Review: Battlefield Hardline

After the rough release of Battlefield 4, expectations were relatively high for Visceral Games. The outcome for this game’s release however went quite smoothly. This was the outcome of several lengthy Betas that were offered by the developer. Compared to Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline lacks the game breaking bugs and glitches which is an absolute joy considering I myself am an incredible fan of the franchise. Yet, this game did have some let downs, which I will go into further details regarding its highs and lows.

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Most first person shooters lack a compelling and overall good/great story. This is a side effect of the industry’s market regarding competitive multiplayer gaming. Developers in the gaming industry are spending a larger portion of their time working on balancing their multiplayer game modes, which isn’t a bad thing. It provides gamers with a unique social environment where they can team up with friends and compete in a diverse community. On the other hand this lack of time focused on campaigns or singleplayer story modes often leads to boring and uneventful stories. Battlefield Hardline has one of the best singleplayer experiences that I have played in most recently. It absolutely tops any FPS that has come out in the past two years when it comes to providing the player with a unique story.

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Instead of being a stereotypical gung ho special forces soldier, the protagonist is a detective/agent in a Police Force. It is a nice new theme that already makes the game stand apart from basically EVERY OTHER shooter on the market in the FPS genre. Without going into spoilers for the story, the game begins in Miami, but over time it begins to encompass a larger spectrum. Thought the game does of its stereotypical characters such as a witty one, a pretty awful bad guy, etc, the game’s story is memorable. Unlike other games where the protagonist is out to kill every single person between point A and B, Battlefield Hardline’s enemies can be arrested and spared from a typical death via gun. This adds another feature to the game since I personally didn’t want to kill people unless absolutely necessary. Ordering crooks to “Freeze, and hit the ground!” honestly is more enjoyable than senselessly killing them. This is because for once you are a cop, you are a person behind a badge. You aren’t out to kill, you are merely attempting to fulfill your duty of protecting and serving the populace. The episodic nature of the campaign also makes the overall feel of the game like of an episode of “Cops” or even “Burn Notice” with its action themes. In summary Visceral really outdid themselves when it came to crafting a unique story for a FPS title.

Gameplay in Battlefield Hardline is nothing too difficult to comprehend if you have played previous games in the series. There are some new aspects such as ziplines, tasers, and basically everything else at a police force’s disposal. This has advantages and disadvantages when compared to other Battlefield games when you have access to the hardest hitting weapons in existence. It forces players to be more like tacticians and it requires a lot more planning on higher difficulties because unlike the military, Cops don’t have access to LAW rocket launchers and tanks. I personally felt as if the combat in Hardline was far more precise and at times harder than previous games in the franchise. For example there may be a dozen enemies in the next room. In Battlefield 4 one could simply fire a rocket into the room or throw a pack of C4; Hardline on the other hand forces the player to utilize tactical grenades such as flash bangs and FMJ rounds to take down enemies of the state. But the ability to destroy one’s environment isn’t absent; it just isn’t always the best option (at least in singleplayer. The same can’t be said for multiplayer).

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Unlike previous games, Hardline utilizes a currency system to acquire new weapons and gear in multiplayer. This however doesn’t exempt players from actually unlocking the gear; it has to be first unlocked then purchased. “Cash to Spend” is acquired by killing enemies, completing challenges and following objectives while in game. Though the prices in the image above do not reflect the same ones in game (This is from an Alpha photograph by EA), the overall idea is present. Some guns are more expensive than others and they obviously perform differently. For example, SMGS have little to no range while Assault Rifles can hit targets from farther away if the right attachments are equipped. The same currency model is applied to the previously mentioned attachments as well. Everything from grips to sights are all acquired by spending some cash.

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Multiplayer in Hardline is one word: Chaotic. It plays like a hybrid of Battlefield & Call of Duty. It has the awesome graphics and tactical feel from Battlefield and the unskilled chaos like fast paced action of Call of Duty. Though I don’t care for the latter’s aspects of the game, Hardline still feels like a Battlefield game—Just a more fast paced one, which it seems at times is easier for new players to venture into. The absolute chaos that is an outcome of the addition of fast cars and trucks, and the ability to lean through the window sills of the fast cars adds an adrenaline filled experience. Vehicles such as choppers also provide a feel of tension since they can come out of nowhere when fighting in a crowded city. The scout chopper can absolutely devastate a pack of crooks on the ground and the lack of equip-able heavy launchers can prove to make engagements with them extremely difficult. But if you shoot it enough it will eventually drop out of the sky. Finally, the addition of new game modes adds a breath of new life into the franchise which all FPS’s constantly require.

Overall Battlefield Hardline is everything one can expect from an FPS game, especially a Battlefield one. It however in my opinion is far more enjoyable than Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare since no matter if you are losing or winning it is still INCREDIBLY EASY to have fun.The multiplayer has a variety of aspects open to all skill levels of players and it requieres actual patience and skill to a degree when compared to Call of Duty. I was honestly surprised by this game’s performance and look forward to continue playing it on my PC.

Verdict: 8.3 Battlefield Hardline is proof that the generic military shooter isn’t the only genre that can fit the FPS genre. It has everything a Battlefield game has and more. Yet, it still feels very much like Battlefield 4. I still suggest this game if you are fan of FPSs since no other FPSs come out until this Fall.

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