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Battlefield Hardline (Video Game Review)

Battlefield Hardline is Electronic Art's lucky thirteenth release for the Battlefield franchise. The newest release takes the first-person shooter from massive wars between countries to the battlefields of cops and crooks back home. Battlefield Hardline makes some innovations for the franchise, and many of the new ideas breathe fresh life into a game series that seemed to be heading for a trend of repetition. A fun single player campaign, new multiplayer modes, and quite frankly, online that isn't broken make Battlefield Hardline worth checking out for all fans of the first-person shooter genre.

The new single player campaign included in Battlefield Hardline centers around a group of cops that find themselves involved in a major drug bust. The narrative featured in the game isn't completely original, as most gamers will be able to predict part of the storyline after watching any action cop film from the last two decades, but the campaign features some interesting characters that players will learn to care about over the seven hours it takes to complete the storyline. In this regard, Battlefield Hardline has arguably one of the better storylines seen in the franchise, and it's definitely better than what fans have played through in the most recent years.

Gameplay for the new campaign has changed drastically for the release of Battlefield Hardline. Most missions will still allow players to go in guns a blazin' and mowing down bad guys to complete levels. Often times though, this is not the most efficient way to tackle the level and doing so can make things a lot more difficult than need be. More points are rewarded to players that choose to take a more stealthy approach, disabling alarms, sneaking through shadows and handcuffing enemies without being spotted. Playing in a stealthy fashion without unloading many bullets also felt more rewarding, similar to solving a puzzle in a game that sometimes didn't feel like a Battlefield game at all.

Several new games modes are introduced in Battlefield Hardline including Hotwire, Heist, Rescue, Blood Money and Crosshair. Hotwire has a team of criminals stealing a list of vehicles, while a team of cops must stop them. Heist has criminals attempting to break into a vault or armored truck to steal money and get away clean before the cops can stop them. Rescue tasks cops with rescuing hostages without incurring any unwanted casualties. Blood Money is a neutral objective game of sorts with both sides trying to secure as much money as possible in their own vaults. Crosshair is the final new game mode, and it forces a team of criminals to attempt to kill a witness in police custody. Each mode offers something different from high speed chases across large levels in Hotwire to the chaotic objectives for both sides in Blood Money, and all add lots of replayability to an already packed online multiplayer game.

Old modes return for Battlefield Hardline as well. Players can choose to battle it out with traditional rules in Team Deathmatch or attempt to capture checkpoints in the Battlefield classic Conquest mode. Many of the modes support dozens of players in a single session, and the nine maps included in the game by default will change according to which game mode is currently being played. The evolving maps helps the game feel fresh without the need for a plethora of different stages to choose from before the start of a match.

Battlefield Hardline has four classes to choose from including the medic or Operator, Mechanic, ammo supplier or Enforcer and the sniper, also known as the Professional. Each character class has their own weapons and equipment unique to their class. Additionally, players can choose custom loadouts with new gear for Battlefield Hardline including deployable zip lines for quickly getting around levels or body armor used to absorb more damage from enemies. Battlefield Hardline utilizes a new unlock system that typically has players unlocking new guns for reaching a certain amount of kills while playing as a criminal or earning enough cash as a cop. While the unlock system is certainly unique, it doesn't always seem fair to both sides, and unlocking some items can feel like more trouble than the weapons are actually worth as a result.

Battlefield Hardline is a solid looking game that runs at a locked 720p on Xbox One and 900p on PlayStation 4. Both versions run at 60 frames per second, and it's nice that neither version seems to drop frames whether playing the single player campaign during chaotic missions or enjoying some online gaming with a ton of players in a single match. Battlefield Hardline features typical first-person shooter controls, but it's nice to see all of the new items and vehicles implemented well in the new release so that using each is simple and feels perfectly natural for the franchise. Some great sound design makes its way into the game as well whether it's the exciting themes heard through in-game menus and cutscenes or the nice voice acting featured in the game's main campaign.

Battlefield Hardline is not simply more of the same for the Battlefield franchise. Developer Visceral Games has created a game that feels completely unique for the series while still retaining a lot of what makes the series so popular. Plenty of guns and enough authentic realism to the real life firearms remains in the game, but new game modes and campaign missions based around the struggle between criminals and cops changes the way many players will experience the new title. Battlefield Hardline is well worth picking up for fans of the first-person shooter genre. Battlefield Hardline is out now for most major platforms.

Battlefield Hardline is now available from most major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Battlefield Hardline is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language & Use of Drugs. For more information on the game, check out the official Battlefield Hardline website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer
  • Cops vs. Criminal Gameplay
  • DLC Support
  • Online Leaderboards
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: EA
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One (reviewed), Xbox 360 & PC
Release Date: March 17, 2015

Score: 8 out of 10
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