I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical going into the Hardline Beta. I’ve been playing the Battlefield series now since the first Bad Company game and I’ve always like the epic scale of the games in the campaign mode but also the large scale multiplayer maps in the online games, especially the use of armored vehicles and aircraft. It brought an element of strategy to your gaming beyond what you might see in other current-gen shooters out there. When I started to see clips and trailers for Hardline I was worried that some of these large scale elements and features might be lost by bringing the battle down to a ‘Cops and Robbers’ level but I was happily mistaken.

Loading up the Beta on my Xbox one I was pleasantly surprise to see that EA Games had included three different game types for us players to try out. The one that drew my eye instantly was Conquest, this was my preferred game in the previous Battlefield and I’m glad that they have kept the classic in. The other two that are on offer are Heist and Hotwire.

Heist is the first of the two new games I tried out and to be honest it throws you in the deep end a little. The game is in theory a simple one. Robbers have to break into a vault, steal the cash and get away. The cops have to stop them. This is a fantastically frantic game mode and this is where the problem was for me. If you don’t know the maps you’re playing on you will get absolutely ruined; half the time I couldn’t work out where I was going, how to get the money and once I had found it how on earth I would get outside. Don’t get me wrong: even with all the frantic running around I had a blast and got to try out a lot of different variations in the different classes.

Talking of classes, something that has been brought in that I really like is the way you improve your kit. In previous Battlefield games you unlocked kit for each class by levelling up though a ‘tree’ of equipment, only once you’ve unlocked one piece could you then unlock the next. In Hardline they have brought in a system which harks back to one of my favourite multiplayer shooters of all time, Counter Strike. In each multiplayer game you earn cash for getting kills or capturing objectives. This can then be used to buy whatever upgrades you wish, which means if you want to unlock the zip-line ASAP you can, you just have to save up for it!

The other new mode I had a go with was Hotwire and this was an absolute blast! In essence it is very similar to the classic Conquest mode. There are a number of points on the map that have to be captured and held from the enemy; whoever holds the most points and depletes the enemy wins. The twist in Hotwire is that the points you have to capture are different vehicles that you can drive around the map. As I played this made for some fantastic chases involving vans, police cars, bikes, mussel cars and even a fuel tanker! My one piece of advice, don’t get in the tanker, it’s a freaking bullet magnet!

All in all the Beta seems to be going very well. Granted there are bugs and laggy game play but then again this isn’t a finished product. It’s going to be good but I feel some die-hard Battlefield players are going to feel hard done by as the series moves away from the previous attempts at realism EA have tried to produce.

Thanks for reading, now here is some game play of me attempting to be a bad-ass crook in a car chase…

Battlefield and all associated images copyright of EA Games

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