Battlefield Hardline: On Meaning And Theme In Multiplayer

By Graham Smith on June 18th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

This is not a police car.

Battlefield Hardline takes the series’ now familiar formula and gives it a new theme. It’s still about large teams of players killing, capturing and controlling vehicles in various objective-based multiplayer modes. But instead of visiting exotic locations and fighting as a military force, the game takes place in the streets of Los Angeles and players play the roles of cops and robbers.

I’ve been playing the closed beta since last Friday, and in between rounds of criminal mayhem I’ve been thinking a lot about meaning and structure in multiplayer game design. Now that the beta has opened up to all, let me exorcise those thought-demons here.

The screenshot that heads this article is of two police cars. Except not really. The police car on the right is a driveable vehicle, claimable via a team’s base, as is always the case in Battlefield games. The police car on the left is a scenery object, unenterable. It’s an item of cover for players to hide behind. It’s a wall dressed to sell the fantasy of a city district locked down by a crime-turned-disaster in-progress.

This is not a police car. The one on the left does not mean what it appears to mean. Neither does the one on the right, really. So it goes with Battlefield Hardline.

I had the loot. He drove nowhere then ran away.

I’m about to be overtly critical about a game that’s in beta; it’s not done, it’s liable to change, and there’s only a limited amount of it that you can go play right now. For as long as game companies continue to offer pre-orders for games months before release (Hardline is £50), I think it’s fair game to honest about experiences even during preview.

The current beta includes a single map and two modes, Blood Money and Heist. In the latter, an in-world scripted sequence causes two armored trucks to crash at a city intersection. As the criminals, you must plant bombs on the trucks, get the bags inside and take them to an escape point elsewhere on the level. As the cops you’re aiming to stop that from happening by killing the robbers and resetting dropped loot until the timer runs out.

To help both sides accomplish this, bases begin equipped with motorbikes, cars and armored trucks, and the map offers limited access to helicopters for both sides. Vehicles are skinned different for each side – in civilian or police colours, essentially – but there’s already a strange disconnect between the experience the game is selling and the pieces it offers players to make that happen.

The static objectives of Blood Money make it a better structured drama.

During one round as the robbers, I found a helicopter atop the skyscraper that acts as one of the levels’ escape points. I hopped in as the gunner and, with a decent pilot, we made our way towards the point where the second of two packages we had to steal was positioned. Hovering above the crashed armored truck that the package sat inside, I was able to use my mounted weapon to mow down half a dozen members of the cops’ team. This brief moment of coordination between me and my pilot felt great, till he parachuted out and I failed to notice until the ensuing crash and explosion killed me.

I respawned back at base, grabbed a street bike and sped off back towards the package. As I drove – the bikes are fast and carry two, including a passenger able to fire their weapon, but there’s no finesse to their physics – the ground began to rumble. A crane which acts as a centerpiece to the map was coming down, crumbling presumably due to some unseen player action. Battlefield 4′s level evolution in action, the crane’s new position created slightly modified routes between the Los Angeles streets and buildings.

These are all exciting words, and I’m trying my very hardest to drain my descriptions of their innate vitality. Because when I was experiencing these moments, I only felt lost.

How many robberies escalate towards armed conflict? How many require the use of helicopters armed with gatling guns? How often does the prevention of a crime justify the destruction of entire city blocks? How many police officers – or criminals – habitually carry parachutes at all times?

More importantly, how does this offer the experience I signed up for?

This is not cops versus robbers. Battlefield Hardline’s theme and setting do not mean what they appear to mean.

The destruction is prescriptive but pretty.

As far as templates go, there’s worse upon which to base your game than Battlefield. While BF4 experienced a woesome launch, riddled with bugs and balance problems, I’ve been fond of the series since the beginning. It offers bombastic scale in its battles across land, air and (occasionally) sea, and its four classes and dozen or so vehicles offer choices for how you want to play with every new life. Even its Squad and (occasionally) Commander system do an excellent job of carving moments of teamwork from public servers; incentivizing sticking together, following directions, accomplishing objectives as a unit.

If the only thing wrong with Hardline was a touch of ludonarrative dissonance (drink) then I wouldn’t even mention it. But it feels like the mixture of already strange abstractions (most soldiers don’t habitually carry parachutes either) and assumptions about what being a Battlefield game means (big maps! lots of players! vehicular mayhem!) could serve to obscure the presence of a bunch of chaff and stop Hardline from ever delivering what it aims to.

What it seems to be aiming for in Heist mode – based on the E3 presentation, anyway – is an escalating drama in which players shift from attacking/defending a van, through to a thrilling zipline-escape and car chase, through to a tense final standoff and escape. That sounds excellent.

But this progression is stymied at every turn by Battlefield’s underlying structure. I’ve not once seen any part of it coalesce into anything slick or dramatic or explicitly heist-y. As a robber, you might successfully grab the loot at the start of the game, but if you die on your journey towards the escape point, you spawn back at base and must slog back towards the spot where you died. Vehicles stop being props in a thrilling car chase and become a quick way to get back to the frontlines.

I'm in an armoured car. Basically it's a tank, missile turret and all.

There’s a line in the tutorial video produced to teach Heist mode: “Cops can work together to coordinate an assault on the escaping criminals.” I’ve yet to see anything approaching coordination: the fantasy of four police officers simultaneously firing grappling hooks to reach a vantage point is compelling, but it’s far more likely that the team will be spread out, players in different parts of the map, driving their own vehicles (because it’s more fun than being a passenger) and fighting in their own skirmishes (because it’s more empowering to shoot and score points than to rush for and likely die trying to recovering the object that centers the mode).

It’s tempting to say this is all because I’m playing on public servers, with inexperienced teammates, instead of with friends or a clan or after months of practice. But good multiplayer games lead player behaviour through strong design. The shape of Counter-Strike‘s levels lead players to work together even if they don’t realise it, and securing objectives is heavily incentivized by the weapon system. Intruder sells the fantasy of its asymmetrical heist fantasy by making players vulnerable, by its round-based structure making life valuable, and through its audio mechanic encouraging quiet and thoughtful decisions.

If we’re to launch coordinated assaults, why do Battlefield’s large maps, fast and disposable vehicles, and infinite respawns all encourage the opposite?

Just like fuckin' Saigon, hey Slick?

It’s also not uncommon for multiplayer games to experience this kind of disconnect – a venn diagram depicting the fantasy they want to offer, the mechanics required to jostle multiplayer into life, and the shitload of awkwardness that exists in the overlap.

The solution to these problems isn’t to embrace the grim austerity of the real world, nor to jettison urbanity entirely in exchange for contextless floaters. Purity and cohesion aren’t always desirable. Battlefield Hardline might represent a step down a longer path, one which follows in the footsteps of Dota 2 and turns all this mechanical pidgin into creole. What does “recrow” mean in Valve’s lane-pusher and why is it called that? Why do these robbers and policemen carry parachutes? It could be that I’m wrong in everything I’ve criticised it for, and a successful sequel from now I could come to accept these as unquestionable facts in the same way I stopped seeing the weirdness of being an inter-disciplinary omni-soldier in the rest of the series. A new language of multiplayer first-person shooters could be born here.

But I’m betting people will dodge the worst of that weirdness by playing the other modes instead of Heist. Blood Money – in which both teams must rush a central repository of money back to their own vault – is less ambitious and better suited to the structure of Battlefield. It works more straightforwardly in the rounds I’ve played. The big map, lots of players to shoot and vehicular bombast are all fun in the usual Battlefield way.

This is fine, but I hope Visceral Games are able to execute more completely on their ideas before release, because right now it looks like all Hardline means is another Battlefield.

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67 Comments »

Top comments

  1. SillyWizard says:

    O rly?

  2. Premium User Badge 9of9 says:

    This has always been what prevented me from enjoying Payday 2, even while many of my friends dedicate vast quantities of hours to that game. Nominally, it looks like you’re trying to break into a vault while holding off a police siege. In practice, you’re fighting against waves of a zombie horde. It tries pretty hard to insert mechanics that fit with the fiction of the activity you’re performing, but it never quite gels for me. The pieces don’t fit and it always ends up feeling like what the game is about and what the game is are too different. I’m told performing missions stealthily is a much better experience, but the clunky and abstract mechanics leave me with too little patience for this game.

    Battlefield: Hardline is not like that. Battlefield: Hardline, it is painfully obvious, does not even try. I fail to see why anyone could possibly be interested in this game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yup, same here.

      Plus, y’know, unlock grind.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      I guess you’ve heard it before then, but the stealth system is pretty rewarding when mastered- still a big glitchy in spots, but when you’re good at it, it’s the best way to play the game. Particularly on the deathwish difficulty, where screwing up means half a dozen cops can kill the four of you.

      • HyenaGrin says:

        Yeah. Admittedly Payday always seemed to have a bit of an identity crisis, whether it wanted to be a cooperative multiplayer shooter or a heist simulator. The overlap of the two have occasionally lead to frustration. But if you stop and focus on ghosting missions and accept that failure probably means dying, the experience can be very tense, very focused, and very tight. It actually feels very good and many of the heists are very, very challenging.

        The new DLC heist (Big Bank) is a huge bank and comes with a whole pre-planning stage where you can pretty much plan your heist from start to finish, and there are a surprising number of options and details built-in. I worry that many of the options will turn out to never actually be useful, and there will be one general ‘good’ way to pull it off, but I appreciate the ability to get together with friends and decide how we want to get through the heist.

        Anyway, I’d choose Payday 2 over Hardline any day if I want a ‘crime’ experience. I think there’s room for refinement, and maybe when they get around to Payday 3 they’ll hone in exactly what they want the game to be. Hell, a multiplayer cops vs robbers mode could be a lot of fun if they dared to try it and if they didn’t pull their punches (and turn it into a shootout) it could be amazing. But I’m not seeing ‘crime’ when I watch footage of Hardline. I’m seeing Battlefield. If I want the chaos of warfare I’ll just play BF4, a reskin and a capture the flag mode isn’t going to add anything to that experience.

    • armchaircowboys says:

      “I fail to see why anyone could possibly be interested in this game.”

      Maybe, because the game is just plain fun? And people tend to play games for fun? The series does not try to simulate actualities, it tries to make shooting people in the face fun. BFHL, for me at least, is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the BF series. Less tanks, choppers, and jets blowing everything to shit, smaller maps and more fun objectives.

      Is it worth the price of admission? I don’t know. That depends on the amount of content released. At least they won’t be rehashing old BF maps on this. I hope.

      • dudleyisasillyname says:

        I think what he/she is trying to say is that the Battlefield series doesn’t fit the cops and robbers theme, not that the Battlefield games are not fun. It’s like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole, they are trying to keep the same things that Battlfield is known for (big maps, big player counts, vehicles, etc) and adapt it to a theme that it is not really suited for.

        To me, the decision to make Hardline as a Battlefield cops and robbers could go 2 ways, both bad. It will either be just a reskinned BF4 or it will take away a lot of what makes the Battlefield games fun in order to make it fit the cops and robbers theme. Would you pay $60 for either of those?

  3. USER47 says:

    C’est vrai, ce sont deux voitures de police.

  4. phelix says:

    I think most of the time a theme in a big budget multiplayer shooter is just to provide an excuse for people to shoot each other all the time. It rarely feels like I’m doing anything connected to the premise of the theme, apart from shootyshooty bang bang.

    • Bradamantium says:

      Right, but you don’t often feel disconnected. Titanfall, for example, provides a setup where you don’t feel strange when a robot plummets in from the atmosphere. But to say “It’s like Battlefield with cops and robbers!” is tantamount to “It’s like a peanut butter sandwich with some salmon thrown in there!”

      You can eat it. Maybe even have a story to share at particularly exciting parties. But it’s going to feel mighty strange.

      • Phendron says:

        Well said. Saying “multiplayer is for fun’s sake and doesn’t need a story or context” is a cheap cop out.

  5. Chuckleluck says:

    I’m rubbish at french, but shouldn’t the last part be voiture de policier?

    • GrosData says:

      “voiture de policier” would mean “a cop’s car”.
      In this case, it is “voiture de police” as in a “police car”.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      Une bagnole de flic.

  6. suibhne says:

    The less obvious question is why the military theme of most MP shooters so often goes unremarked. As the piece states, BF4′s gameplay is probably no truer to its theme/mise en scene than Hardline’s, yet many commentators are calling out some dissonance in their experience of the latter. What gives? Is it just that BF:H, and BF gameplay more generally, are much less skilled at replicating some part of the standard “cops ‘n’ robbers” trope from mass culture, vs. BF4′s replication of Bruckheimer-style military bombast? If we’re going to assess the sins of such games, my knee-jerk feeling is that mischaracterization/misrepresentation of military adventurism is a much more significant cultural/political problem than when applied to policing.

    • -Spooky- says:

      Who is BF4?

    • ScubaMonster says:

      The problem is that the BF formula doesn’t fit a cops and robbers scenario. Unless you’re playing in a far away dystopian future where crime has escalated into all out warfare, the BF gameplay is completely implausible when applied to this theme. The reason why regular BF doesn’t get picked apart is that it stays within a reasonable realm of believability.

    • Bradamantium says:

      As far as BF4′s multiplayer is from a real battle, it’s still miles closer to war than this is to armed robbery and the ensuing police response. Certainly the gung ho, endless respawn, limitless resources approach to war in the core BF series deserves a critical examination, but it’s much more palatable because it serves up a conception of war we can understand given the constraints of the medium.

    • Lusketrollet says:

      I agree with suibhne. It’s bizarre to see people writing off Hardline as unrealistic while not having a problem with the complete and utter nonsense that is regular Battlefield.

      I’m sorry to burst ScubaMonster and Bradamantium’s bubbles, but BF4 really is no way closer to actual military conflict than Hardline is to actual heists. They’re both utter ridiculous science fiction, but because BF4 resembles the nonsensical Hollywood depiction of war that we see on TV, fuckwits will come out and call it “realistic” or “authentic”. Which is so patently, embarrassingly stupid, it actually causes me physical pain to consider.

      • Manco says:

        But that’s exactly it. BF(4) gives us the Hollywood experience of war, it’s the battle scenes of Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket and Black Hawk Down.
        It might not be realistic but it delivers something we’re familiar with. An experience of which we already know the limits and possibilities and have an established suspension of disbelief.
        (and ignore the “fuckwits”, no one at BF seriously considers their series authentic or realistic, that’s just marketing lingo)

        But Hardline? It’s not realistic, it’s not plausible and it has no equivalent in other media. The theme is just shoehorned in with no precedent or analogue. Who knows, maybe it’ll be the beginning of a new genre (Payday 2 isn’t any better of course, in this aspect at least), but right now, it feels off.

        • nearly says:

          Did you not watch The Town? Point Break? SWAT? There are other heist movies than Ocean’s Eleven, and I’d guess that the singleplayer presents the theme more clearly than the two modes. Although the crane is a bit over-the-top, one of the biggest thematic draws of a heist is the escalation as things go wrong or the unexpected happen. Personally, my suspension of disbelief is challenged by the fact that they could completely clear such a large portion of town to begin with.

          I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the “It’s annual Battlefield, it’s about the multiplayer, there’s going to be a full price season pass” that other evidence suggests may not happen (that the devs are known for their single player games and the game’s story-based introduction). That they’re calling it Battlefield means they have to commit to emphasizing the multiplayer to a degree, but I honestly think they’re putting as much if not more into the singleplayer than the Bad Company games did

          • P.Funk says:

            “Did you not watch The Town? Point Break? SWAT?”

            None of them involved helicopters with miniguns or toppling a crane.

            Typical cops and robbers scenario is Heat. Get in, get out, street shootout. Having anything beyond M4s and body armour is just… weird.

          • dudleyisasillyname says:

            How many of those movies involved entire city blocks getting blown up by 32 robbers armed with assault rifles and explosives battling 32 equally heavily armed cops?

          • LordMidas says:

            Dude, dunno but I’d watch that film. It would be ace.
            Even Heat had a full on cops and robbers with fully automatic weapon shootybangs (maybe not choppers with miniguns).
            Just because this game doesn’t fit with current realism or other media doesn’t meant it’s going to be bad. It actually looks fun. This might jsut end up being the future of heists and robbery.

            And as for realistic I think it is. Just because there haven’t been any heists which have helicopters with miniguns or exploding cranes, it is actually possible to have have heists with helicopters with miniguns and exploding cranes. Just because the police don’t respond with heavy weapons and explosions doesn’t mean they actually can’t.

            And it’s in Beta. Give it a chance to be fully developed first.

    • USER47 says:

      I guess it’s because we are just much more familiar with police operations taking place around us than with the military operations happening usualy in countries very far (at least considering US/Europe population). That’s why military themed ultra-action nonsense is far more believable for us than this western world police themed nonsense, even though they are both equaly unrealistic.

    • Haplo says:

      To summarise this thread, then: the difference between something being realistic and believable. A lot of movies and games etc. tend to get away with the latter rather than the former.

    • HadToLogin says:

      I would also add one thing: respawns. They don’t really bother people in military shooters because you can explain they are just different 200 soldiers that are on Battlefield.

      But that explanation really doesn’t work in BF: H. 200 robbers making a heist?

      • Blackrook says:

        But these days of small scale action if a General was losing 200 troops in one go it would be classed as a disaster. If you want realism in FPS then when you die in game, the game should shut down and wipe itself. This would definitely make people more cautious in their playstyle and promote a more realistic
        approach to death and violence.

        As for Hardline beta, I’m quite capable of suspending disbelief and I liked it in a brainless run and gun way but I think it might get old pretty quick and I wouldn’t pay full game money for what should be DLC or an upgrade to BF4.

    • fish99 says:

      The military hardware involved is a much better fit for a military conflict than for cops and robbers. It’s just not believable that either cops or (esp) robbers would be so heavily armed.

  7. Chuckleluck says:

    You guys are really annoyed by the parachutes. Why has so little talk been given to how both cops and robbers have military-grade weapons?

    • Alphus says:

      2nd Amendment?

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      Have you never been to London/Manchester/Glasgow/Hull before?

      • DrollRemark says:

        Hull? Who are they going to shoot in Hull? The goths at Spiders?

    • Comrade Roe says:

      Cops have them because they’re law enforcement, and people who sell guns to military sell them to law enforcement too. Look at any arms manufacturer’s website for a military product, and it’ll say “for military/law enforcement use”, or something like that.

      As for the robbers… black market? I guess if Libyan rebels can get T-55s, or the Taliban can get Strelas, why wouldn’t robbers have RPGs and things? I’d just be curious why they would have experimental weaponry not mass produced.

    • Sam says:

      It’s an “interesting” development that especially in the US, the police force are becoming increasingly militarised. There are plenty of fairly small scale police departments that have APCs and other military vehicles repainted from Iraqi Freedom Yellow to a fetching Justice Black.
      My (limited) understanding is that there’s laws to prevent deploying standard military units to enforce laws (although there must be exceptions, as military units have been used in response to riots). So if you want your dystopian future to be patrolled by tanks, you need to arm up the Police. Violent crime rates may be steadily dropping, but that’s no excuse to give up on your dreams of a glorious future.

  8. Bradamantium says:

    At this point, the most I’m hoping for is that Visceral Games doesn’t get stamped out after this does as poorly as it will.

  9. toxic avenger says:

    Just curious, why link to an article with pictures of the game Intruder in a magazine, when the link itself links to the actual article?

    • Comrade Roe says:

      He didn’t link to pictures in an article, he linked to Intruder’s news feed. Pictures of Intruder in an article happened to be the most recent post.

  10. OctoStepdad says:

    “Here comes the crash…” Is all I could think of when the crane was coming down.

    but I think one of my favorite parts of the beta so far is playing Blood Money and attempting to steal money from the other teams vault. I went into this beta cold and I enjoyed it and plan to play some more of it before it ends.

    I also think there is a huge disconnect with the tank driving around. They are pretty over-powered seeing how tight the streets are and making a get away from the tanks very hard.

    • Skiddywinks says:

      A tank? seriously? There are tanks in this?

      • Distec says:

        It sounds like zero fucks were given to making anything plausible. That might seem a strange criticism to level at a multiplayer shooter, but then I think good design tries to ensure that a title’s presentation isn’t completely incongruous with its gameplay

        Just give players rayguns while we’re at it. That would at least give EA some wiggle room to say “HAHA The point is that none of this makes sense! That’s the joke! We’re subverting tropes/embracing gaminess/somebullshit”.

      • YogSo says:

        The tank is just a little sneak peek at the Dominion game mode ;-p

      • OctoStepdad says:

        not the huge tanks from the BF series but those smaller/quicker ones. (sorry I’m not up on my tank terms)

    • chiablo says:

      I expect it to be similar to the BF4 beta, where “levolution” will not crash the server until the retail release.

  11. derbefrier says:

    Played it for about half an hour realized its just battlefield with a cops and robbers skin pack then uninstalled.

  12. Walsh says:

    But this is the game where being the passenger is more fun than driving. Passengers can finally lean out of windows to shoot, heck they don’t even need to lean out to shoot from the passenger seats in most vehicles.

  13. ruhe says:

    Glorification of Police Militarization… Circumvention of the Posse Comitatus Act… what more do you want in a $19.99 BF4 mod?

    • chiablo says:

      I would agree if it were a $20 expansion (like the wonderful Vietnam expansion to Bad Company 2). Hardline is a $60 retail product, that will likely have an additional $60 season pass associated with it.

  14. zaphod42 says:

    You’re right that Blood Money works better and is more “Battlefield”, but its also exceptionally boring. Its just more of the same, BF4 with capture points or flags. Who cares?

    Heist mode is the real meat of what Hardline could do differently, but its at-odds with itself at every turn, for all the reasons you listed.

    Hardline ultimately feels like a fan mod which is being sold at full price, which is a cruel joke.
    As a Farcry Blood Dragon style expansion for cheap, I would snatch this up, but as a full price, full title game with single player and multiplayer…. snore. I’m just really not interested. No way is it worth that much money, gonna be a weird mix of different games that doesn’t coalesce into anything noteworthy.

    It did make me go back and start playing Payday 2 again though, which handles the Heist thing properly. If only you could play as the cops in Payday 2, it would be Hardline but better in every way.

  15. kdz says:

    I just can’t get excited about this game. I want games to at least try and do something that stays true to their theme. “You’re an elite soldier, fighting terrorism around the world”. “You’re a gangster, with an enitre city at your feet!” “You’re a great Spartan warrior seeking vengeance for the pain inflicted upon you by the gods!” “One team represents a group of terrorists trying to plant a bomb, the other are counter-terrorists trying to stop them”.
    These pitches pretty much tell you most of what you need to know going in. If a non-gamer friend asked me what Battlefield: Hardline is I wouldn’t be able to say “it’s a multiplayer game of cops and robbers!” because it’s not. It’s a military multiplayer shooter with a coat of paint. And, honestly, I’d happily play a multiplayer game of cops and robbers. But I’m kind of tired of online military shooters.

    I am, though, excited for Rainbow Six: Siege. It’s still a long way off, but doesn’t seem to be using its theme as a cover for unoriginal gameplay.

  16. nich10solo says:

    I am having a ton of fun with it. Heist mode is a blast. The map in the beta is intricate. Most buildings can be entered and have upper levels. Building that don’t you can get to with zip lines and then parachute off of. I recommend going to a empty server just to learn the map a little since there is so much too it.

    This is not a game you can hop in alone and have a great time. It’s chaotic. There’s really no battlelines and vehicles come out of nowhere. It’s one thing that makes it great. But you have to have at least one friend you’re working with to make it a really great time.

    I really like the strategy. Games can very quick if the cops make a mistake. You can try to predict the other team’s movements and set up an ambush. Mobile Command Center placement can make or break a round.

    Does it feel like a reskinned bf4 initially? Yeah, it does. Might it be hard to justify $60 for it when the bread and butter combat is so similar to bf4? Yeah. But I think this game has much more higher order strategy going on that it’ll come into it’s own once people discover it. Also, you can preorder it for $48 now…..

  17. Premium User Badge PikaBot says:

    What weirds me out about this game is how displaced it’s premise is in time. There’s a reason why you don’t see movies like Robocop, Assault on Precinct 13, the Warriors, the Crow etc. anymore except as remakes of previous successful films. Violent crime was a huge concern in the zeitgeist of the 70s and 80s, but has since faded waaaaay to the back. Hardline feels like it missed it’s moment by thirty years or so.

  18. Wulfram says:

    I wonder if the problem isn’t just that it’s not bought itself enough of a sillyness licence.

    I mean, there’s nothing there that’d be out of place in Saint’s Row 3.

  19. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    They should have made “Battlefield: Mega-City One Softline” or just be more creative with the surrounding fluff and nobody would question it.
    And a more creative mod would have already been in the works if that sort of thing was still allowed by EA.

    • The Random One says:

      The producers wouldn’t allow a more creative setting because the Battlefield series is supposed to be realistic. They prefer that the game’s mechanics be at odds with its setting because that’s not something the public in general can understand when they feel it and vocalize, and thus it’s unlikely to draw complaints.

  20. The Random One says:

    La guerre… la guerre jamais change.

  21. P.Funk says:

    Does this shit even have voip?

  22. Teh_Bucket says:

    He’s right; if you want to see an example of cohesive gameplay being practically mandatory and part of the game, take a look at intruder.

  23. Tei says:

    The internet hivemind has decided to hate this game

  24. Arithon says:

    This game; no let’s get this right, this MOD, is lazy.

    Lazy why? Because it’s a bunch of assets from BF4 with a few re-skinned. It’s lazy because they’ve continued with the naff BattleLog which is a prime example of bad implementation of the last two BattleField games. Renaming RUSH and CTF to Heist and Blood Money doesn’t mean they are not exactly the same thing, only without the same level of vehicles, weapons, tactics and map area. It’s abundantly clear EA/DICE had a “what can we shovel out this year” meeting and said, “Well we can make a cut-down copy of BF4, add some elements of Counterstrike and Payday – they’ll lap it up”. And voila! We have BF: Hardline. A Battlefield game that’s not a battlefield, but a crime-in-progress in more than one sense. Acting like zip lines and grapples are new innovations is laughable! These were available in BF2 and were then removed for Bad company and all BF since. Adding them back is repair, not invention. As with BF4, some things are destructible, some things are usable, the rest are cut-n-paste window dressing – for no rhyme or reason.

    It’s a BETA you say. Well I’ve played every BF BETA since BF2142 (including this one) and they’ve never improved one iota from the BETA version. BF2142 got worse. How many BF3 and BF4 Beta problems persisted? They are still patching BF4 and it is STILL broken. Where’s the mod support? Where’s the LAN support? Why can’t players switch into and out of Commander in-game? Bad Company 2 was the last PC Battlefield title that even resembled the franchise.

    BF4 with it’s bad net-code, jarring browser launcher, broken commander implementation and fractured online community caused by DLC milking, is a low-point in the franchise. Using that as a template is not a good move. Whether DICE are simply padding sales out until “BattleField:Star Wars” (BattleFront) is ready, or just can’t resist trying to push the BF franchise further down the toilet, is unclear.

    I am not buying it. It’s not a Battlefield game, it’s a cynically manufactured vehicle for unlock grind and further DLC sales and at £59.99 (not £50) pre-order price for a MOD that’s damn insulting. Especially from a company that is working on another commercial version (BattleFront) of what started out life as BF1942 mod, while at the same time denying the community the ability to mod the game themselves!

  25. shadow9d9 says:

    If you want coordination, you have to take the initiative and use the built in voip. Even if they don’t have a microphone, they can hear you and work with you. If you haven’t been doing this in games like cs, bf, and tf2, then you are missing out on the whole point of these games..teamwork and communication. It has nothing to do with the game and everything to do with you. The game provides the voip…THAT is what is needed. The article is a joke because you magically want the game to coordinate you and you ignore the tools given.

  26. GoTo2k says:

    “I wouldn’t pay full game money for what should be DLC or an upgrade to BF4″

    Describes my thoughts exactly! I wish I could go to their office and tell them in person.

    Actually, I’m going to life in Sweden for the next two years, so… Where exactly are their offices in Stockholm? ;)

  27. Sacarathe says:

    Battlefield TANK POLICE, with boomers on one side, I’d buy that.