Battlefield Hardline is a continuation, much like the Call of Duty and the Assassins Creed games in that we are starting to see slightly more regular releases to the Battlefield series. Also much like Call of Duty, there are now a few different teams doing the games alternating each year so it works out at around a 2-year development cycle per developer.
This year’s Battlefield Hardline brings in developer Visceral Games (formerly, EA Redwood Shores), better known for third-person action games such as the excellent Dead Space series, The Simpsons Game, 007 From Russia With Love, Dante’s Inferno and a good few others since 2001.
Battlefield Hardline did originally look like a Christmas 2014 release, but after running the multiplayer BETA and listening to fan feedback, the game was put back to a spring 2015 release to tweak and get things right after the issues with Battlefield 4*.
Instead of the more common military theme, have Visceral have changed things up a bit for the Battlefield series by doing a ‘Police against criminals’ scenario, and have also put in a lot of work with regards to the single player campaign, plus new game modes for the multiplayer.
(*DVDfever Ed: And Assassin’s Creed Unity shows what a bad idea it is to rush out a release!)
Battlefield Hardline Walkthrough Gameplay Part 1 – Prologue – Campaign Mission 1 (PS4) – theRadBrad
The story/campaign to Battlefield Hardline puts you in the shoes of Detective Nick Mendoza. It starts out as a normal routine day squeezing a small time criminal to get to the drug dealers. Set ups are created, dirty cops are revealed and you are taken on a Hollywood style rollercoaster. Things do start to go really awry though, roughly halfway through the campaign; you end up operating outside the law to bring down those who betrayed you. It isn’t exactly CSI Miami, Criminal Minds or even Breaking Bad, this is more in tune with Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys – huge explosions, tanks Vs helicopters and all sorts of daft stuff you would see at the cinema, so grab your popcorn for a wild ride!!
As with the previous Battlefield games, the campaign does act as a tutorial as such. For the first few missions, you get introduced to new mechanics like stealth, and items like a grapple gun and zip line, all of which have little-to-no use in multiplayer. During the campaign you will also unlock extra weapons, camo for weapons, patches and extra slots etc.
The campaign also gives you scope for various tactics and multiple ways to tackle the assignment at hand. You can, if you so wish, just go in all guns blazing, or methodically watch and stalk the enemies slowly taking them out making arrests until an area is clear. Mind you, one wrong move and alarms go off and you will find yourself in the middle of a firefight!
You will unlock extras as your expert level increases. Do this by collecting the evidence scattered around the level which also ties into side missions and pads out the story. You also will have a few criminals that you can arrest under a warrant so stealth is the way to go to get those guys.
All in all, the campaign is great stuff and well worth investing time in it. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed it start to finish albeit a little frustrating at times if you make a mistake and end up dying while trying to make quiet arrests.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game.
Battlefield Hardline Gameplay (PS3) – GameZine
Multiplayer is the backbone, though, when it comes to the Battlefield experience – this is what a lot of people will be paying for without even looking at the single-player campaign.
Conquest and Team Deathmatch make a return, Conquest being capturing and holding points on the map, while Team Deathmatch is self explanatory. New modes of play include Heist, Blood Money, Hotwire, Crosshair & Rescue:
- Heist (see below) sees you breaking open a vault or overturned armoured car, you then have to take the money to an extraction point or safe depending on your team
- Blood Money is where you have to get the large sum of money from the opposing team
- Hotwire you have to steal allocated cars and literally drive them like you stole them while the opposing team tries to stop you
- Crosshair you have to get a VIP to the extraction point while criminals try to take him out, this mode there are no respawns
- Rescue is a mode where the Police have to rescue hostages from the criminals
So you have plenty game modes to become accustomed to and there is literally something for everyone. Larger maps are used on modes like conquest, while the smaller maps are used for modes like Heist and Rescue. There are a maximum of 24 players on a map at a time limiting teams to 12 or under – ideal for smaller maps but I do feel more would be better on modes like Conquest. I have had no issues connecting to a game; there are plenty people playing this on the PS3 and even with constant deaths at times I received no messages from users hurling abuse etc.
Battlefield Hardline – The Bank Job – Heist Gameplay – jackfrags
Visually, Battlefield Hardline is similar to Battlefield 3 & Battlefield 4, using the latest iteration of the Frostbite Engine (also used for Dragon Age: Inquisition). Environments are varied ranging from smaller confined maps (indoor & outdoor) to larger open spaces like the Miami Everglades (below) and are pretty much destructible within reason – e.g. ducking behind objects for cover like a sofa can see holes opening up in it if you loiter to long.
Performance-wise I have encountered a few stutters while a lot has been going on during single player. As an example, the escape at the end of Episode 9, when it becomes pretty chaotic. Occasionally there have been minor stuttering during cut-scenes but nothing that has taken away from the scene and dialog between the characters. I have encountered a few odd looking shadows at times, mainly on people’s faces; this can best be described as a layered/graded type effect from top to bottom. The only other minor gripe I encountered was once again nearing the end of Episode 9 where the security goes lights out on you. You can see their torch lights through the walls, and at one point an enemy actually missed the door completely and walked through the wall towards me!
Sound (sorry for the cop out – no pun intended) is literally what you would expect from a Battlefield game; any game really, when it comes to first person shooter with a military or Police-type theme. Each weapon has the usual sounds of semi auto/single shot and variations when it comes to using suppressors/silencers. There is full voice acting with cutscenes and objectives; plus short news-style screens that are voiced while a multiplayer match is loading. Voice talent used in general is really good and you get to like some of the characters as you go through the story. There is Brian Bloom (The A Team (2010) & various voice parts), Kelly Hu (Arrow, Warehouse 13), Bryce Johnson (Various TV parts and voice acting), Benito Martinez (The Shield, Outbreak, Supernatural), Nicholas Gonzalez (Various TV parts and voice acting) and Adam Harrington (The Mob Doctor and various TV & voice acting – his ingame character is also a great likeness).
Overall, Battlefield Hardline is a welcome addition and change to the genre that is normally dominated by loud military shooters. I am also really pleased with the work and effort that Visceral have put into the previous generation PS3 version. It is also pleasing seeing so many people playing online on PS3. The new multiplayer modes will keep veterans happy and bring in some new players to the Battlefield series.
I certainly hope that the Hardline theme will continue in future Battlefield games, much like you had in Call Of Duty’s Modern Warfare & Black Ops series.
Thanks to those channels featured for the gaming footage.
Battlefield Hardline – Live Multiplayer Gameplay #1 – IT’S THE EVERGLADES! – OneCheesyMofo
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Players: single player; 24-player multi-player
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!
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