Battlefield Hardline Beta Impressions
A bunch of you have already provided us with quite a bit of info on the Beta. Still, I figured, we may as well make a post/thread dedicated to our impressions, especially as those will congeal with our time spent in the game over the weekend.
I played about an ninety minutes of the Beta yesterday, first with just Johann and Cornie, and then at the end, Grymmie joined us. While I have no intention of buying this on launch day, I had enough fun, and the experience was fresh enough, with enough improvements over previous games that I am open-minded to a purchase in the future. Here are some brief impressions:
- The menus and UI feel comfortable and somewhat intuitive considering all the information they must convey.
- The money system for upgrading is great. You can choose what you are going to upgrade/buy first, so you don’t have to go through a progression of garbage and 40 levels before you finally can get the gun, or attachment you want. This has profound implications for late-coming noobs, and those of us who don’t want our RPG elements in our FPSs. Furthermore, the scoring is even more objective, non-lethal gamer-friendly, allowing people who go 0-11 to be at the top of the boards, win the game for their teammates, AND receive the “cheddar” to buy those guns/gadgets/attachments. Yet slayers (J,C, and G) seem to love it, too.
- HOTWIRE mode is like a showcase/sandbox for all the “cinematography” that BF games have been famous for. It isn’t one epic moment per round, it is one epic/hilarious moment per minute.
- HEIST mode is great fun, at least as much as I played it. While it doesn’t offer the planning stages or complexity of Overkill’s Payday series, the feeling of sneaking into a bank, or castling to defend it, is tangible. It is a very different experience from all previous regular Battlefield gaming. If someone were to call that mode a mode, I would say then that it is a “total conversion” mod.
- The “radio” a la GTA IV goes quite far to making this conversion complete. Something about leaning out of a car with an automatic weapon or grenade launch, while rap music is booming out the car speakers, that takes you away from the dusty deserts of Iraq.
- The fun of leaning out the window and shooting at cars cannot be overstated. The cars take considerable damage even from small arms, and the actual mechanic makes all resulting actions smooth and incredibly easy to pull off. That one “feature” is a real game changer and effectively takes the mind away from military warfare and plants it firmly in Gansta territory.
- In general, stuff just works. That isn’t a selling point. All games should work, but there has been so little of that lately, especially as regards AAA games, that it actually needs to be mentioned.
Over the weekend, I plan on spending as much time playing this as possible. I also plan on not buying it until people start abandoning Shear, and preferably after Hardline has gone on sale. Again, because of the new unlock system, noobs that come in with the sale, won’t have a terrible time of it. Their biggest handicap will be not knowing the maps, not having pea shooters when everyone else has bazookas.