Battlefield Hardline players can choose to purchase the $50 Premium membership to "expand the Battlefield experience." They really shouldn't, though.
The main reason to get Hardline Premium is that it includes all four DLC packs as well as two weeks of early access to each. However, the first of these expansions, "Criminal Activity," won't be out until the summer according to Visceral Games. The fourth and final add-on isn't expected until "early 2016." In other words, most of your money is going toward content you won't receive for several months. It's also content we know almost nothing about at the moment.
Many promised features for Premium haven't been delivered yet, either. New player masks "with unique gameplay benefits" aren't available yet. The Gun Bench to let players customize the look of their weapons is similarly AWOL.
Each Premium member is entitled to twelve Gold Battlepacks, bundles of random items like XP boosts and weapon camos. These will be delivered to Premium members monthly. However, EA neglected to mention that the first won't be released until April.
Premium members are supposed to get access to exclusive events, as well. These events include double XP periods, special missions, and competitions. The in-game calendar suggested there would be an (unspecified) happening on Tuesday for Premium members but it never materialized.
"The people responsible for the Premium event are working on it," said multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser on the game's forums. "They will tell you more soon."
Sasser pointed out that Premium content is generally rolled out over the course of the year. Fair enough, but players are being charged $50 right now for this membership and they're getting next-to-nothing in return. Furthermore, when EA announced Hardline's Premium details at the beginning of the month, they made no mention of the fact that the Premium masks or Gun Bench wouldn't be available at launch. If you're going to ask consumers to buy a Premium membership that's nearly the price of the game itself, you ought to tell them what they're actually going to be getting upon purchase.
The only perks available to Premium members at the moment are a couple Battlepacks and server queue priority. The Battlepacks give you extra loadout slots and patches for your character, none of which you really need. Queue priority is somewhat handy when you're playing Hardline at peak hours but it's not $50 handy. Odds are, if you're playing at a peak time, there are plenty of other servers to choose from anyway.
On top of everything else, Battlefield Hardline's launch bugs are still being ironed out. Sasser said elsewhere on the game's forum that they're hoping to fix Team Deathmatch spawns, tickets for Conquest, and RPG spam in Hotwire. A "slew" of other issues will be addressed soon, too. Why throw an extra $50 to EA when the base game's not quite what you're looking for yet?
It's entirely possible that Battlefield Hardline Premium will be worth the money someday. For now, though, you're spending $50 on nothing but promises from EA. If you're not happy with what they ultimately deliver, you can't get your money back either. PSN and Xbox Live don't offer refunds on DLC, and Origin's "Great Game Guarantee" policy doesn't apply to DLC.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.
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