Just when the usual FPS titles with the same military background were beginning to look dull, EA DICE and Visceral Games decided to spice up things to present a more relatable scenario for most of us outlaws out there – a game of cat and mouse involving cops and robbers – and hence Battlefield Hardline.
Of late, the game, for some reason or the other, has been quite a ordeal to get. However, going by the kind of market value each of the Battlefield games have had before this, it's only natural that you would get to the next biggest Battlefield in the series – albeit after burning a few bridges.
As mentioned earlier, the base of this new Battlefield is a police story. But why suddenly take interest in the life of the fuzz when the military shooter genre is doing just fine? Well, first of all it's something refreshingly out of the ordinary. And secondly, who doesn't love a slimy yet gripping crime story involving brave cops and immoral officials?
To chart out a review for the game seems like the most intriguing option at hand. However, we have decided to cut to the chase and only present you with details that you will require whilst in the game. Hence, here are five of the most interesting things we have seen from Battlefield Hardline while reviewing it.
Cop Badges are Respected (Unlike Real Life)
It's almost senile to compare a videogame with real life, but the developers have tried to fit in as many "real life" elements as possible in the new Battlefield Hardline. For instance, we were completely taken aback by how well the cop badge feature actually works out in the game. Unlike other games, even real life, these enemies show a lot of respect for a police officer's badge. This is not only useful, but also gives you options while heading into a group of three or more baddies, all armed and dangerous, whom you can order to freeze, flashing the badge. From there, you can choose to make an arrest or enter into a gunfight with them. However, if you are somewhat a master in stealth and prefer operating in the shadows, do remember that cuffing the bad guys is as good an option as any since it also helps you earn more points, which you could later use to unlock weapons and gadgets.
Episodic Content in the Mould of Network TV
Battlefield Hardline, it's safe to say, is less of a game and more a sort of Network TV cop drama such as CSI or Hawaii Five-O. The single player version of the game offer "episodes," the game has been charted out in a way you would easily mistake it for a TV show. The episodic elements in the game have been well worked upon and can easily be understood from the opening credits sequence that offers a cop drama feel, and especially the entire wide-angle transitional sequences things that's going on all the time. There are even the "next time" and "previously on" TV show-like elements every time you quit out of or load into an episode, aside an intermission screen appearing to show the stats. The game's story (seven-hour campaign) has been dished out over the course of the first five episodes where you are gradually introduced to former Miami cop Nick Mendoza with the actual story jumping back to three years from the day. The game, personally, reminds me of True Detective with its scenic settings of the city and the sea shot in wide angles.
Game Unlock System is Somewhat Messed
There's a reason why some of the players we know are already waiting for the next big update that will rectify few of the nibbling wrongs in the game. And most of them talk about how a change is needed in the game's unlock system. Indeed, the unlock system does feel a bit weird since it somehow misses out on awarding you with the right set of unlocks, depending on the style of play you have adopted (stealth or all guns blazing). For example, if you adopt a stealthier approach, the unlocks that will be offered to you will mostly consist of more and more noisy guns that are best if you like to blow things up. On the other hand, if you are already bent upon shooting down one and all, the unlock system won't readily get you guns. Moreover, there are only a few stealth unlocks that are actually worth the adoption in style. Nonetheless, we feel the move is a calculated one by the developers who want you to try out both the ways in approaching the game.
Interesting Main Villain.. And Others
For a videogame to succeed, it's almost imperative that it offers you characters that you can relate to. While a good protagonist comes around almost all the time, it's not always that you come across main villains that carry some venom enough to turn you head over heels. The one in Battlefield Hardline has been beautifully scripted, and shows off a character that's both shrewd and somewhat Machiavellian. Sure, he isn't on the same page as Vaas (Far Cry 3), Pagan Min (Far Cry 4) or Ganondorf (Legend of Zelda), but still has enough going for him for you to love and loathe him at the same time. Other than him, all the characters are almost quite relatable. The coke-addicted criminals, the amoral investigators and quite the judgmental boss are all results of some good writing, supported well by animations and graphics. All of them show traits of humour, depression, sympathy and other human feeling that you can fit into this corner.
Gameplay That Compliments the Campaign (60 FPS)
Single player campaigns are slowly dying out, thanks to all the importance dished out to the multiplayer aspects. That being said, the developers have done a good job in presenting a story that, as mentioned earlier, spans about seven hours and is equally fun whether you are handcuffing criminals or directly shooting them to the kingdom. However, irrespective of the route you eventually decide to walk on, it's best to judge your conditions beforehand to help you prepare well against all the bad guys. For instance, you can scan an area and tag enemies, explosives, and even alarm systems so they appear on your radar. This way, you stay out of sight and don't get humbled. Plus, all that is well complemented by the fact that Hardline looks and sounds fantastic, alongside the well-supported smooth 60 frames per second outlay.
The multiplayer review for Battlefield Hardline is in the pipeline currently and will be posted soon.
Stay tuned for more updates!