[Review] Battlefield Hardline is no Cop Out

Reader Rating1 Votes
The Hits
Interesting story
Smooth gameplay
Strong multi-player experience
The Misses
Character models lack variety and depth

Crooked cops, hurricanes, alligator infested swamps and revenge – Battlefield Hardline has it all and more as you step into the shoes of Miami PD’s newest Detective, Nick Medoza.

I’ve always felt that while the Battlefield franchise did pretty well on the multi-player side of things, it never quite delivered on solo-play experience. Multi-player has seen some tweaks to make the game feel smoother than Battlefield 4… but that wasn’t the reason why I spent hours on the PS4 late into the night.

Unlike the previous Battlefields, Hardline delivers a very solid single player mode that’s gripping in the pace the story unfolds and the variation in the gameplay as well. In a way, it’s a totally different Battlefield experience… and I like it.

When I met Travis Hoffstetter (Senior Designer) and Forrest Tarleton (QA Analyst) from Visceral, the guys behind the acclaimed Dead Space, they said that “It’s made to feel like a TV show” not a cop simulator – it’s a crime and revenge story.

The first player mode is separated into episodes – each built to feel as if you’re watching a TV show. And since you’re a cop, it’s not about taking out the enemy as much as it’s about taking them “down”. At the beginning of each episode, you’re told how many “wanted criminals” that are in the episode. You’re able to tag, detect and identify these special mobs through the use of your scanner. The scanner also allows you to look for further evidence that fleshes out the tale and unlocks new weapons and mods.

Really quickly you’ll realize you get more points to level up by arresting the bad guys than killing them outright (because you’re not exactly Judge Dredd here). It wasn’t long before I was replaying episodes and missions sneaking about and doing my best to arrest the bad guys by sneaking up on them, flashing my badge to coerce them into dropping their weapons and then placing them under arrest with a takedown. Take them down in the wrong place though and you’ll soon find yourself filled with lead… and that’s never been good for anyone’s health.

While gameplay is very smooth and enjoyable, I do have one gripe though… the graphics and character models. The lack of variation between the characters make it seem that I’ve taken and arrested the same guy waaay too many times… kinda feels like i’m in the middle of a clone war. For a next-gen console I felt the textures could have been much better – especially during the cut-scenes – Khai Dao played by Kelly Hu was the biggest victim. The character models seem to lack well… character.

Kelly Hu as Khai Dao

Battlefield Hardline isn’t your typical Battlefield game, but it IS a very enjoyable game that’s managed to add a stronger solo-experience to a strong multiplayer platform.

Battlefield Hardline is available for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, Playstation 3 and PC.