Battlefield: Hardline Multiplayer Preview: Show me the money
Battlefield has long been a franchise rooted in overwhelming positivity from critics and consumers alike. That changed with the release of Battlefield 4 after server problems plagued the game for months following its release. In fact, players on PC and PlayStation 4 are still reporting issues with connectivity among other things.
So with a chip on its shoulder, EA has officially announced the next installment in the series, Battlefield: Hardline. However, this isn’t a traditional Battlefield game. DICE isn’t working on it. It’s all about cops and robbers, rather than wars and terrorists. And it shakes up the mold of traditional large-scaled multiplayer gameplay.
I had the chance to spend a lengthy amount of time playing Battlefield: Hardline multiplayer at EA’s press conference and on the E3 show floor. I got my hands on the mode “Blood Money,” which essentially is a form of capture the flag where two teams fight to a point on the map where they can pick up money and then take it back to their team’s armored truck.
Conceptually, Blood Money is an interesting mode because it gives teams a number of strategic options. Do you opt to go straight for the cash and then to your truck, or do you split your team up and send a group to the other team’s truck to disrupt their success? Do you attack from the rooftops or do you stick to the group level? Do you lone wolf it and collect money dropped by other players?
In this way, Battlefield: Hardline is very much a true Battlefield game. Perhaps the only different between this and any other installment is the pace of the matches. I couldn’t help but feel a Call of Duty pace in a Battlefield-sized map, and for many shooter fans like myself, that’s everything we’ve ever wanted. DICE has previously tried to match their competition’s pace with close quarter’s DLC, but that felt out of tune with what Battlefield is. Hardline seems to strike a perfect balance, and that’s exciting for fans looking for both something new but grounded in a true identity.
My only gripe with the game so far is the lack of focus on cops versus robbers. Sure, characters give a clear indication as to who they are, but in the middle of a match, I want to feel like I’m in the heat of a heist or battle with the police. I don’t want this solved just by a single-player story, though. I really hope to see developer Visceral Games set the mood in multiplayer, whether that be through pre-match debriefings or other methods.
Blood Money is just one mode in what looks to be a big game. We haven’t seen enough to pinpoint exactly where Visceral is going to go with the final product, but I can confirm that Battlefield: Hardline is on the same level of fun, excitement, and teamwork as the series’ past titles. If it can release with zero problems and a good story, this may boost Battlefield back into good graces with its community.