Following on from our time at EGX London, I was able to play both Battlefield: Hardline and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, so this gives me the perfect excuse to do a very early preview of both of the games and see how they stand up side by side.
You could definitely tell that COD had more hype within the venue as the lines reflected peoples’ anticipation. On the first day we managed to walk right up to Battlefield and get a game within 20 mins and on the second day, we were able to have another couple of games while waiting for other people. This certainly wasn’t the case with Advanced Warfare. The plan was to rush to the COD line first thing to get to the gaming quickly, but even power walking straight there after the doors opened, the wait was still 90 minutes! Battlefield did have a few more screens than COD but I don’t think that would have made much of a difference in this case. It seemed there was more of a buzz around COD and listening to the conversation in the crowd, there were obviously quite a few hardcore players that wanted to get their hands on the latest version. I even managed to spark up a conversation with two guys from Wales who had driven 6 and a half hours to come down, and COD was the first game they ran to. COD has to get the points for anticipation.
But when you get to the game, it’s not so clear cut. Both games were showing off their multiplayer for the show. Battlefield was showcasing a new mode, Hotwire. The aim of the game is to take and hold certain vehicles to drain the opposition of points until their score reaches 0. This is essentially a game of king of the hill except there are a load of ‘hills’ and they can all move! The vehicles range from a motorbike to a van and even a tanker, so some are easier to make a break with than others. More than one player can get into the car, which adds to the real fun of Battlefield. It was great to be able to get into the back of a van, open the doors and fire upon a chasing police car that was tailing us, huge machine gun in hand. It was equally as fun driving fanatically round the map in a tanker, trying to out manoeuvre everyone else. It’s not a secret that Battlefield is fun with mates and it was true even while having limited time to play at the show. Playing on your own, however, quickly becomes a chore and especially in this game mode. If you’re not in a car then it just becomes a pain to try and chase after the vehicles on foot and unless you are able to communicate with the driver, being a passenger of a car you have no contact with just makes the moves unpredictable and sometimes annoying. Graphically, Battlefield Hardline looks a little prettier than 4, but it’s not massively noticeable. The cops and robbers atheistic is great and it makes a nice change from the war/soldiers scenario that most shooters have been following. Those who were a fan of Battlefield Vietnam, you’re in for a treat, as music is back in the vehicles and it adds so much more emphasis to a chase when pop and rock music is booming from the stereo.
For Advanced Warfare we were treaded to two games of multiplier after that very long wait in the queue. Again, the game mode was not the standard death-match and while I can’t remember the exact name of the mode, it involved grabbing a small ball and getting it to a glowing sphere in the other team’s home base. Advanced Warfare instantly has that Call of Duty feel with smaller maps and much more intense gameplay. The addition of new technology worthy of making it ‘Advanced’ makes these intense games even more so, as you can now double jump to add verticality to your play as well as fire grenades from your wrist, a shotgun that seems to shoot sound and summon what I can only describe a a James Bond, Tomorrow Never Dies Icarus beam down on the map. There was lots of different guns and set ups to choose from and while I didn’t get to try all of them, the weapons felt really great to use and they looked cool as hell. I especially liked duel wielding these two huge machine guns that looked like small mini-guns, they were not very accurate but they looked beastly!
Overall, both games ran very well and were very easy to pick up and play. Unlike some of the games at the show, they seemed to be running without a hitch, which is good news for all of us. If I was being brutally honest, I was going into this favouring Call of Duty but while it had all new weapons, it still felt a lot like standard COD. I somehow thought it would have a whole new feel that kept to the concept but revolutionised the franchise. I am still really looking forward to the single player, but I wasn’t blown away by what I saw. On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting much from Hardline at all, it just seemed like it should have been an add on to 4. But getting to give it a go at the show, I was reminded how fun it is to play with a group of mates and adding in vehicles to drive around only helps that. From what I played, I would have to give this early victory to Battlefield Hardline for giving me fonder memories during my time playing, the music in the cars and the cops and robbers feel produced some standout moments that COD didn’t really have. That said, I am massively hyped for Advanced Warfare’s single player, and wish that I could have seen some of that.
Have you had a chance to play either or both? Let us know what you think!