[Archive] EBX Hands On: Battlefield Hardline

This article was originally posted by me on Hittin Crits, which has since been taken offline. The content in this article was either taken from a web archive of the original, or from the most recent copy on my hard drive. As archives do not always contain images it’s probably that the images contained within the original article are not present here.

 

There have been concerns that Battlefield: Hardline would fail to differentiate itself from past Battlefield games- people have said it’s coming too soon after Battlefield 4 to be different enough, others saying it just looks like DLC for BF4. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but after playing the Heist Mode from the beta, I did share the concerns of the game not offering much that BF4 already did. I then got to try out the game’s Rescue Mode, and found an interesting (if slightly derivative) use of Battlefield mechanics which had me interested to see what else the game had to offer. Now, at EB Expo, I got to try out the game’s Hotwire Mode, which takes the core draws of Battlefield games, and applies them to something new that fits within the cops and robbers theme, which has reignited my interest in the game.shootout

Hotwire Mode is a neat reimagining of the Battlefield series’ Conquest Mode, in which teams compete over vehicles instead of control points. You gain points for grabbing the marked cars scattered around the map, and driving them around at high speeds (staying stationary or barely moving will stop you from earning points). It’s like Conquest, except the control points are always on the move, and could be anywhere in the map. In theory that sounds like a bad thing because the rigidness and design of the points are gone, and the map isn’t designed around strategic attacking and defending of these points- but the map is designed around the altered flow of this game mode, with elements like jumps and car parks scattered around to make car chases exciting, and to enable the possibility of ambushing enemy drivers on-foot. The bigger map (we played on High Tension, the city map from the beta) is made much better use of here than in the Heist Mode from the beta, as you need the room to race around in your cars. Every part of the map is important, and a potential site for key action.

I had plenty of exciting moments play out just in a single match, so I’m excited to see what happens in the final game. Speeding out from a garage in a cop car with your sirens blazing is an awesome way to start the game off, and that’s just the beginning. It’s an exhilarating feeling even being the passenger in the car, speeding around the map. It’ll be your job to keep the driver, and the vehicle, safe from attackers so you have to take shots at cars and bikes coming at you from all sides. Seeing bikes and cars crash and blow up as you make a daring escape is an awesome sight. Then the tension builds as smoke and fire begins to spew from your own vehicle, and you have to bail out. Once when I did this I had a speeding car coming right at me, and took out the driver with a lucky shotgun blast, before getting squashed on the still-moving car’s windshield. The emergent scenarios you expect from Battlefield games were at full force here.bridge

The mode is a great fit into the Battlefield series due to its focus on vehicles and its use of a large map, but it’ll probably take a bit of getting used to. While vehicles are a big part of Battlefield games, this time using them is totally integral to the core objective of the mode, meaning that you’ll need to get good at handling fast cars if you want to be able to assist your team. You’ll need to know the best routes around the map so that you’re always moving, and also know where the out of bounds areas are. If you’re going to fast it can be difficult to get back into the game area before you’re automatically killed. Normally you can get by without vehicles in Battlefield games, but in this mode the objectives are moving fast, so you have no hope of catching up to them on foot. You might be able to plan an ambush, but then it’s mostly up to luck whether enemies come past or not.

Hotwire Mode looks to be an interesting new addition to the series that provides a familiar, but fresh, take on Battlefield gameplay, shaped by the new theme/setting of Hardline.

Battlefield: Hardline races into stores ‘early 2015′ on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

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