Last year, Battlefield Hardline was announced and promptly fired into beta—then almost as promptly delayed to this year. I had concerns about it: here's a cops and robbers version of Battlefield, but it still felt a bit like soldiers and soldiers and some cars. I'd expected something asymmetrical, something that played up the idea of a limited number of criminals taking on a larger police force. And that's not very Battlefield-ey, so I get why the two sides are symmetrical, but even so it was missing something to make it a crime flick and not a war flick. I don't know how much has been taken back to the drawing board, but we'll have another chance to see if and how Hardline has changed soon.
The upcoming second beta, which doesn't have a date, will include two maps and two modes: Battlefield's old fashioned 64-player Conquest, and Hotwire, which is "focused on combining all-out warfare with all-out speed." We also know that there won't be a level cap, so we can unlock as much as we want.
It sounds like the beta's primary goal is to test stability before launch, which makes sense given Hardline's March 17th release date, though I also imagine balancing tweaks may come of it. Balancing is never really done, is it? Whatever comes of it, I am pleased that it sounds like we'll get to play lots of it.
"To be frank, we want you to play this beta to death," reads the press release. "We need you to. This test is only going to make the game stronger, and help us take a look at ways we can ensure we deliver the most stable launch you deserve."