Battlefield: Hardline Beta Impressions

Though I am definitely not what you might call a skilled (or even good) first-person shooter player, I enjoy the genre and have loved every minute I’ve spent playing Battlefield 4. I have played the game on both PC and PlayStation 4, and no matter the platform, the game is great. It’s action-packed, the vehicles are fun, there are numerous ways to win battles, and you never feel like you have to approach goals the same way twice. So when Battlefield: Hardline was announced for release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One this fall, I was excited.

And then I wasn’t.

After the big trailer at E3, I came away feeling like it was little more than another game mode for Battlefield 4. It seemed like there wasn’t really enough different here to warrant another $60 purchase. Why not just release a $20 or $30 DLC and call it good? This might also make sense by avoiding the “annualized” stigma that games like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed are branded with. Rather than being a new game only one year after Battlefield 4 came out, this could have simply been an add-on pack to an already fun game.

Especially considering the visuals don’t seem to be all that different from Battlefield 4, either. My time in the game hasn’t revealed anything new or even different from 4, other than a new setting, some new vehicles, and new gameplay elements. Sure, the cops and robbers idea sounds fun, but again, is there enough new here to warrant a $60 purchase?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the final answer to that question quite yet, but what I have played has been extremely fun.

A break from the traditional military shooter, Hardline gives players the chance to play the role of the police or a criminal, complete with new classes, guns, and equipment. There are new game modes like Heists, and Blood Money. There are new vehicles including squad cars, armored SWAT vehicles, and sedans, making for some fast and intense action. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve already been run over by a speeding vehicle from behind.

The game is not revolutionary by any means, and there’s nothing new here other than some reskinning and additional game modes. But those skins and modes are a lot of fun. Buildings are destructible, towers will crumble, and the fast and fun mechanics are still the same. It’s hard to recommend you run out and put $60 on a pre-order, but it’s also hard to deny I enjoyed what I played.

I can’t help shake the feeling that this shouldn’t be a standalone game. The beta is a bit limited, so it’s hard to know what is still in the pipeline, but so far it feels like we’re being cheated a little bit. At the end of the day, I don’t think this game will be worth $60, but is definitely one you should keep an eye on during sales. Unless the beta expands and we see more game modes and maps, and hopefully a single player campaign, right now it still feels like it should have been an add-on to Battlefield 4.

But I know millions of you out there won’t listen to me, and that’s ok. Regardless of how much you spend, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

But how about Destiny?

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