Battlefield Hardline takes a break from the regular war torn narratives to a police procedural. Rookie Detective, Mendoza, and his partner, Khai, are out to uncover a drug trafficking scheme. Things heat up as crooked cops and gangs are out for their blood all-leading up to a predictable mid-game twist. The story is a little uneven, presented as a cop drama. On some level it mirrors it well, albeit a less than stellar take with groan worthy stereotypes. Still, amidst blazing actions scenes, there are genuinely funny moments with characters that don’t get the limelight they deserve. The acting is fine. It’s the direction and writing that needed reworking.
The key thing about these games is the gameplay and its no different here. It controls extremely well and watching the environments split apart in gunfights never get old. Every mission can be approached as a typical Battlefield soldier, or through stealth. Enemies can be stunned into submission and or handcuffed. No matter what, actions are accrued in an experience bar that unlocks new equipment. Said gear can be exchanged throughout the mission in order to offer new tactics in ever changing situations. A new area may require heavy guns, or a grappling hook to access a better route. The open-ended approach feels like Splinter Cell combined with Metal Gear while still feeling like it’s own game.
These games also have a knack for pushing hardware. Sure there are obvious glitches like seeing enemies sticking into walls, or slow loading textures. It runs well and looks gorgeous while doing it, hiccups aside. The most astonishing piece is seeing the actual voice actors in the game. It’s not the first time it’s been done, but it gets better every time it’s tried. The campaign missions can be replayed to raise scores and unlock new equipment. There is multiplayer, but this review is based solely on the single player content. That said a co-op mode would have been fantastic throughout as some situations scream for it.
Battlefield Hardline is a great sidestep for the series. For someone who loves Call of Duty, but never got into any Battlefield, Hardline struck a cord. Sure one can argue that at times it can feel too “video gamey” and unrealistic for a cop drama, but hey, it’s fun and that’s all that matters. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the ride.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on March 24, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.