There’s little doubt that a good portion of the new shooters flooding into the gun stores and ranges started their interest in firearms thanks to playing video games. First person shooter games especially have had a huge influence, as evidenced by the Call of Duty tie-ins and Zombie-themed firearms and accessories. One of the most popular franchises in first person shooter games has been the Battlefield series, and the latest incarnation coming to systems near you is Battlefield Hardline. I’ve been playing the Beta version for a few days now, and in my opinion . . .

. . .skip it.

For the last couple revisions, the Battlefield series has been closing in on perfection. Starting with the Bad Company titles, almost everything about the gameplay has been polished and refined. Classes have been balanced, new gameplay modes have been added, and the graphics have gotten to a point where the game looks damn pretty. It’s still not perfect — especially with BF4 there were some major bugs and netcode issues — but the game is slowly being perfected.

The problem with Hardline isn’t that it does something wrong, it’s that it doesn’t do anything truly new. From the graphics engine to the gameplay mechanics, nothing really changed between BF4 and Hardline. In fact, you could argue that what we have here is an expansion pack for BF4 and not a brand new game.

While the gameplay isn’t radically different from what we have now, EA is still going to charge an arm and a leg for it. If they follow the same phased release that we’ve seen in other games, the final product will cost the average player well over $100 — $60 for the initial game, then another $50+ for premium. Unless something drastic changes between the beta that we’re playing now and the final release, I just don’t see $100 worth of gameplay improvements.

I’ll stick with Battlefield 4.

76 Responses to Game Preview: Battlefield Hardline

  1. I’m tired of EA’s bull**** anyway. I stopped playing their games after BF3 when I realized what their marketing plan was and how little I was willing to spend on games where your enjoyment factor was up to your ISP (AT&T can rot in hell).

    • +1. Problems with Origin and abysmal customer service did it for me. I was trying to buy one of their products (DLC for Crysis 2) and they couldn’t be bothered to help. No more EA for DJ. 🙂

      • “Problems with Origin…”

        I’ve actually stopped myself from making purchases upon seeing that a game was Origin-based.

        • I had the same feelings about Origin too but I eventually broke down for Mass Effect 3. As much as I’d love to hate on EA, I can at least say that Origin hasn’t given me any issues and it seems to work fine at this point.

    • God I hate EA

      So for the older guys calling “police militarization” and everything.

      Gamers don’t like this game already. Aside from the company gouging people, its the exact same game as the last 4 battlefields except the bad guys are wearing ski masks instead of turbans and the good guys are in black swat gear instead of multi-cam.

      So much promise as a cop and robbers “lets re-enact the best scenes from Heat” setup that they blew here. Everyone just groaned and is waiting for Payday 3 and hopefully the allow you to play as the cops on that side.

  2. Hahah thats too funny I was calling it BF4.5 yesterday 🙂

    I am also in the beta, it literally just looks like re-skinned BF4, some of the same exact buildings from Shanghai and that map you blow up the dam (drawing a blank atm).

  3. I would have to say that BF Hardline feels like the Battlefield 2: Special Forces expansion pack for BF 4.

  4. I agree, this is EA trying to charge for what in all reality is a Mod to BF4…It might make it as a spin off expack at like $15 price point, but $70…. Come on EA put down the pipe.

    Since we are all part consipiricy nuts: This is the test for EA, they disabled any Mod Support for BF4, locking out the community enhancements that have carried many games well past their shelf-life and spun full fledged releases (Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat come to mind). EA is testing to see if they can charge you Full Retail for what is really a small budget dev cycle Mod. They have been doing it for years with the Sports-Titles-Not-To-Be-Named but that is largely for the console world which is largely Mod-Free.

    As for Crime based FPS’s Payday 1 + 2 do it better, minus the replay ability player vs Player gives you.

    • I used to love playing BF 1942 mods; anyone here remember the WW1 mod, Battlefield 1918? The Desert Combat mod was good, also.

      Something else (not a mod) that I really liked was Battlefield 2142, which never really seemed to catch on.

        • 2142 could SO use a comeback. That really was an awesome game…never could figure out why it didn’t catch on better…:(

        • @SGC

          I think BF 2142 came out at the wrong time, when there was a WW2-themed game coming out every week (which I love, but it was also nice to play something different).

  5. There is a lot of money to be made in re-skinning old games and charging after the fact for removed features these days. Call for Duty has been milking that model for seven or eight years now.
    The moment Battlefield sold out to EA it was obvious what would become of it.

    There’s a reason BF2 still has tens of thousands of players at any given moment and CS 1.6 still has over a hundred thousand players at any given moment and CoD4 has tens of thousands at any given moment.

    There is simply no compelling reason to give EA or Activision more money for what is essentially less product in terms of modability, user made maps and content, usability and general longevity year after year as so many do.

    10 Years from now BF3, 4, 5, 6 will be afterthoughts on the trash heap as children line up for BF7 all while BF2 still goes strong adding new textures, maps, weapons, class abilities, etc…

    I don’t even like BF or CoD games. I’m just commenting on the current state of the “art” as it is.

    And sports games. Don’t get me started on sports games. $60+ every year for roster updates. Or just run Madden 08 and load up fan made updates to bring it to current standards.

  6. I can relate to your first line, there. The game “Mercenaries” on Playstation 2 sparked my interest in guns several years back, but it wasn’t practical for me to own anything until a few years later when I finished college. I wish I had been able to start shooting before ammo got so expensive, though! Seeing old forum posts about 9mm being $0.10/round makes me sad.

    • I work full-time in gainful employment, spend time with my wife and son, read a lot, and have a myriad of other interests.

      If I like to play games a couple times a week, how is that a waste of time, but watching Sportsball would be much more mature and wisely-spent?

  7. What has always amazed me about video game shooting as opposed to real life is just *how* horribly unrealistic anything that happens in the video game is compared to reality.

    I suspect a lot of new shooters go through a period of “culture shock” as they experience what is actually involved in shooting, moving, reloading, recoil, tactics, etc.

    • As opposed to the realism of movies, right?

      Also, games have changed a bit since Pong.

      Plenty of games have realistic recoil, reloading, etc.

      Check out Red Orchestra (first game to have realistic bullet drop physicis), Red Orchestra 2, various Tom Clancy games, etc.

        • Man those old delta force games, the one in Somalia was always fun as well. RO2 is great as long as the AI isnt crapping out totally, Im a huge fan of anything that allows me to use a bayonet.

      • I was able to pick up Sniper Elite V2 when it was free on steam a week or two ago. It’s pretty fun and ballistics are involved. The bullet drop is overly exaggerated, but i can see why they did it. almost the entire game takes place in Berlin. The longest shot i remember was still only 290 meters. Most are within 100-150, if not closer. It wouldn’t really be any added challenge with realistic drop on a rifle cartridge at those distances.
        It’s a fun game, but i don’t know if i would actually pay for it. I took my time and beat it in 7hr.

  8. The other issue with these games is this:

    How many times can you play the exact same game over, and over, and over again? At a certain point, an FPS is an FPS. At the end of the day you’re doing the same things in much the same way, with a “new” storyline that feels like it was done by not-terribly-conscientious house flippers. The result is that the only people playing these “new” games are, largely, 12-year olds. A lot of older gamers are just tired of shelling out a decent chunk of change for a regurgitated genre.

    • I don’t think you can broadbrush it that much. I could type exactly what you just wrote and replace with “JRPG”, “Platformer”, “Racing Game”, “Sports Game”, “Flight Sim”, etc. It’s a GENRE. You either like the genre or you don’t. I quit playing Madden after like 2002 – a football game is a football game to me – yet the game sells millions of copies every year. I have friends who play Madden religiously. They like the genre.

      You can also apply this to movies, music, etc. You are either a fan of the genre or you aren’t. To some people Death Metal is yelling, growling and noise, to others it’s sweet, sweet joy. Some people can’t understand why people like Katy Perry exist and sell records…but apparently there are people who like her “music”.

      I personally am tired to death of comic book movies…but there are legions of people out there who love to see their favorite super heroes on the screen, so I get it…

      To each their own.

  9. +1 rev…sorta’ like laser training. NO explosion in your hands, no muzzle flip , no reality. Oh yeah…a whole lot of us OFWG’s can still kick you young bucks a##es.

    • Wrong: plenty of recoil, muzzle flip, immersive explosions, and reality (as much as can be simulated, naturally).

  10. I will probably buy it…after it goes on sale. I am interested in the multiplayer and the story but they want too much considering it is a reskinned Battlefield 4.

  11. I’ve been disappointed by modern FPSs in general. It’s either multiplayer, or be lead around by the nose. A perfect example of the dumbing down of games is Rainbow Six. The older games, you’d go in and plan out how you’re going to do a level, giving each of your teams a path to follow, frequently spending more time doing this than actually executing the plan. I loved it! The current games.. you have a single team, walking from one scripted spawning of bad guys to the next.

    Recently, if you want an engaging single player FPS experience where you might have to actually think, try USPSA or 3 gun, you won’t get it in a video game.

  12. I agree on every point. The entire thing feels like a mod – like somebody got tired of all his friends leaving Counter-Strike to go play BF and they had an A-HA! moment, and threw Hardline together.

    • Much like Battlefield 1942 glorified the Nazi regime by letting you play as one of those fascists?

      And let me tell you about those commie bastards playing Red Orchestra now…

      Gimme a break.

        • Neither. I’m also not an armchair commando pretending to know something about a job I’ve never done. Pin on that tin badge, strap on a pistol, deal with people like yourself for a few years, and earn your right to criticize.

        • @SGC

          What did I say that sounded commando-like? I’ll wait….

          I don’t need to earn the right to criticize anything: I’ve earned it by paying their salaries and being an American citizen.

          Go back to staring at the Fireman, Policeman, and Astronaut posters on your wall; your Lunchables are almost ready.

        • Your smart assed question/response to my point…which was if the subject matter of the game is what you’re reviewing…then I think it’s asinine. If cop games are bad, then so are Nazi’s and Commies.

          Kinda sounds like the democrats and their “guns are bad” mantra to me.

          And it’s obvious you’re just another Farago club cop hater: What happened, cop get your donut this morning? You get a speeding ticket? Officer Friendly bang your girlfriend? Or are you one of those thousands of innocent people in and out of jail all the time?

          Guess what, we all pay taxes and are ‘Merican citizens…JUST LIKE THE DAMN COPS!

    • That’s what I was going to say. I’m hoping the single player campaign has depth and takes a realistic and holistic approach to the police militarization topic, but I’m guessing it won’t. I’m guessing it’ll be a gung ho Tactical Tommy schlock fest…sadly.

      I like games like Spec Ops: The Line that take a hard look at tough issues like war and don’t just try to glorify it or create a black and white, us vs. them paradigm.

  13. As a $20 expansion for bf4? Sure.

    $100 for premium? No thanks.

    That and I think I’ve outgrown video games. Attempted to play bf4 the other night. Played for 30 minutes before I was completely bored.

    • It might not be that youre outgrowing video games, but FPS games arent providing enough stimulation anymore, I had a similiar BF4 experience the other day as well, played 2 games of Conquest and couldnt figure out why I really wanted to play it in the first place afterward.

      RTS games like Company of Heroes, and Dawn of War are always a great balance for me when the FPS boredom sits in

  14. See…now I’m torn. I’m more into CS:GO lately, but I’ve enjoyed titles from the CoD and Battlefield series. I want to point out that I would probably agree with your review of Hardline for the most part, if you hadn’t already posted a “OMG Militarized Police!!!” review on this same game. Kind of kills your credibility and unbiased review here. So, are you REALLY giving it a thumbs down because of actual gameplay, graphics, engine, etc…or is this just an extension of the Farago “down with well armed and armored cops” mantra?

  15. TTAG – The Truth about Games. Sigh.

    So, can we expect video games to be come a common thing around here now? Can’t wait for all the kiddies to show up.

    …circling the drain…

    • “Can’t wait for all the kiddies to show up.”

      From Wikipedia:

      “As of 2013, the average age for a video game player is 30, a number slowly increasing as people who were children playing the first arcade, console and home computer games continue playing now on current systems.”

      • @badTTAG,
        I’m 45, gainfully employed, have a well stocked armory, shoot every other weekend, reload all my match ammo……and guess what? That’s right I play video games at least 5 days a week after work with a bunch of my friends of same age group. Kiddie? No, I don’t think so, just the future.

        Bet those crazy assed smart phones have got you all flummoxed, and that internet thingy…whew, don’t get me started.
        Don’t mean to be an ass, but your comment is…well…just…

    • Really? the Odd Firearms related Video game review have been a staple here. Of course skipping the article may be far to hard for you.

  16. If you want a gun game for gun-lovers, you have to play Arma 3. Realistic ballistics and everything, engagements at long distances, etc. It’s an infantry simulator, not a shoot-em-up.

    It takes a while to get into because it is incredibly complicated, but it’s really fun when you get a group together to tackle an operation.

  17. Another good game (though it’s a bit long in the tooth now) was the first Operation Flashpoint. Cold War, US vs Russia scenario taking place in 1985.

  18. I’m sick of buying a game for $60, just to buy some bullshit ‘season pass’ or ‘premium membership’.

  19. I refuse to buy from the fossil known as EA.
    It needs to die, even more than Capcom does. Hard line is an expansion. I aint paying 100 smacks for a damn expansion.

    All aboard the nope train.

  20. I agree with one of the previous posts about how Hardline feels like the Battlefield 2: Special Forces expansion pack for BF 4.

    I’ve played all BF PC games from BF:1942 up to BF4. They’ve had hit and misses. I enjoyed actually driving the Battleship in BF:1942, after that series, the ships were put in fixed locations. In BF2: SF, i loved the grapple hooks and zip lines and wished they would bring them back. I also enjoyed the crossbow in BF3: Aftermath.

  21. Born in 1985, I was raised with a controller in my hand. Not that I played often/frequently, but there was never a time in my life we didn’t have video games (1985-1998 – NES, 1991-2004 – Game Boy, 1998-2004 – SNES, 2004-NOW – PC) We played CounterStrike and HLDM in “Gifted class” during lunch and study block in High School, 2001-2003. I still love Half Life and a few other FPS’s.

    Games didn’t get me into guns. I had a supreme disconnect that guns in games were merely that, pixels on a screen that help reach a goal.

    What got me into firearms was someone letting me tinker with their AR-15, and letting me take it apart, and try to put it back together, only correcting me if I was going to damage something.

    It was like BIG BOY legos! I still love taking apart my guns COMPLETELY, when cleaning. Maybe that is just my personality though~ I did the same thing with one of four of my NES’s (Late 90’s, people were throwing them in the trash like soggy cardboard)

  22. EA has done an outstanding job of ruining most of my favorite franchises and game companies. Keep up the good work EA, I’ll spend money I would have spent on games on ammo instead.

  23. It is bull shit comments like this that has me rolling on the ground laughing. So you think that BF4 was such a great improvement over BF3? You’ve got to be kidding. BF4 is even less different than the series standard than Hardline, not to mention it has been and is still even more broken than BF3. Not to mention, Hardline uses the EXACT same engine and overall game concept as the rest of the games, so ya, graphics look different but game play is identical. What, did you expect Hardline to play like a JRPG?

  24. Hell, I liked battlefield bad company, and bad company 2, to a lesser degree, and I kndia liked battlefield 3 didn’t play 4, and wont play this, im happy waiting for fallout 4

  25. Hopefully because this is BF 4½ people will get mad that they got ripped off for $60 and this game will be a flop.

  26. and this has what to do with guns? is it because there are guns in the game? are you gonna do movie previews next?

  27. As a Bf 4 player, I couldn’t agree more about the EA opinions. I have no interest in Hardline. On a side note, I reinstalled Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, and Red River. They were due for another play through.

  28. Ugh…OK. After playing the beta tonight: 100% in agreement with Leghorn. This game sucks. Can’t decide if it’s a bad cartoon or a good acid trip. I haven’t played BF4 yet, but if this was it with a new skin, it must suck too. BF3 was the last of the series I played, and I was expecting/hoping for something like that. No such luck. Wouldn’t pay for this as a DLC to an existing game, much less full retail. Sad…:(

  29. What’s the deal with them using the Gadsden flag to portray the “bad guys”? I don’t like the tone of this.

  30. @Nick Leghorn
    SERIOUSLY!!? How about a GOOD reason to skip this game. The push by this liberal left oriented game company (Visceral Games) to move their agenda, and indoctrination might be a good reason. OPEN YOUR FREAKEN EYES DUDE! What Visceral games has done is link evil racist, drug dealing, extremist terrorists with the ‘TEA PARTY.’ On top of that GUN LICENSES are required to obtain the in game firearms as an obvious approach to preach gun control. While they spin their defamation, and lies they misrepresent our laws to make it seem as though gun rights supporting everyday citezens get their licenses, and obtain fully automic machine guns on the regular. What’s worse is that after building up these lies the game uses these lies to justify the slaughtering of these characters at the start of every round.

    @Nick…no offense brother, but PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS PLEASE!

    Sincerely,
    your fan
    Ray

    • ***UPDATE*** It appears Visceral Games has taken all the “Tea Party” demonizing stuff out of the game.

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