Battlefield: Hardline was originally meant to be released in 2014, however EA and Visceral decided to delay this new entry to the Battlefield series in order to properly playtest and further polish it. GreenManGaming has provided us with a review code for it, so it’s time now to see how this title performs on the PC platform.
As always, we used an Intel i7 4930K (turbo boosted at 4.2Ghz) with 8GB RAM, NVIDIA’s GTX690, Windows 8.1 64-bit and the latest WHQL version of the GeForce drivers. NVIDIA has already included an official SLI profile for this title in the latest WHQL drivers; a profile that offers exceptional SLI scaling. Thus, you won’t have to mess with third party tools (like the NVIDIA Inspector Tool).
Battlefield: Hardline is powered by the latest iteration of the Frostbite 3 engine. Frostbite 3 is an engine that scaled amazingly well on multiple CPU cores in Battlefield 4, therefore we kind of knew what to expect – more or less – from Battlefield: Hardline.
In order to test Battlefield: Hardline, we simulated a dual-core and a quad-core system. Battlefield: Hardline impressed us with its performance, even on our simulated dual-core system. On both SP and MP, our simulated dual-core system was able to maintain 60fps. Yes, even on 64-player matches, our simulated dual-core system was able to provide an amazing experience (there were some minor drops to 50s in some Conquest maps).
Battlefield: Hardline is also one of the few games that sees tremendous increases with Hyper Threading enabled. The game was running with only 7-9fps on our simulated dual-core with HT disabled. As soon as we enabled HT, however, we witnessed an incredible jump at 77fps (with our GPU being utilized to its fullest). This right here shows how multi-threaded Frostbite 3 actually is, so kudos to DICE for developing such a spectacular engine.
Regarding its GPU requirements, a GTX690 is more than enough for a constant 60fps experience with all of the game’s bells and whistles enabled. Moreover, and contrary to most other triple-A titles, Battlefield: Hardline does not require ridiculous amounts of VRAM. The game never exceeded 2GB of VRAM usage, even though it is actually packed with high-quality textures.
Battlefield: Hardline is undoubtedly a great looking game. While its Multiplayer is not as visually impressive as its Single Player mode, it’s still a looker. Visceral has used most modern-day tricks (like anamorphic lens flares, subsurface scattering, motion blur, dirty lens flares, ambient occlusion, etc). Animations are quite smooth and most of the in-game characters are among the most detailed we’ve seen (though not as impressive as those of Assassin’s Creed: Unity).
What also impressed us with Battlefield: Hardline was its well programmed dynamic LOD. On its highest quality, we barely noticed any pop-in of objects (in the Single Player campaign). Yes, there were minor pop-ins for some plants but they were nowhere as awful or as noticeable as those witnessed in pretty much all other triple-A titles (even during the racing sequences).
Similarly to Battlefield 4, Battlefield: Hardline offers a respectable number of graphics options to tweak. Those with weaker cards can disable Anti-Aliasing, and lower the quality of Ambient Occlusion, Terrain Decoration and Terrain Quality in order to get better framerates without ‘butchering’ the visuals (though as you can see in our Low vs Ultra article, the game still looks good even on Low settings).
All in all, Battlefield: Hardline is one of the most polished PC games of 2015. Thanks to the Frostbite 3 engine, the game scales incredibly well on multiple CPU and GPU cores. Not only that, but the game is completely playable even on – modern-day – dual-core systems. Battlefield: Hardline is also a great looking game with a great destruction system. Furthermore, there is an option for colorblind people, and a slider to adjust FOV for Multiplayer. Also, we did not experience any issues with its netcode, though we have to admit that we are not fans of Battlelog (let’s be honest, this browser version of Battlelog simply gets in your way. An in-game “Battlelog” service with a proper in-game server list would have been better in our opinion).
Stay tuned for Matt’s Review. Until then, those interested can purchase the game from the “Button” icon below this paragraph. Moreover, you can use this Voucher code for an additional 20% discount (20DARK-SIDEOF-GAMING). Notes regarding our Voucher code: voucher valid until May 29th 00:00 UTC, single-use only on selected PC download titles.
Enjoy! BF4 uses Denuvo and the lock mechanism we’ve mentioned is due to Origin