Game: Battlefield Hardline
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3
Developer: Visceral Games
Release: March 17, 2015
Battlefield Hardline is EA’s first attempt at annualizing the Battlefield series. In this installment, Visceral changes the usual theme of the Battlefield franchise from a full scale war into a much smaller Cops vs Criminals battle. In this review I’m going to be giving you my opinion on the game, as a long time fan of the franchise and former competitive Battlefield player. I finished the campaign on the Veteran difficulty(1 play-through) and have over 50 hours in the multiplayer.
STORY (No Spoilers)
Hardline’s campaign takes place in Miami. You play as detective Nick Mendoza, a Cuban immigrant with a “do whats right” attitude.Your partner for a majority of the game is Khai Minh Dao, a Vietnamese American from Orange County, California. Together the pair investigate the drug chain throughout Miami, searching for the source.
The story starts out this way, but quickly changes after a few plot twists after the introduction and initial characterization of the characters most important to the story. Going much further into the story would spoil the plot twists, of which there are many, but they make this 10+ hour campaign somewhat interesting.
The story is a tale of deception, betrayal, redemption, and selfishness. The characters are all static, so they are not really worth discussing and can be extremely boring at times, but the exception is the main character Nick Mendoza. Mendoza is the only dynamic character in this drug war story, and there is a huge difference in his actions when comparing the beginning of the story to the end.Besides Mendoza, the couple of plot twists, and the ending, the story was otherwise generic and boring.
My main gripes with the story mode are mainly things other players may agree with and a few nit picks. The cut-scenes are all unskippable and far too long.There are too many mandatory walking sequences that become very tedious very quickly. They obviously did these things in an attempt to make it seem like there is more content in the game then there actually is. Enemy AI can be extremely dim. They will stand in the open without shooting occasionally, waiting to be shot. The game goes for a bit of realism but fails miserably, with too many unrealistic events that can ruin a persons immersion in the game. I did enjoy the added stealth mechanic.
The game runs at 900p 60fps on PS4(720p 60fps on Xbox One). Since I played the PS4 version of the game, I will strictly be speaking on the visuals I experienced on that platform.
While playing the campaign the game remained at a consistent 60fps, but dropped well below 60 during many, but not all, of the cut-scenes. Textures were below average in terms of quality.
In my experience with the multiplayer, the frame drops were frequent, happening every few minutes while playing 32v32 man Conquest mode. The frame rate is slightly more stable on smaller game modes.
Plenty of people who don’t have much experience with the franchise called Hardline a re skin of Battlefield 4, but that would have been better then what we got.The shooting mechanics in the game have been changed drastically in order for the game to be more friendly to newer players. Adds stealth mechanic into the story mode, but it could have easily been done better. The only thing in the game with replay value is story.
This entry into the Battlefield franchise ruined the multiplayer for me, personally. Recoil has been greatly reduced, to the point where it became very reminiscent of the recoil of guns in Call of Duty. The aim assist has been increased to the point where it is basically a lock on system, and can reduce the skill gap between the good, experienced players and the players who are new to the game(Aim assist can and should be turned of in private servers). This may have been an attempt at getting newer players to stick with the Battlefield franchise, but it also turned a lot of older more serious players away from the game. There are less guns in Hardline(54) than there are in Battlefield 4(69). Map structures are similar to that of Battlefield 4 but different in many ways. In Hardline the large map game modes(Conquest,Conquest small,etc.) use the entirety of the map, although the center is usually the best part of the map with the most action. The area around the center is usually flat and with less cover but every map has its high points which become a paradise for snipers. This game does not have nearly as many offensive vehicles as BF4(The few Hardline does have are not very powerful) because of its focus on infantry play. Smaller map game modes(rescue,etc) use a portion of the full map. The smaller maps are designed with 3 lanes that have multiple connectors, a popular design used in most shooters.
The main issue with the multiplayer is that the Levolution does not compare to previous Battlefield titles, and should have been left out of the multiplayer entirely.
Battlefield Hardline is not only EA’s attempt at annualizing the franchise, it is also a product of trying to implement more Call of Duty mechanics into the series. Needless to say it was a flat out fail. The campaign would be the only reason to buy this game, but only once the price drops to $20 although the inability to skip cut scenes greatly diminishes its replay value. After only a year the multiplayer is basically dead on every platform, but the most embarrassing thing about the player count is not the time in which the numbers dropped, its that there are more people playing on PS3 than there are on the PC.
I would advise against picking up this game. New players interested in getting into the franchise should pick up Battlefield 4. Older players should just wait until the imminent release of Battlefield 5.
Battlefield Hardline is the weakest game in the franchise as far as i’ve played. At worst its an obvious cash grab. At best its another mediocre and forgettable shooter.