|System: PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|Dev: Visceral Games|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
After the EA Press Conference on day 0 of E3, EA gave us a chance to play Battlefield: Hardline before the convention even kicked off. We got to play the new Blood Money mode as the criminals, and here’s a short rundown of our experiences.
The basic idea behind the mode is this: you and the cops are facing off on opposite sides of a cash pile after a botched heist. The cops are trying to get the cash to a safe house while the criminals are trying to get it to a getaway vehicle. It’s your job to clean out the money pile before they do.
The money pile is situated in the middle of the map, between the “bases” of the cops and criminals. If you can manage to get to the money pile, you can spend time gathering money. The more money you gather, the slower you run when trying to get it back to your base.
On the surface, the mode kind of plays like a two way capture the flag. You’ll take some cash from the center point and run it to your base, and if someone kills you they can pick up the money that you were carrying. However, there is another catch to this mode which makes it incredibly fun. You can actually steal cash from an opponent’s base, not just the cash pile. Doing so obviously reduces their cash pile and if you can get it back to your base it will increase yours. Even better, you can just steal their cash and suicide to prevent them from picking it up.
In fact, suicide ended up being a huge part of the gameplay. Did the opponent get a stranglehold on your vault? No problem. Crash a van into it and all of them will die at once. Enemy’s closing in on the money pile? Climb into a sedan and run them over. If fact, vehicles seemed like an awesome balancing factor for gameplay overall. Your team has a cache of vehicles that you simply spawn with every so often, allowing you to gain back ground. Lagging behind? No problem! Climb into a chopper and take to the air! About to die? Make sure that you crash right into your enemies’ base.
There were four classes that we got to try out: the professional, the mechanic, the operator, and the enforcer. The professional is your standard sniping class, effective at taking people out at long range, and also having a couple bonuses to grabbing cash. The mechanic is your standard vehicle class, deadly in a sedan or a chopper, and carrying an SMG. The enforcer is your standard heavy class, toting an assault rifle, and best on his feet. Finally, the operator is your support class, with healing abilities, cover abilities, and more.
Overall, the shooting wasn’t all that different from Battlefield 4. While the game modes felt incredibly different, the guns and the maneuverability felt exactly the same as any other Battlefield game. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. It’s not like EA reinvented the wheel here. Anyone who has played Battlefield before will be able to hop right in to Battlefield: Hardline without any problem.
Another interesting feature of the game is “cash to spend” which you earn as you play the game. This is basically cash that you can use to alter and change up your load-out. It’s not all that different from other FPS load-out mechanics, but something feels undeniably… Counter-Strike about it. I felt a lot of nostalgia as every single kill, every single piece of cash grabbed gave me a little bit of cash to make myself a bit stronger.
The maps in Battlefield: Hardline are incredibly destructible, just like Battlefield 4. In the maps we saw, we were able to bring down a crane that took down the sides of two separate sidescrapers. Simply crashing vehicles into buildings also destroys elements of the environment, and that too can be used to your advantage. Are enemies sniping you from an overpass? Ramp a car into it!
We also got a small opportunity to try out Heist mode, which was probably the more interesting of the two modes showcased. Blood Money was traditional and symmetrical, whereas Heist is totally asymmetrical. The criminals need to break into a location in order to steal a cache of money. Straightforward players can fire explosives right into the side of a building to take it down, while crafty players can sneak in through basements and windows. Cops, on the other hand, had to arrest every member of the opposing team. This felt very interesting and unique and will probably be the main method of play.
The only problems that we saw so far came in the spawning system. As before, you can spawn up on one of your teammates. However it is really hard to tell what your teammates are doing at the time. Perhaps they are in the middle of a firefight, or sometimes they are in a crashing vehicle. Either way, I frequently found myself spawning just to die from my team-mates actions.
That didn’t prevent me from having fun with the game though. Overall Battlefield: Hardline feels new, different, and innovative, and most importantly absolutely nothing like the upcoming Call of Duty. It is about time for these two mammoths of the FPS world to diverge from the standard military feel, and it looks like they finally have.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: June 9, 2014