Mix a TV crime drama with a FPS and you get the gist of what Battlefield Hardline is all about. EA calls it a playable cop show, and that’s pretty much what Hardline feels like. So far, the reviews have been a mixed bag, but there’s plenty to love about Hardline. How does the latest addition to the Battlefield franchise stack up to its predecessors? Let’s find out.
What is Battlefield Hardline?
Hardline follows detective Nick Mendoza in an episodic TV crime-drama style campaign. While the storyline is single-player, there are multiplayer modes that are action-packed and so much fun to play. The episodic nature of the game isn’t too surprising, especially since EA sells the game as a playable TV Crime drama. The storyline is broken down into chapters, and each one features recaps and coming-soon clips just as any other TV show would.
Nick Mendoza is your typical “good cop”. He’s straight and narrow; completely incorruptible. Suffice to say, he’s not the most interesting character in the cast, but his role is still an important one. He’s been framed for a crime he didn’t commit and is now hot-on-the-heels of a Miami drug dealer.
Hardline’s single-player mode is nothing like Battlefield 3 and 4. The world is far more complex and complicated. You’ll have to maneuver your way past guards with stealth-like precision. Yet at the same time, enemies have laughable reactive abilities. Run up to a criminal and yell “Freeze,” and he’ll quickly surrender without putting up a fight. Unrealistic as it may be, there is an advantage to using your badge: arrests award you the most points. Pulling off an arrest is almost as complicated as a shootout, but if you can manage to arrest two out of every three suspects, you’ll reach the max level cap of 15 before you even reach the final chapter.
While the single-player campaign is impressive, it’s the multiplayer modes that really shine. And there are seven to choose from. You’ll get the chance to play both sides (criminal or cop) in most modes, and two are competitive. Here’s a rundown of the action-packed, high-speed modes in Battlefield Hardline.
Hotwire: In this mode, the criminals are trying to seal marked cars. Meanwhile, the cops are trying to repossess them. You’ll need to rely on your driving skills to catch up with the enemy and win this one.
Heist: As you may have guessed, this mode is all about pulling off (or preventing) that big job or score. You have the option of playing either the criminals or the cops. The criminals are trying to break into a cash-filled vault, and it’s up to the cops to stop them. Once they infiltrate the vault, they’ll have to make it out with two bags at two base points before they run out of lives.
Blood Money: A huge stash of cash has been intercepted in transit. The criminals want to steal it, but the cops want to secure it as evidence. The goal for each team is to secure the cash in their vault. But the task won’t be easy as each team can raid the other team’s vault and make off with the cash.
Conquest: Battlefield fans will feel comfortable in this mode. Conquest is all about controlling a base. Stand near a flag in a vehicle, on foot or up in the sky. The team who owns the most flags will drain the enemy team’s tickets. Run out of tickets and you lose the match.
Team Deathmatch: Ready for all-out mayhem? Team Deathmatch is all about shooting your enemies more than they shoot you.
Crosshair: One of two competitive modes where a former criminal turns into a state witness. He’s on the run from his ex-crew. The cops are trying to get him out to safety, while the criminals just want to take him out. You get just one shot with this match. One death and you’re out for good.
Rescue: The second competitive mode. Rescue is similar to Crosshair, but in this case, you’ll be in charge of locating hostages and getting them out alive. Again, you get no second chances with this mode, so your team will have to make smart, decisive moves to win.
And of course, 64-player action returns in Hardline where criminals and cops face off.
One thing that Hardline does do to level the playing field is what they call Levolution. In other words, you can use the environment around you to gain an edge over your enemy. EA gives a good example of how you can do this: setting a weed grow house on fire to give enemies a contact high. There are many creative – and fun – ways to use your surroundings to your advantage. And you’ll have 28 different gadgets at your disposal to come up with even more clever strategies.
[list_item]Multiplayer modes are action packed and a ton of fun.[/list_item]
[list_item]Four unique classes to choose from when playing multiplayer: Enforcer, mechanic, professional and operator.[/list_item]
[list_item]9 maps to choose from.[/list_item]
[list_item]Competitive modes require precision and will test your risk-assessment skills.[/list_item]
[list_item]Use your surroundings in new and creative ways to take out your enemy or gain an advantage.[/list_item][/list]
[list_item]Enemies submit too easily. Whip out your badge, yell “Freeze,” and watch as your enemies comically submit to arrest.[/list_item]
[list_item]Single-player mode leaves much to be desired. The storyline is a bit lackluster and the stealth play never truly evolves.[/list_item]
[list_item]Points are too easy to earn. As I mentioned before, you can earn enough points to reach the max level cap of 15 before you reach the final chapter by arresting two out of three suspects.[/list_item][/list]
The Final Verdict
Multiplayer combat is still the heart and soul of Battlefield Hardline. With 7 different modes to choose from, 4 classes and rewards for meaningful actions, fans of the Battlefield series will love Hardline’s multiplayer modes. Although the single-player campaign isn’t as exciting as I’d hoped for, it’s still worth playing and offers quite a few memorable gameplay moments.