
Visceral Games have definitely done a decent job with the look and feel of the game as immediately upon spawning, one look and I know I am in the middle of a gun fight in downtown Los Angeles. From the carparks to the skyscrapers, everything feel like the best place for a police roadblock waiting for the robbers’ escape vehicle.
It does feel a little toned down from what I am used to with Battlefield 4 but I guess this is the trade off for smoother frame rates especially if you are going to have a bigger inclusion for gamers. I do wonder if this is also for console machines with the whole recent saga of toning down graphics to get better frame rates but I will leave it as that.
For those familiar with the likes of Counterstrike and Payday or at least have watched the many crime series or movies, Battlefield Hardline will be easy to fit in. Even if the whole idea of Heist where the criminals need to force their way into two armored cars, then get the loot from each to a designated drop point while the cops try to stop their efforts or Blood Money where both sides need to pick up the loot and return them to their vault are alien, you can still play it like a normal shooter and gun down the opposing side while learning the mechanics.
These modes while not original (especially if you play a lot of Payday) are still fun and have the potential to encourage a lot of team play. From a co-ordinated attack on an escape vehicle to flanking the road block, the options are limitless. Add in the new unlocks like ziplines and bashing through with a tank (although I still wonder why would one be in the city) and the options are now limited to one’s imagination.
Overall the experience has been generally positive after leaving my past experiences of similar games and the Battlefield series at the door. While it will be tempting to compare Battlefield Hardline with other similar games which will leave it falling short of expectations, I would still rather wait till the official release before giving my final verdict. To be fair, Battlefield Hardline is still in beta and to judge it now would be pretty premature.
Yet with all the shortcomings, Battlefield Hardline still has the potential to be a good game as it has all the elements of what made the Battlefield series a great one. Big enough maps, possible strategic planning and the feeling of power as you gun down the opposing side, there are definitely hints of these in Battlefield Hardline and lets hope Visceral Games can continue to polish this diamond in the rough for release day.
by Kenenth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2014, All Rights Reserved.