On the 17 of March, 2015, EA Digital Illusions CE in collaboration with Visceral Games released their new spin on the Battlefield franchise called Battlefield Hardline. The game is available on all platforms, including PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. The idea is very simple at its core, being influenced by one of our favorite childhood games named “Cops and Robbers”.
This is a full priced release and it will cost you $59,99 for the PC version, $59,00 for the PS4, $57,22 for the Xbox One, $59,99 for the Xbox One Digital Code, $59,00 for the PS3 and $59,96 for the Xbox 360.
The above prices are for the standard edition. If you are interested in the “Deluxe” version then you will have to play a bit more: $69,06 for the PS4, $69,96 for the Xbox One, $69,99 for the Xbox One Digital Code, $67,01 for the PS3 and $69,96 for the Xbox 360.
If you so desire you can add the premium service (PC download only) for $49,99 that will enable you to play the four additional expansions. All of the prices listed above are taken from Amazon.com.
Minimal System Requirements
- CPU: Athlon II/Phenom II 2.8 GHz or Intel Core i3/i5 2.4GHz
- RAM: 4 GB
- OS: WINDOWS VISTA SP2 64-BIT (with KB971512 Update)
- Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 (1 GB) or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
- HDD Space: 60 GB
- Recommended System Requirements
- CPU: INTEL QUAD-CORE CPU/ AMD SIX-CORE CPU or better
- RAM: 8 GB or more
- OS: WINDOWS 8 64-BIT (with KB971512 Update)
- Video Card: AMD Radeon R9 290/ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or better
- HDD Space: 60 GB
The Single Player Campaign
It features a stealth mechanic, or better said, a wannabe stealth mechanic. I laughed so hard while playing this game and enemies just chose to ignore me. At one point, my hero cop was standing so close behind an enemy robber that he could have pulled his pants down. That would have been an awesome game mechanic. His “pal” was standing right beside him with his head turned, looking right at me, but for some reason I can’t explain, he couldn’t see me.
I’ve decided to go out of stealth and stand in the exact same position. It was only then when the “myopic” enemy spotted me. I guess that the 5.6 feet tall cop crouching besides them was just wearing his standard gear that makes him invisible when he squats. I can only imagine their conversation: ‘Hey Bob, maybe we should turn around and check if there are any cops behind us’; ‘Relax Jim, I’ve got things covered, the only way they are sneaking besides us is if they crouch, but cops are too stupid to do something like that'”.
Seeing me did not do them any good either, for as soon as I stood up, I pointed my gun and badge at them and they immediately surrendered without any fight at all. The second robber even stood quietly, with his hands raised up while I slowly cuffed his buddy. He could have shouted or screamed in order to alert his partners in crime but instead he silently accepted what was coming to him, probably thinking “game over man, game over” If you cannot get over this kind of stuff then the single player campaign will drive you insane.
I will not go into detail about the story for it is actually pretty good and I don’t want to spoil it for you. It is heavily influenced by cop action movies such as Lethal Weapon or Bad boys. You might think that the script was written by Michal Bay himself because of the abundance of explosions but that is not the case.
The game fallows the story of a young and honest officer as he battles to take down a drug cartel, while confronting with the corruption within the police force. I know what you are thinking, “not this plot again”, I know I did, but don’t be too hasty to judge for it does a rather decent job.
Although it is the same cop movie cliché that we’ve seen a million times before, the game will win you over with its well developed characters, very good dialogue and astonishing action scenes.
It is remarkably similar to the other Battlefield games, with the same mechanics and linear style, where you run around from one objective to the next. If you were expecting an open world, sandbox cop experience like L.A. Noire did, then this is not the game for you. It is basically a FPS (First Person Shooter) where you shoot a few bad guys, or complete an objective and then you go over to the next area.
There isn’t any kind of decision making involved. Surprisingly, it is not as restrictive or heavily scripted as you might think but at the same time, you will come across plenty of classic “follow this person and obey them” stuff. There are some instances where you are simply given an objective and the game lets you decide which way you want to go about that. The inclusion of new gadgets, such as the zip line and the grappling gun will open up new ways in which to complete your given goal.
It is refreshing to see a modern FPS that trusts the player to have a brain and the capability to make his own decisions. During a specific chapter, Battlefield Hardline will feel more like Far Cry 4 than a classic “Call of Duty” style of game.
The previous Battlefield destructible terrain makes a comeback and it is better than ever. I must confess that it’s incredibly satisfying to shoot a concrete wall with your shotgun and see chunks of it flying all over the place. At the same time, a rusty trailer or a police car will offer almost no protection when you are under fire from a heavy machine gun mounted on top of a buggie.
In Hardline the focus is more on infiltration and stealth than on all-out war. Non-lethal takedowns , arrests and headshots are all this game is about and at the end of the day arresting a suspect will count more than taking him in a body bag.
If you decide to play the game on the “veteran” difficulty then you will see for yourselves that the run-and-gun style has its limitations, to say the least. You will die so fast you won’t even know what hit you. Instead, taking a more subtle route, where you take cover and shoot a few peps or arrest some, with the usage of your gun and badge, will be more rewarding.
This way you will level up a lot faster and gain access to a wider variety of guns, customizations and gadgets, as well as different perks. It is also a good idea to use your personal scanner in order to find crucial bits of evidence. In some areas the stealthy approach will not be possible and you will be forced to fight trough endless waves of attackers in the more traditional way we’ve come to expect from Battlefield. However, these situations do not occur very often and are usually followed by a climatic event and even here you will be rewarded for smart playing.
What I found to be very entertaining is the way they mess around with the formula by mixing in car chases, narrow escapes trough a small town or going down a mountain and incredible helicopter vs tanks scenes that take place in the desert. You will also have to hide from patrols and searchlights.
The game will keep you most of the time on the edge of your seat, wondering what crazy event will come up next. As far as action packed games go, I can safely say that I did not had this much fun in a long time without pushing the body count to ridiculous levels. I must admit that the stealth mechanics are not very good, but who cares when the game is so entertaining.
The NPCs (Non-Player Characters) that you are forced to play with will, more often than not, get in the way than help you. Their accuracy is not very good and neither is their decision making but that is more of an inconvenience than a problem.
The fact that the main hero seems so vulnerable adds a tension to the game that other FPS games do not have. The fact that you can die so easily will make you think twice about your decisions and more than often, reconsider a route that you were going to take. On top of that, the shattered glass, torn studwork and exploding plaster look particularly cool.
Some of the textures are not as good, looking rather low-resolution but I only found that to be the case in the Multiplayer, on Xbox One and only in some specific areas. Altogether the game looks very good (especially on PC where AA will forever rule them all).
The water, character skins and surfaces look amazing. In my opinion, Battlefield Hardline has some of the best textures I’ve seen in any video game when it comes to leather jackets.
The soundtrack is just as good as the graphics are. Every tack fits in perfectly with the action and the pace of the game, while the weapons sound effects will make your jaw drop.
The physics of the game are also very good. Every gun has its own firing mechanic with weight put in behind each shot. When you see glass and concrete all over the place as well as an abundance of bullet holes on walls, you will actually feel like you have fired that gun for real.
This is by far the best single player campaign in a Battlefield game since the release of Bad Company 2. Great action, great guns and great story that will keep you engaged for hours at a time.
There are six different modes that you can play with your friends online. They are not very innovating but they are all worth a mention or two.
Rescue is essentially the classic Counter Strike mode where you need to rescue some prisoners for the counter terrorists to win. Here, the cops are required to save only one prisoner in order to achieve victory. Not much else to say about it.
Crosshair is your standard mode, where the cops have to escort a person of interest (VIP), or as they call it, a snitch, to the extraction point, while the crooks try to eliminate him. Nothing new here.
Heist is just a capture the flag mode with a few new elements thrown in. This is more of a team objective setting, where the bad guys try to take money from a vault and bring it to the extraction point, while the police is trying to stop them. Each player can carry only up to 10 bags of money at a time and some coordination is needed in order to pull it off.
Blood money is a mode where both teams gather money from a large pile of loot located somewhere on the map and bring it to their respective vaults. While the thieves are stealing the loot for themselves, the cops are merely trying to secure the evidence. By striping it down to its bare minimum, it is nothing more than a couple of teams fighting over an objective; a big pile of money in this case.
Conquest is based upon the idea of holding a base. You can capture it by standing near the flag and it does not matter if you are on foot, in a vehicle or in a aircraft. It is a ticket mode that reminds me of the “Arathi Basin” PvP (player vs player) mode from World of Warcraft. Each team has a given number of tickets and the more bases your team controls the faster the adversary’s tickets will go down. The first team to have 0 tickets loose.
Team Deathmatch is the timeless Half Life mode that every multiplayer shooter has. It is infantry only with the most easy to understand objective possible. Just shoot the enemy team more than they shoot you and you win.
Hotwire is, in my opinion the best mode available. Here, the criminals try to steal a bunch of marked cars while the police tries to stop them. This is where your driving skills as well as your shooting skills come into play.
I’ve played this mode with a friend and we had loads of fun together. I would be the driver while he rode shotgun and used his semi-automatic machinegun to keep those nasty coppers off out tail.
All of these modes are just fine and work really well but we have seen them countless times before. I would have liked to see the Hotwire mechanics incorporated into the Heist mode.
Think about it, how cool it would have been if instead of taking the money to your vault or drop location, the game would present you with a new objective where you actually have to get away with the loot while the cops chase you.
What happens once the robbers take the loot to their vault? Does the police just give up? They know the location of the vault so it makes no sense at all, but maybe I’m just nitpicking.
At times, Hardline fails to take advantage of Battlefield’s strengths. On smaller maps it doesn’t feel very distinctive regardless of the mode you are playing and it can get rather boring. The game truly shines on larger maps where different vehicles are involved.
It is a ridiculous, over the top game, but extremely entertaining. I consider the single player campaign to be a “guilty pleasure” and I got the same feeling as when I was watching old cop movies. The multiplayer does the same old things we’ve seen over and over again, but if you enjoy those modes I see no reason why you can’t enjoy Battlefield Hardline.
They are done very well and when combined with the gun mechanics and just a little bit of coordination, you can have a good time. If you like FPS games and you can look past its slight faults, namely the “stealth” feature, then I regard this game as a definite purchase for you.
- Very good single player campaign
- Better use of destructible terrain
- Well executed multiplayer modes
- Good gun mechanics
- The arrest mechanic and stealth feature is a welcomed addition to the genera
- A lack of multiplayer modes
- The stealth mechanic seems a bit ridiculous