I was pumped to see this title come up for beta on my Xbox one console and immediately queued it up for download. My usual console buddies jumped at the chance to try it out as well. We all were impressed with the gameplay trailer a few months earlier. We’ve played hundreds of hours in Call of Duty games but most recently had concentrated on Battlefield 4. After a short break from that title, getting the squad back together seemed like a great idea. Besides, who didn’t grow up playing cops and robbers?
The menus were all very familiar and anyone used to Battlefield 4’s setup will have no problems navigating the character and gameplay options. Some portions of these menus show improvements, such as the functionality of the squad screen. I had a much easier time seeing my friends who were playing the game. This chapter of Battlefield includes some facets of personalization like its predecessors. Just as BF4 has the dog tag collections, Hardline has a variety of patches to collect for completing tasks and bounties. The weapon and equipment progression is handled in a slightly different way as you’ll earn in-game cash as you play through maps, complete challenges, and level up. You still must level up to unlock access to a wider array of items and then purchase them for use within each faction. Early on, the items are locked to a faction, but through play you can unlock them across both factions and really specialize in your favorites.
Three game modes were available during beta weekend: Heist, Conquest, and Hotwire. We cycled through each mode and found them all pretty enjoyable. We did favor conquest throughout the weekend, as it matches our play style best and our squad couldn’t seem to stay away from the armored SUVs. Conquest is the same as it’s been for ages. Capture the objective and defend it from incoming enemy attacks. The more flags your team holds, the faster the opposing force bleeds tickets. Heist was a new spin on the capture the flag mechanics with the law men protecting a bank vault from would-be bank robbers. There were 1-3 extraction points with which the robbers could make off with the dough and gain a point. This mode was very high action and made for some wonderful back and forth battles. The third and final mode was Hotwire. Marked vehicles were placed around the map and each team set out to control them for an allotted amount of time. This felt like a high-paced game of mobile conquest and each of these games seemed to really add to our squad’s bank accounts. This mode gave me GTA flashbacks in a good way.
If you’re one of those special few that enjoyed the Commander slot in previous versions, you might be interested with the new Hacker slot. It does provide the same bird’s-eye view of the battlefield and has a multitude of interactive you can influence throughout the maps. Camera’s can be taken over, power can be knocked out, and squads can be given orders. I spent a few rounds trying it out and I do have hopes that the learning curve for this option with be smoothed out a bit. I am looking forward to seeing what some of the other maps offer for this usually powerful position.
Overall, the game itself is graphically pleasing, with maybe even some slight improvements over its military counterpart. I believe this will be my next purchase for Xbox one. I wasn’t happy with CoD: Advanced Warfare and this offers another somewhat realistic first person shooter option. The modes are fun, the games fire quickly, and my nostalgia for cops and robbers is obviously still alive and kicking. This title is available March 15th and is rated M for Mature. Hope to see you in-game.