|System: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Dev: Visceral Games|
|Release: March 17, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Today we got a chance to visit the EA offices in Redwood California to try out a near finished build of Battlefield: Hardline. The focus of the event was the game’s multiplayer, and we got to see every mode the game has to offer. The game is set to come out in one week, so let’s take a look at the various modes and give you a short preview to prepare you for the game’s full release.
The most traditional modes in the game are Conquest and Deathmatch. Conquest mode is essentially your standard capture point variation, and Deathmatch is what it says on the tin: kill more of the opponent than can kill you. While these modes are certainly the most familiar, they are also the most boring. They last up to a half hour at a time and you spend more of the game getting into the action rather than actually experiencing it. The biggest draws of Battlefield: Hardline are the cool plans you can make, setting mines here and there, ziplining from building to building, so on so forth, and neither of these modes are really conducive to that sort of action. In the end, I wholeheartedly feel as if I will be ignoring these modes for the most part when the game releases.
A more unique mode is the new Heist mode, which tasks the criminals with picking up an important package from an area guarded by police, and then taking that package to a drop point. Meanwhile, the police have to simply guard the package as best they can. It is essentially a one-sided capture the flag mode, and while this would have made it kind of shallow, the introduction of multiple packages really does help the mode shine. You’ll find yourself in plenty of interesting scenarios where you will zipline through a window, pick off the armed guards with a shotgun, pick up the package, and then jump out the window to parachute the rest of the way down before climbing on to a motorcycle in order to make your escape. It embodies the feeling of cops and robbers, though it can get stale if your team doesn’t know how to coordinate.
Blood Money is also kind of a remix of capture the flag. Here, there is a pile of money in the center of the stage, and your goal is to fill your vault with it. You can take up to ten stacks of money at a time, with each stack taking longer to obtain. Then you have to make it to your vault before anyone kills you. If they do, the money just gets dropped everywhere. The key difference here is that you can head to an enemy’s vault and steal from them instead of the center money pile. This, of course, is better because you cost the enemy points and give your team points, but is harder as you have to head into your enemy’s base to do it. Still, this mode was a ton of fun and is probably my preferred variant of CTF, over Heist.
Hotwire was perhaps my favorite of the modes I got to try. It’s very much like a capture point map, except you aren’t defending locations, you are defending vehicles while you drive them. You have to be in motion to gain points for the captured vehicle, so your job is to just keep moving as quickly as possible. There are five important vehicles on the map and they are all kind of clunky and hard to drive, not to mention they explode easily, so you probably want to keep them away from the action and let your teams more armored vehicles protect you. However, if you do get sassy, you can ram the opposing team in order to steal their points for your side. This is an incredibly fun mode, recreating high-speed car chases at its best, but even at its worst it gives you a sort of zen moment as you happily drive your car around the battlefield, earning points as you do.
The final two modes, Crosshair and Rescue, are small 5v5 player modes with small maps, short scenarios, and no respawns. In Rescue, the criminals have taken 2 hostages and have holed up in a building. The criminals' job is to wait out the clock or kill all the cops, while the cops have to rescue the hostages or kill all the criminals. Rounds of Rescue are over in a couple minutes, and the action races all the time. Seeing a cop rush in through explosions and gunfire to grab a hostage and run back out to safety really produces a lot of those “holy crap” moments that get people cheering.
Crosshair, on the other hand, causes one member of the Cops to be a “VIP.” This member’s only job is to get to evacuation points, which are deep within the criminals’ base. The VIP is carrying a golden pistol which can kill anyone easily, but that’s his only weapon or item. Otherwise he can just run, and run fast. All the criminals need to do in order to win the game is kill the VIP. The cops can win by either successfully extracting the VIP, or by killing all the criminals.
These two quick skirmish modes were right up there with Hotwire mode as my favorite modes in the game. They get you into the action quickly while still being asymmetrical. They feel the most like those scenes from '80s and '90s cop movies, where they ferry witnesses and hostages through firefights. These will probably be where I spend most of my time when the game releases, if only because you can play so many of them so quickly, time really flies.
Those are the modes that Battlefield: Hardline has to offer. If I were to rank them in order from most to least fun, it would be VIP, Hotwire, Rescue, Blood Money, Heist, Conquest, and Deathmatch. Be on the lookout for our full review of the game next week.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: March 12, 2015