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Battlefield: Hardline is getting delayed, and that's probably a good thing

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Battlefield: Hardline, DICE, EA, FPS games, Visceral Games

Battlefield: Hardline is getting delayed, and that's probably a good thing

I think that we can all agree that Battlefield: Hardline seemed a bit of a mess when it first emerged in beta form straight after it was shown off at this year's E3. The biggest complaint was the notion that iut seemed more like a BF4 spin-off than a new game in its own right -- a series of new maps, and new skins that could easily have spawned as a DLC drop than a full price new game.

Here we go again, thought many. Typical EA.

Jon posited in his article on the matter that knocking £15-20 off of the top and just releasing it as a multiplayer content pack would have bee fine, and he's probably right. A few more distinctive modes and we might have been happy with that. It's impossible to say just how the much-vaunted singleplayer component was coming along because no-one got to see it. The Bad Company games are testament to the fact that DICE can deliver strong campaigns, and Visceral have had their moments, but the latest BF singleplayer components have been utter rubbish. Po-faced, COD-copying mediocrity of the highest degree.

Battlefield: Hardline is getting delayed, and that's probably a good thing

But it's okay, because Hardline is getting pushed back into early next year, and with a fresh 2015 release date all of these wrongs will be righted.

Hopefully.

Here's what EA's Karl-Magnus Troedsson had to say on the matter:

Back at E3, we launched a beta for Hardline -- we wanted to not only show you the game, but to let you play it for yourselves. Millions of you jumped in and had a great time.  As a result, the Visceral Games team learned a lot from players about what they wanted in the game. We’ve been pouring over the data and feedback, and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you.

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. 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.

We decided that the right thing to do was to take more time to ensure Hardline is the best, most innovative Battlefield experience we can give to you, our fans.

The bottom line is that Hardline emerged as something of a laughing stock. It just about managed to lift a flagging global audience after The Most Boring and Empty E3 Presser  of All Time, but was quickly found out. The cops and robbers concept was cool, but it didn't really fit the standard Battlefield template, and nothing was really adjusted to deliver a different experience.

It seems like EA want to change that.

Troedsson's mild missive is both infuriating and gratifying. The wilful patronising contained in phrases like "Hardline innovation" takes us for fools. Where is this innovation? Show it to me! But the mere existence of this letter and the delaying idea behind it is indicative of a company that has actually listened for a change. Instead of waiting months and making obvious changes (hello SimCity) and then trying to take credit for listening to a consumer base that's blue in the face, EA have moved quite decisively on this one.

The three pillars of change that this extra time buys, according to Troedsson, are vital: incorporating feedback from the community to add "some new feature ideas direct from the community that will evolve the cops and criminals fantasy into a truly unique Battlefield Multiplayer experience", exploring a deeper story and character-driven "crime revenge" narrative, and making the damn thing work at launch. Troedsson is saying the right things at the right time rather than the classic EA technique of releasing something inadequate and then fixing it (or not) over time. Battlefield 4 is a game that could have definitely used a few more months, but instead EA released it anyway, showing their utter contempt for their most loyal fanbase.

That's not really an option after the farce that was the Hardline beta.

So it certainly seems to be a good thing that Hardline is facing a delay. Instead of dropping an unfinished project and then waiting half a year to issue a dreadful apology, it seems as though EA are taking some responsibility. The quality of the finished product, of course, remains to be seen, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. EA have wanted to annualise Battlefield for a long time. Sabotaging that for the sak of a better game is exactly what we've been demanding of them. So for now, hats off EA. But the job's not done yet.

Add a comment7 comments
Late  Jul. 23, 2014 at 14:46

I have no problem with them moving it out of the September-November period. Suits me to the ground.

Definitely want:
Destiny (September)
Far Cry 4 (November)
Halo MC Collection (November)

And probably want:
Forza Horizon 2 (Sept)
Sunset Overdrive (Oct)
Evolve (Oct)
Assassin's Creed Unity (Oct)
Alien: Isolation (Oct)
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Nov)

I wasn't likely to buy Battlefield if it came out in early November (which is it's usual time, if memory serves), so I'm happy for them to take their time, get the game right, and release it at a quieter time of the year.

Last edited by Late, Jul. 23, 2014 at 14:52
OmegaRed  Jul. 23, 2014 at 15:09

EA...EA.. they have been useless for some time I used to play a game called fight night round 1 around 2004 it was just the best ever boxing game when the controls were switched to config 4 and the ring cam was on swing mode.

This was just at the time they were bringing in the analog total punch control system that was to utterly destroy the fun in the game for ever. All fight night games since have been utter rubbish focusing on their crappy control systems and instead polishing the game up with more real life stylising like working on you cuts between rounds with a sponge or whatever BORING!!!

AS to Battlefield it has to be said after enjoying two and being not enthralled by three, Battlefield 4 was totally refreshing probably the best game I have ever played. When I played Hardline Beta I enjoyed it for a round or two and then really regretted the time I spent downloading it. Even more annoying is the fact that it was not going to be an DLC and a full game I could barely see the point an obvious failure in wait.

Cant really blame them for Fifa people and their autobuy systems have crippled the transfer market ruined the app and on top of that diverted EA's attention away from the fact that the FUT online matches really suffer from lag and are extremely frustrating when it disconnects you takes away money multipliers and only to be told by EA that it's probably your fault. Though world cup mode that plonked itself on my menu's one day is awesome so that go some way to repairing the damage from another poorly functioning game.

What it seems to me is they are capable of top quality games but they really need to work on gameplay it's just not acceptable for half made games to come out and not acceptable for a poor online experience in this day and age. I have friends that refuse to buy EA games on their past record even though they are massive football and FPS fans and are really missing out on the peak experiences in these categories.

The pure frustration caused to so many by mainly Fifa but also Battlefield 4 more so in its initial release time period will cause more people to boycott EA games as it's just not worth the heartache when they ruin your favorite game or make a great game and the online function is so poor it pointless.

Re evaluate EA put the gamer first and you can undoubtedly be the top dogs in gaming.

Being that they already monopolise sport and my reckoning online FPS's in the near future as COD games are really falling behind 64 player mega maps standard being set, domination of the market will come from quality and not speed of releases just to stifle a few competitors sale figures. The public opinion is key various people want various little changes to suit them but collecting and correlating the views of many will be just as important as listening to their designers who will I would imagine always defend their own creations and directions on which to proceed.

So go on EA or hurry up and crumble.

Breadster  Jul. 23, 2014 at 18:45

EA...EA.. they have been useless for some time I used to play a game called fight night round 1 around 2004 it was just the best ever boxing game when the controls were switched to config 4 and the ring cam was on swing mode.

This was just at the time they were bringing in the analog total punch control system that was to utterly destroy the fun in the game for ever. All fight night games since have been utter rubbish focusing on their crappy control systems and instead polishing the game up with more real life stylising like working on you cuts between rounds with a sponge or whatever BORING!!!


You know you could still use the buttons to punch right? Did you play Fight Night Champion? It's easily the best one.

MattGardner  Jul. 23, 2014 at 19:19

Loved Fight Night Champion.

Mainly for this.

OmegaRed  Jul. 23, 2014 at 20:15

Yes I did know, I also mention the swing camera angle which may or not be there I cant say, what I do no is when they started using the updated/new engine the game was dead to me, it totally lost it's edge in combat and just became another game churned out for the people who their favorite bit is the intro music or glossy exterior.

I think people love a game with a long lifespan and with a high degree of skill level that can be achieved so that it appeals to a wider age range.

The thing is if they tarted up round one whilst keeping the basics, refocused the controls away for analog punch rubbish added a button maby L2 which you could press for relevant stepping in shots with the punch command pressed you would be calling it one of the best games ever and I would be whooping everyone online.

So thanks for the heads up but I was just braking the surface of my point to show the various triumphs\short-comings of EA, of which I'm still to scratch the surface and very unlikely to other than for money and redevelopment of the game.

Last edited by OmegaRed, Jul. 23, 2014 at 20:29
Breadster  Jul. 26, 2014 at 14:39

Yeah I realise it was just a small part of your post, I agree with the rest of it for the most part. I was just surprised to see you didn't like the later fight night games. I suppose round 3 and 4 felt a little "by the numbers" but champion was great imo.

Then again I can barely remember the first game even though I played it quite a bit back in the day, so I guess I can't make a fair comparison.

OmegaRed  Jul. 26, 2014 at 17:11

Cool, I will put aside my reservations and give it a shot.

Glad to know you agree with me for the most part, thank you.

Last edited by OmegaRed, Jul. 26, 2014 at 17:38

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