thu 30/05/2024

Battlefield: Hardline | reviews, news & interviews

Battlefield: Hardline

Battlefield: Hardline

Cops 'n' robbers should be a perfect setting for this frantic first-person shooter

'Battlefield: Hardline': cops n robbers without the heat…

The Battlefield series is probably the key rival to Call Of Duty for first-person shooters. Whereas the various Call Of Duty strands tend toward epic, over-the-top Hollywood single-player action and frantic multi-player, Battlefield was born of large-scale multi-player arenas, with player-controllable vehicles on ground and in the air, and increasingly, the ability to blow chunks out of buildings and the environment.

This latest game features all of the above, but switches out military action for cops 'n' robbers.

The single-player campaign sees you play one of a pair of drugs agents taking on a gang war in Miami. The aim is clearly to craft a TV-series-style narrative with missions replacing episodes, and to finally find a way of avoiding taking on Call Of Duty directly on its Hollywood bombast by looking to grittier, smaller, slower action.

Battlefield Hardline - Heist and Michael Mann's Heat meets Call of DutySadly, the stealth controls you use to sneak past gangbangers, flash your badge at small groups of them and take them down for arrest are awkward. And while your partner may have some half-decent dialogue and attitude, her tendency to be, on one hand, bizarrely invisible to enemies and, on the other, to shove you out of the way while you crouch behind cover at inopportune moments, is less endearing.

The result is a fairly unsuccessful attempt to graft stealthy, slower action into a first-person shooter clearly designed for online, multi-player mayhem. So, what about the multi-player element?

In switching high-end military hardware such as tanks, bazookas and helicopters with anti-tank missiles for shotguns, assault rifles and leaning out of car doors, Hardline also loses some of the stuff that makes other Battlefield games great. And worse, doesn't replace it with anything worth having.

Battlefield Hardline - Heist and Michael Mann's Heat meets Call of DutyInstead of large-scale warfare – with tanks and infantry and planes even – Hardline multi-player is about criminal heists, protecting VIPs and urban car chases. Except most of these things are being done better elsewhere – in the Payday and Counter Strike series, most notably. The explosive/destructive action seems to have been dialled back, while the new game modes feel a bit sketchy – not fully thought-through or tactical enough.

There's also the usual lack of hand-holding with modern multi-player first-person shooters – you're dumped into modes and expected to know how to play. Which is fine if you're one of the legions of hardcore Call Of Duty or Battlefield fans. If you're not, your first few hours will be rather repetitive in the getting shot in the head stakes. But that's a general gripe valid of all first-person shooters currently. And there are some things to like here.

The visuals are spectacular, the action constantly frenetic in multi-player and the sheer scale of options to create mayhem are, suitably for a Battlefield game, still high. But this is still a step backwards for the series, rather than forwards.

Criminal heists, protecting VIPs and urban car chases


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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