WOW, some how they have made it work. This is no Battlefield game granted, but using the same formula of the class system we all know and recognise this somehow works. And its not like vehicles are forgotten either. Police Cruisers, armoured trucks and even helicopters still play a vital role. Think of it as smaller Battlefield map, or if familiar with BF4, the area everyone says where the tanks and LAVs cant access. Soldiers are the butter and bread here, with cars, bikes and trucks as support or quick transport around the map. Controls are reverted to BF3, R2 is the accelerator in vehicles and people annoyed with the flying control in BF4 can rejoice as throttle returns to R2 as well. The spot function is still there as are medic bags and repair tools.
The two game modes on offer with the beta are variations on other modes from other online shooters, but with good additions to make them unique. Heist is a smaller team with the robbers attacking a money truck and escaping. Similar to Rush but with an option to two escape routes is not so simple for the police defending. Blood Money, will be the go to game mode, a single money stack is placed in the centre of the map and the two teams must transport it back to their own truck. But here's the twist, you can raid your enemies truck too.
Money plays vital role in unlocking gadgets, weapons and accessories. While this is collected in game and after games. XP still is important to ranking up. There is nothing like the customisation of BF4 here, but that should be okay as it was getting stupid the amount of guns and customisation games offer today anyway. There are large Levolution events and the smaller interactions of bollards and lifts to access the tall buildings. But fear of that sniper way up in the sky can be easily solved by the addition the grapping hook returning from BF2. Zip lines are another cool addition to move from roof top to roof top and can be used to set up alternate routes across the map. This plays like any other Battlefield game, just to a smaller map. But this is no COD game either. Maps are still bigger than anything seen on COD, open with plenty of scale and routes. You are not bottlenecked and still free to flank when needed.
Will I be pre-ordering BF Hardline? Nope, but don't take my answer that it was a bad experience. The beta does work and DICE are involved in making this as well as Viseral. After the mess of BF4, they will be damn sure to get this working from day one. It plays very well now with no problems and no netcode issues from what I saw. My decision is due to me playing CoD and BF consistently the last few years. I need a bit of a break, I may very well purchase Hardline after release, when the price lowers. My biggest criticism is labelling the game as Battlefield. But we all know that established names like Call of Duty sell games. I remember Modern Warfare 2 when first revealed was missing the COD bit of the title. This was soon changed when no one knew it was a COD game and pre-orders went though the roof when it was included. Battlefield fans fear not, this is a battlefield game at heart, just not set in World War III, CoD players, this may just be the game to make you switch over form the constant stale of the franchise. That is unless Advanced Warfare does what COD4 did 7years ago?