E3 2014: Battlefield Hardline Multiplayer First Impressions

2 min

[youtube url=”http://youtu.be/WfOIQicW8vo”]

This week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, I got the chance to play Electronic Arts’ newest installment in the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield Hardline. The new game subs the military theme for a gritty crime drama setting. For this year’s E3, Visceral and EA provided a multiplayer map for the game on the PlayStation 4 console.

EA and Visceral provided a fun, little interactive experience ahead of the actual gameplay demo. This involved getting processed like a thug at a police station. Then there was a waiting room resembling police detectives’ headquarters with various bulletin boards for case files and investigations. An animated video showed two police offers interrogating a suspect. I am not sure if this scenario was meant to be part of the game’s singe-player mode at launch or if it was just made for the demo presentation.

The new map pitted a group of criminals on a bank heist against a police SWAT-type of team. So you can play as both the cops and criminals in the multiplayer mode. Playing as the criminal side, we are forced to do battle with the fuzz and stage a successful heist. This makes the map a lot of fun because it is not your typical team death match. You actually have to stage an explosion for an armored truck and then capture the package in the truck. Once you have the loot, you have to keep the package away from the police who are in hot pursuit. The heist aspect to the multiplayer map is reminiscent of the Payday games.

The action has a vibe similar to Michael Mann’s Heat. The new-gen graphics and visuals on the PS4 look really good. I especially like that the video does not look overly glossy and sharp, giving the game a bit more of a gritty crime movie feel.

There’s a lot of fun vehicular combat to be had in the multiplayer as well. This includes staging shootouts and gun fights from whatever vehicle you can get your hands on, be it a van or even a motorcycle. At one point, the police stage an attack using a car with a tricked out gun turret which is a fun, tense moment. The vehicles also make fun weapons themselves and can definitely be a great equalizer in the showdown. The environment is also very interactive and destructible.

Shooting controls and mechanics work very well. My particular weapon of choice was a pump action shotgun. Reload did glitch out on me once when my character started reloading his weapon and was unable to stop. I was able to fix it by toggling the weapons. Hopefully, this is a minor issue that will not be prevalent at launch. The vehicle controls are a bit more difficult. Steering and driving a car is a little rough. The controls for the driving feel counter-intuitive.

I am interested to see where Visceral Games will go with the single-player campaign and what direction they will take for it. It is very intriguing that Visceral Games is doing a gritty crime vs. cop version of Battlefield, and I am looking forward to learning more about this game. Battlefield Hardline launches on October 21 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC.

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