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At the EA press conference today it showed off the multiplayer of Battlefield Hardline which will have a robust single-player story, as well. To wrap up their Gamescom 2014 press conference, EA and Visceral revealed 12 minutes of footage from Hardline’s single-player campaign.

The full video filled with law enforcement action can be seen above Battlefield Hardline is set to arrive in 2015 after a delay that took it out of its original October release window.

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On August 13th in Cologne EA will be holding their Gamescom 2014 press briefing, and you can watch it right here on Connected Digital World.

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Tune in on August 13 at 10am CET for your chance to get a look at upcoming EA gaming experiences with Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition, EA SPORTS FIFA 15, The Sims 4, Dawngate and more.

Let us know what you hope they show, and what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

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The second set of maps for Titanfall has arrived for gamers to enjoy more Titan bashing fun across 3 more battlegrounds. Whether you’re into your open and wide playgrounds for Titan and sniper heavy duals, to my personal favourite tighter built up arenas to show off your parkour abilities there’s something for everyone here. The Frontier’s Edge DLC adds yet another 3 maps to the game’s playlist giving you more reasons to take down your opponents in a variety of ways.

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Dig Site is a small industrial mining facility where energy-rich ores are extracted that offers a tighter arena for Titans to engage in combat. Build out of from the interior of a mine this environment incorporates both naturalistic rock formations to parkour on as well as the man made factories to enter into. Players can storm these mines on this medium sized map in numerous ways. From the open ground level you’re exposed a lot more and could be ambushed from players if you’re not quick, cautious or not in your Titan. This map is medium sized compared to the others.

I particularly enjoyed playing Capture The Flag on Dig Site as the various ways to get from one base to the other were plentiful. With the central structure being the key vantage point any team nesting within can control this game mode pretty well.
(A cross between the maps Airbase and Boneyard)

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Haven is a map that features a hotel, several sky scraping buildings and a beach. This is a luxury retreat for the wealthy built on the shores of a natural crater lake and it shows. And with every city-like map in Titanfall comes the tighter, less spacious streets restricting Titans from moving as freely. This map is extra large and offers loads of interiors, a lot of height and cover above if you’re into your sniping.

This map was great for Hardpoint Domination as nothing really beats running from building to building avoiding Titans and capturing bases. With the main hotspot being ‘B’ inside a hotel lobby it is a scene for mayhem as Titan’s can enter as well as a couple of elevated floor for pilots to rain down covering fire from above.

(A cross between the maps Fracture and War Games)

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Export is a dock with an interesting feature that can cause quite a lot of panic. With an exposed generator housed in the centre of the map, shooting this will result in one of pathways from one end of the map to the other to become electrified frying friend and foe. This map is my personal favourite from this pack as it balances a decent amount of building to enter, amazing vantage points for snipers, great open spaces for Titan fights and a decent amount of zip lines to get from the ground upwards out of danger. This map is large and is perfect for pilots to show off their abilities to traverse across the arena.

Playing Last Titan Standing on this map was by far the most enjoyable game mode. With a variety of ways to cross from one side to the other not forgetting the potential electrified easier route, this game mode played differently every time I played Export.
(A cross between the maps Smuggler’s Cove and Relic)

The Frontier’s Edge Variety Pack and Expedition Attrition are 2 playlists you can choose to play if you fancy just playing the 3 maps on rotation. These, the DLC and the added recent update have given more to the Titanfall experience. Since the last DLC we’ve now got the additional OS Voice option to choose what AI speaks to us once inside the Titan. The Titan Insignia is also added as the emblem to show off what challenges we’ve accomplished to heard these. The Black Market is also available to sell you current Burn Cards at and the one stop shop for buying more insignias or packs of Burn Cards, some featuring some rare cards.

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Pilots get ready to drop your titan and battle on the furthest reaches of the Frontier in Titanfall Frontier’s Edge. Available now for Xbox One and PC, Frontier’s Edge is the latest DLC pack for Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall and introduces three new maps to the Frontier including:

·  Dig Site – A critical asset on the Frontier, Dig Site is surrounded by sheer rock walls that offer natural protection against air assaults. Titans patrol narrow pathways between giant industrial processing plants while pilots leap overhead to attack from above

·  Export – An exporting hub built on the side of a mountain, Export recalls the boom-towns of the gold rush from centuries earlier. Focused on close-quarters combat, pilots use this to their advantage to gain speed and height, while titans lock down natural choke points that overlook the town below.

·  Haven – Catering to the Frontier’s wealthy elite, this exclusive beach resort rests on the edge of a massive crater lake. Pilots will utilize the sheer walls of the hotel skyscrapers to gain high ground while titans attack from inside art galleries and luxury restaurants.

Titanfall Frontier’s Edge is now available for now for Xbox One and PC for £7.99 and will be coming soon to the Xbox 360. Players looking for the ultimate value can purchase the Titanfall Season Pass which includes all three content packs for £19.99, available for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and on Origin for PC.

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EA SPORTS released the next video in their FIFA 15 Gameplay Features series, this time, focusing on how the game’s Agility and Control brings a heightened level of responsiveness and fluidity to gameplay, as well as true personality to the world’s best players – Leo Messi and other superstars will dribble and move like they do in real life. A new ball physics system, Correct Contacts changes the game – the ball now keeps its momentum and accurate spin giving fans variety when passing, dribbling, and controlling the ball.

Off the ball, Man to Man Battles transforms the way you compete. Dispossessing your opponent in FIFA 15 is more rewarding and physical than ever before. Players use Full-Body Defending to win possession and keep it. Possession Tackles will reward great defending, helping players keep the ball close to their feet when a challenge is won. New shoulder barges, push/pull mechanics, and big fall physics allow fans to feel the battle; shirt pulling is also visible thanks to new character visuals and improved cloth technology.

FIFA 15 hits stores on 26th September in the United Kingdom on Xbox One, PS4 and PC and is powered by the EA SPORTS IGNITE Engine. The game is also available on Xbox 360, PS3 and other platforms

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Today EA has announced that Battlefield Hardline will not make its projected October release date. It’s now set to release in early 2015, with Visceral Games citing fan feedback from the game’s early closed beta as the reason.

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“This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better,” states the Battlefield Blog. “The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time. Time that we didn’t have if we decided to move forward with launching in just a couple of months.”

Visceral will focus on refining Hardline’s multiplayer, adding new single-player elements, and improving the game’s overall stability in the coming months.

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With the launch of Battlefield 4 Dragon‘s Teeth DLC, with the action in major Asian cities, are you ready to join the urban combat.

Battlefield 4  Dragon‘s Teeth leads you into street fighting in major Asian cities on four new multiplayer maps. Wreak havoc in a floating restaurant or drain the lake to open the passage to an assault vehicle, while the battle rages between the skyscrapers Dragon submerged. Fight among the towering monuments of despots in the grey concrete Propaganda. Make war on the busy streets and rooftops of Market beads. Browse the channels of a beautiful park aboard PWC fast to take advantage in the terrible Infantry Lumphini Park battle. Battlefield 4 Dragon‘s Teeth also includes five new weapons, ballistic shield, RAWR (unmanned ground vehicle), ten missions and new game mode chain links, you must create connections between capture points to win the battle.

FEATURES

4 new multiplayer maps take place in Asian cities
- Lumphini Park
- Market beads
- Propaganda
- Dragon submerged

5 new weapons in Battlefield 4
Unlock the ballistic shield, a new gadget that stops bullets
A new element of combat: the RAWR, a heavily armed unmanned ground vehicle

Connect capture points to win the battle in the new game mode connections chain

10 new missions with unlockable items

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Get ready to fight in the Asia Pacific dense urban environments with Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth, the fourth extension of Battlefield 4.

Available from 15th July for members Battlefield 4 Premium, Dragon’s Teeth propels players into four new maps offering Unique gameplay environments and an overexcited, narrow alleys Market pearls floating restaurant Dragon submerged.

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Dragon’s Teeth also offers five unpublished in the Battlefield series weapons, a new gadget, the ballistic shield, and a new game mode, chain links, a revamped version of Conquest Mode where you must connect the capture points to win victory. Fans can also meet ten new missions featuring unlockable items and use RAWR, a new vehicle without remotely controlled and pilot armed to the teeth.

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Not to mention the four new maps:

• Lumphini Park: shopping channels a beautiful park aboard PWC quick to take advantage.

• Market beads: make war in the lively streets and rooftops of the market.

• Propaganda: fight among the towering monuments of despots in the gray battlefield concrete.

• Sunken Dragon: make havoc in a floating restaurant or drain the lake to open the way to a vehicle while the battle rages between skyscrapers.

Go to the Dragon’s Teeth 4 extension before the other players by joining Battlefield 4 Premium. Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth will be available for all on 29th July.

With the UFC still donning the moniker of the world’s fastest growing sport, it was only going to be a matter of time before EA added another franchise to their already stellar selection of sports titles. Can they replicate their successes once more with a UFC game based around their Ignite engine?

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As a fan of UFC since channel 5 aired their pay per views late on a night and free of charge, I like many others, have been hankering for a true UFC experience. This rendition promises a slew of available moves, an improved ground and submission game alongside a fully-fledged career mode.

Jumping straight in, you’ll be prompted with a basic tutorial that’s designed to get you started on the game; it’ll inform you on how to flail wildly and that’s about it. With such a diverse moves list demanding control of your opponent in many areas of the octagon, you’ll be at a frustrating and instant disadvantage the moment you’re not standing toe to toe. Due to the bewildering lack of a practice mode against a dummy AI, you’re learning the hard way too. The game is not only difficult to master, but also seems reluctant to let you learn how to progress. There are a few incredibly helpful online tutorial videos hidden in the touchpad’s online menus, but why these weren’t moved onto the main menu instead is beyond me. A challenge mode is also available, but doesn’t explain the benefits of transitioning into certain mounts, guards or clinches. I’m all for having to figure things out for yourself, but it’s not fun when you’re on the cusp of losing because you didn’t know to also hold L1 whilst rotating the right thumbstick to get out of a full mount.

Fortunately, the days of the infinite standing elbows and the impossibly confusing ground game are behind us, fighters are blessed with an armada of standing strikes; all can be performed by the initially bewildering modifier buttons. With each face button dedicated to a limb, you can alter the type of strike by holding another button, for example, holding forward whilst pressing triangle will perform a straight or a hook in lieu of the standard jab, whilst pulling away from your opponent will change it to an uppercut. Holding L2 will always target the body; the L1 and R1 buttons are the more stamina draining but equally powerful flamboyant moves.

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As you might imagine, swinging at thin air will not get you very far; not only will it open you up to a counter, it’ll take a chunk out of your stamina bar too. The key to success, much like real UFC fights, is to not get exhausted during a bout. Not only will your strikes deal less damage and connect slower, but you yourself will also be more susceptible to taking heavy damage; becoming one step closer to that fabled flash knockout. The ground game, submissions and any form of transitions or posturing also use stamina, making the ground wars less of a button mashing affair and more a thinking man’s ordeal. It’s all well and good rushing to full mount only to discover you’re lacking any stamina to complete a submission, before getting swept and finding yourself at the mercy of your opponents crushing elbows.

Everything boils down to knowing your foes weaknesses and strengths, a kickboxer will be more at risk to a takedown than a decorated wrestler for instance; it’s here where UFC really shines. Executing a gameplan successfully is highly rewarding and achieving the victory whilst playing to your strengths is a glorious feeling. The submission system has been altered for the better this time too. Successfully tightening a choke or lock requires mastery of the mini-game involved. An octagon overlay will appear, with the defender having to fill one of the four gauges to escape, the attacker can impede their progress by holding the right thumbstick in the corresponding direction whilst looking for a left thumbstick prompt to advance the submission state. Despite being initially overcomplicated and confusing, once you’ve had a few attempts, (it really needs a practice mode) it can feel like an aptly anxious struggle.

Whilst you may chug about a little slowly in relation to your real life counterparts, the defensive game is pretty well implemented. Blocking works surprisingly well, holding R2 becomes a weak but still useful guard. Yet if you wish to make the most out of it, timing an opponent’s high or low strike with one of the face buttons will make them whiff and leave themselves open to a more powerful counter. Dashes can be executed by flicking the left thumbstick; if timed well, can leave your foe vulnerable and floundering.

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Sublime fighting mechanics aside, how does EA’s UFC fare outside of the octagon? In truth, not quite so well; feeling very much like a first stab at the franchise, it gets a lot right, but misses out on what could have been a more enveloping career mode. The addition of the required Ultimate Fighter tournament before being let loose in the UFC is a welcome touch yet it has two major drawbacks. The first being that you can’t skip it, despite how many fighters you’ve inducted into underwhelming Hall of Fame, which consists of a short video featuring Dana White and a generic email essentially stating ‘that’s enough, start again’. The second, implausibly odd reason being that The Ultimate Fighter bouts are by far the most difficult fights you’ll have in the career due to you having unalterably dire stats.

From each successful training session in the career, your created fighter will earn approximately 200 upgrade points to spend on whatever you feel is necessary, probably stamina though if you’re being honest. Compare this to the UFC fights when you often gain in excess of 1000 points for a victory and you can see how your character becomes exponentially more powerful, even against the greatest in the division. Points can be spent on moves or attributes, but don’t fret as you’ll have points left over before your career ends; attaining max stats all around is easily achievable unlike previous UFC games.

Aside from the constant barrage of videos peppering your screen after each KO, submission or fight of the night, showcasing highlight reels of classic UFC moments, there isn’t that much involvement outside of the fights. There are no rivalries, you can’t choose a training camp, there’s no threat of not making weight, there’s no advice from your corner in-between rounds and the ‘guest’ appearances at the gym make little to no differences aside from a nasty potential boxing spar with Nate Diaz.

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Some other generic problems that seem to plague EA titles of late being the horrendous menu load times that can make altering sponsors, stats and appearances a drain. During the career mode, there’s a useless ticker across the top of the screen either notifying you that you have no new notifications or displaying now out of date items of interest. There’s an almost sarcastic use of a game manual option in the menus too which instead displays a link to a website, of which you can’t even select to open in the PS4’s browser. Why bother putting it there then?

If there’s one thing EA Sports titles do well time and time again however, it’s the presentation aspect. They’ve really nailed the broadcast feel of the fights, what with Bruce Buffer’s fantastically over excitable introductions alongside Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg screaming at each and every knockout.

Graphically it’s excellent; EA’s Ignite engine provides a showcase of what should be achieved on PS4 and Xbox One. Beads of sweat drip, blood flows and spatters onto the mat, muscles are seen tensing and the character animations are equally impressive too. In terms of audio, it lets itself down a little however. Despite the impressively looking equaliser, there’s no way to alter the sound levels to your preferences. You can’t turn the music entirely off either unless you deselect all the tracks in the main menu; for some reason, the punches and kicks lack a little meat too.

However, once the overly complicated controls are mastered and start to make sense, it’s utter brilliance. Get over the woeful tutorial hump; don’t expect much outside of the octagon and there is no greater game for combat sport aficionados. Every punch is deliberate, every kick is measured, every takedown punishing and every win immeasurable.

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Titanfall Game Update #4 arrives today for Xbox One and PC! Here’s what you can expect.

Featured Game Mode - There are to introduce the Featured Game Modes into the playlist rotation. These are game modes that will be available for a limited time only. New Featured Game Modes will be introduced periodically to replace any outgoing Featured Game Mode. Our first Featured Game Mode is Marked For Death, and Wingman Last Titan Standing will follow shortly after.

Marked For Death – A player on each team will be marked for death! Kill the enemy mark while protecting your teammate.

Titan Burn Cards – 14 new burn cards that add amped Titan weapons and enhanced Titan abilities. You won’t lose your selected Titan Burn Card if you die as a Pilot, only when you die as a Titan. There is an orange highlight around Titans that have Burn Cards equipped on the Titan Counter HUD and Titans with active Burn Cards have an indicator near their health bars.

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Titan Insignias – Want to show off your accomplishments? You can now select from a host of emblems to customize your Titan. Insignias are unlocked by completing challenges but if you’ve already completed the requirements, that emblem will be ready to use when the update installs. Two emblems come courtesy of Penny Arcade and another recognizes users who completed the “Gooser” challenge the hard way.

Matchmaking – Also improvements to matchmaking & team balancing. Now, teams are rearranged just before the level loads, to further balance the teams’ skill and player counts. You’ll notice that you’re greyed out in the lobby until teams are set. You’ll also notice “Connecting…” as players join a match.

Titan OS Voices – Players now have 3 Titan V.O. options to choose from including the classic “Betty” as well as Jeeves and Lisa.

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More Titan OS VO – New helpful warnings and observations from your Titan.

Challenge Tracker – You can now select which challenges you want to work towards and find them easily. You can review your tracked challenges during a match by bringing up the in-game menu.

Lobby Music – The ability turn lobby music on or off.

Updated Menu Art – Menus get a new coat of digital paint with additional art. The Main Menu background movie has been updated as well.

Audio – Killing a Pilot now plays a special sound effect to the killer and unique sounds are played when killing a Pilot or Titan via Titanfall.

Auto-Titans – Your Auto-Titan will now use all Titan abilities. If you’ve equipped electric smoke, it will deploy electric smoke when it gets rodeo’ed. If you’ve equipped the particle wall, it will deploy a particle wall when it is under fire.

Rodeo – You now see the name of the Titan you rodeo.

Burn Cards – You’ll notice a Triple Burn Card selector on bottom right of the HUD after you die. It’s a reminder to use your cards and a convenient way to select them.

Burn Card overflow protection – To protect players who have a full Burn Card deck from losing the opportunity to earn valuable rare Burn Cards, you may now exceed your maximum deck size. However, you must discard down to a legal deck size before you arm new Burn Cards. To make this less obtrusive, the maximum base deck size has been increased from 26 to 46.

Burn Card Deck Limit tied to Gen level – Maximum deck size is increased by 6 cards per gen on top of the base 46 with a maximum of 100 for Gen 10.

Drift Guard – New “Movement Drift Guard” gamepad setting in options.

Unlocks – You’ll still be able to unlock the Stryder and Ogre chassis by playing Campaign, but you can also unlock them in normal MP modes. The Stryder will unlock at level 15 and the Ogre at level 30.

Win/Loss Streak – Your win/loss streak for the last 10 matches is now displayed in the lobby over the image of the next map.

NEW FEATURES (X1)

Achievements – If you bought the Expedition DLC for Titanfall you have a new set of achievements to unlock by playing the DLC maps.

BUG FIXES (All Platforms)

  • Fix for no music playing when you join a match late.
  • Fix for Sonar Burn Cards not showing during kill replay.
  • Fix case for when “Titan Locking”/”Pilot Locking” indicator goes away.
  • Fix not being able to rodeo a Titan doing a synced melee kill.
  • Corporate: Restored Victory/Defeat music at end of match in Corporate on Campaign.
  • Fix for getting stuck in Titan deploying nuclear core and nuclear core not doing full damage when right next to Titan.
  • Fix cases where disembarking player directly from a Titan into the dropship leaves that player behind.
  • Fixed players not ejecting from where the Titan is if they dash while auto-ejecting.
  • Fix for Flyer ragdolls disappearing.
  • Fixed cases where punching would make a Titan fly. You might remember this one from being featured on Kotaku.
  • Fixed the Smart Pistol being unable to lock-on when the frame rate is low. (Thanks for reporting this one, forums!)
  • Fixed the Smart Pistol not being able to hit crawling Spectres.
  • Fixed occasional issue where Titan rodeo kills were not counted towards the Brain Surgeon challenge.
  • Fixed a case where player jump jet effects would spawn endlessly.
  • Fixed a crash when attempting to necksnap a Pilot who is rodeo’ing a Titan.
  • Fixed a crash involving Sonar.
  • Fixed being popped into Spectre tubes on Corporate after jumping off from a rodeo.
  • Fixed water not fogging properly.
  • Fixed cloaked players being too visible in heavy fog.
  • Fixed satchels skipping doomed state when set off with smoke.
  • Fixed hitching and fast forward motion when game has been running for a long time.
  • Fixed tearing happening more often than necessary when running close to 60 fps.

BUG FIXES (PC)

  • Fixed crashes related to fullscreen mode.
  • Game window supports minimize.
  • Game minimizes when switched out.
  • Added very cheap low-quality water technique for min-spec PCs.

BUG FIXES (Xbox One)

  • Fix for issue where going into Xbox menus causes 2 music tracks to overlap.

BALANCING (All Platforms)

In this update we’ve made a few changes to Pilot weapons and Big Punch to ensure proper balance. Some weapons, like the Hemlok, were barely being used while other weapons were slightly overpowered. We’ve done another round of balancing based on feedback we’ve received from inside and outside of the studio. We’ll continue to listen to our community in regards to weapon/game balance and thanks for sharing all of your feedback with us. Here are the changes we’ve made this time around:

Satchels: Satchel damage has been reduced against Pilots only. They will still kill a Pilot caught close to the center of the explosion, but the fall-off is more severe now, allowing Pilots that are far from the satchel to survive more often than they currently do.

Shotgun: The shotgun now does a little bit less damage at midrange. It was proving to be able to win fights that it should lose when at this range. We also fixed a bug where the cursor would turn red, indicating it will hit an enemy when the enemy was actually outside of the range of the shotgun’s max distance.

R101: This weapon was designed to be an all-purpose weapon, and it does that quite well, too well, even. We’ve slightly adjusted it to make it a bit more uncomfortable to handle and hit targets at long distances. It will kick a bit more when fired but the effects are subtle enough to only be felt at long range. We’ve also reduced its mag size from 30 to 24. The extended ammo upgrade brings it from 24 to 30 (it used to go from 30 to 40).

R97: While it already had a higher rate of fire than the CAR, the R97 was pretty much inferior in all other ways. We’ve upped the RoF even higher to make it handle up-close fights better than it did. It also has the fastest time into ADS (aiming down the sights) now. The biggest change, though, is that it now does a lot more damage than it did when rodeo’ing, making it a better choice for Pilots who enjoy taking on a Titan. It is now the second best weapon to use when rodeo’ing Titans (behind only the LMG).

Hemlok: The Hemlok was one of the least popular guns in the game. Its role was intended to be the long-range assault rifle, but it wasn’t doing that quite well enough. We’ve made it so that it is never more than 4 bullets to drop an enemy Pilot (it used to be 5 at long range). The Hemlok will also kick less when fired. The drift when ADSing has also been reduced to allow easier use against long-range targets. The silencer MOD used to take 6 hits to kill an enemy Pilot at long-range, now it is 5.

AMPed Hemlok: The AMPed Hemlok already killed close-range Pilots in 3 bullets, now it will also kill long-range Pilots with 3 bullets.

G2: The G2 now kills Pilots with 3 shots, always. It used to take 4 at range. The G2 has slightly less kick now as well. When the silencer is attached, the G2 will always kill an enemy Pilot with 4 shots whereas it used to be 5 at range. The clip size has been increased when the match trigger attachment is used to give you 12, rather than 8, rounds per magazine.

AMPed G2: The Amped G2 will always kill an enemy Pilot with 2 shots now. It used to take 3 at a distance.

Titan Plasma Railgun: The FOV, while ADSing, has been pulled back some to allow players to keep more of their surroundings in focus. This makes it easier to maintain your “charge” while tracking enemy targets.

Big Punch: We’ve taken a look at complaints about the Big Punch kit, and decided to adjust it. Big Punch was especially problematic when an Ogre was dealing the punch. It did enough damage to destroy the shields of a Stryder and still do a chunk of damage to the Stryder’s permanent health. Spamming Big Punch as an Ogre also let it travel around at speeds higher than intended. As such, we’ve decided to weaken Big Punch’s effects significantly when taken as an Ogre. The Atlas and Stryder didn’t need as large of a change, so we’ve only made small adjustments to Big Punch’s effect when applied to the Atlas and Stryder chassis.

 

Now that Battlefield 4 has been mostly soothed of its issues, it’s time for some new blood before the next major instalment. Instead of something in the usual cannon, EA have teamed up with Visceral to create Hardline, a cops vs criminals bonanza with new game modes to suit. But how does it hold up so far during the public beta?

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As to be expected from something bearing the fabled Battlefield brand, quite well really! Whilst the general look and feel of the game screams ‘reskin’, it plays out completely differently to what you might be used to. Of course, there are the usual recoil heavy weapons and vehicles that will feel instantly familiar to most Battlefield players, but due to the new game modes, a whole new level of tactics emerge.

Blood Money was my first game mode; probably one I’ll continue to play avidly when the game releases. Essentially a glorified yet tweaked version of capture the flag, it places a whopping great pile of cash in the centre of the map and tasks each team to either steal it, or ‘recover’ it if you’re on the other side of the law. Once you’ve collected some money, (you can carry up to 500,000) you then have to get it to your open backed truck, first team to 5 million wins. There are a few kickers however, if you die whilst clutching your bag of treats, the enemy can instantly pick it up off your body and proceed to their armoured truck, netting all the profit. And in case that wasn’t stressful enough, each team can also steal off each other’s trucks, at the risk of having to carry it across the map of course.

Usually, Blood Money commences with all players rushing the centre of the map like a savage pack of wolves; while it’s often hilarious to see a menagerie of vehicles collide and spectacularly explode (due to copious usage of C4) it’s also common to see unspoken vows of teamwork emerge. More so than ever in a Battlefield game, it’s important to stick together here; helping out a pinned down teammate laden with goods is a predictably satisfying moment.

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A Battlefield game wouldn’t be complete without tactical, open maps and Hardline is no exception. Taking a quick tour of the map reveals plenty of verticality, open roads, compromised buildings and perches fit for a sniper. Fortunately, to help combat them, there’s now a grappling hook and zip line, which every class has use of. Not only is it gratifying to zip up behind a sniper for a cheeky knife kill, but the possibilities for map traversal will hopefully become exponential once the final version is released.

Another mode on offer is the Heist gametype, which is again, structured like capture the flag, only this time taking a Payday 2 slant on proceedings where the money filled bags must be brought to extraction before the police call a halt to proceedings. Whilst it does play out differently, it does teeter on the edge of feeling a little too like a classic Battlefield match.

Whilst the visuals and sound retain their specific Battlefield flair, there’s nothing too new or too far removed from previous titles of the same moniker. Save for the accompanied single player portion of the game, it worries me slightly that it’ll all feel ultimately like a re-skinned Battlefield 4, only with different objectives. Nevertheless, in the final version I’ll be keen to try out some more of the maps, experience some new Levolution scenarios and try my hand at a few of the new gadgets such as the Tasers and handcuffs. In the meantime however, it comes across as though they’ve changed just enough to avoid calling it an expansion, what with the lack of jets, tanks and a conquest mode, but not altered quite enough to create a new feeling game. Battlefield veterans might well feel ambivalently at home, despite desperately wanting to move on.

Beta played on PC, also available on PS4.

Release date: October 21st, 2014

Full version, when released, will be on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC

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