In an environment where games are being released in terrible, broken forms, I cannot thank the teams behind Battlefield Hardline enough for delaying and using that time to create a smooth, fun experience that works. (Don’t worry; our review is coming soon!)
Let’s be honest, Halo: The Master Chief Collection didn’t work at launch. Assassin’s Creed: Unity gave us horrific, skinless faces on PC. [Insert other games here that didn’t delay and had terrible results, since there are plenty].
Then, look at games that did delay and still turned out wonky. Driveclub didn’t have the smoothest launch (where’s my PS+ Edition?). This console generation hasn’t been the best as far as functionality in the games are concerned.
Then, there’s Battlefield 4. On my personal blog, I wrote this article about how broken Battlefield 4 was well over a year ago. Essentially, although Battlefield 4 is an amazing, fun game, it was very broken for a long time. I’d like to think that DICE learned their lesson from that horrific experience, and I’d also like to think that Visceral picked up on that when they came in to develop Hardline.
When games release broken, I’d like to think that all developers learn from their mistakes. The difference here is that the guys behind Hardline actually did learn.
Think about it…Hardline was scheduled for a holiday 2014 release, but it was delayed after the first beta showed the game still needed work. The brains behind the scene actually took that criticism and delayed the game as a result. They tweaked, they worked, and they polished. Now, in March of 2015, Battlefield Hardline is out in the wild, and it actually works!
Whereas I never finished the Battlefield 4 campaign because the game bugged and deleted my save file, I finished Hardline‘s episodes with no major issues. Online play is smooth, I’ve noticed no glitches thus far, and it all works. Matches and maps load, textures pop in when they’re supposed to, players don’t glitch around. It’s a miracle.
Looking at the contrast between the Battlefield 4 and Hardline launches, I’m amazed that both games are in the same franchise. True, there are different developers involved…also true is that with Battlefield 4, it was one of the first games on the new generation of consoles; that had to make it tough to do as well.
Nonetheless, let’s not focus on the past. I simply look at the present and see that Battlefield Hardline is a shining example of why games should take delays to work some polish into the schedule. The day one patch was a measly 120 MB, and with that installed, everything runs like a dream.
So thank you, Visceral, EA, and everyone involved, for taking the time to delay Battlefield Hardline. Thank you for taking the time to bring me an experience that is mind blowing, fun, smooth, functional, and delightfully fresh and new all at once. Thank you for renewing my faith in pre-orders, day one purchases, this console generation, and the Battlefield franchise.
Thank you for all your hard work, because when I see the quality that is in the game, it all definitely paid off.