It’s just another day on the force for Nick Mendoza when he’s teamed up with hard nose cop Khai Minh Dao. They hit the streets looking for drugs and instead find the inner workings of corruption within the department. None of this ends well for Nick who spends a stint in the joint, and he comes back out with a new beard and a mind for revenge.

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High Points

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Multiplayer – Fast and furious multiplayer makes this the most energetic Battlefield title yet. Many of the modes from previous games have been discarded in favor of Cops and Robber themed modes. Heist is a capture and defend mode where the cops must guard money drops from the robbers. It’s a camper heavy style but it’s good for racking up the points.

Blood Money has both teams snatching cash and returning to their base with it, it’s a fairly fun mode but like Heist it promotes a lot of camping. Hotwire is considered the iconic multiplayer mode for Battlefield Hotline. Players will enter cars and drive it around the level at high speeds to use it as a moving capture point.

Hotwire is fast and frantic if you can get into a car, otherwise you and the other players will change classes to Engineers for Grenade launcher, and Enforcers to plant breaching charges to stop vehicles. Battlefield Hardline differs from previous titles due to the lack of Jets, Tanks, and class specific anti-personnel weapons.

It makes up for the loss of these ridiculous vehicles by bumping up the pace of combat significantly. Hardline moves at a blistering pace when compared to Battlefield 4. The hit detection can be better than other battlefield titles (at times) and taking out other players is quicker and more satisfying as a result. The leveling system is much better this time, as we can finally stay as a class we prefer and rack up cash to buy weapons for the others.

I don’t like the fact that you have to purchase similar weapons of each faction separately, but that’s just incentive to try keep players grinding. It’s not a complete overhaul of the system, but it’s definitely a solid Battlefield title.

Sound Design – Sound is something that Battlefield titles excel at and Hardline is no different. It features an excellent voice cast, outlandish explosive sounds, and riveting crackles of bullets speeding their way past the player.

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Average Points

The Campaign – The game takes on an episode format similar to a TV show. It also comes attached with every TV cliché imaginable. The worst cliché is the straight-edged main character who’s forced to break bad in a den of crooked cops. His line delivery is a bit static and he doesn’t have the character of the rest of the cast. His journey through the game is completely predictable and then it puts the icing on the cake by ending with a lame cliffhanger.

Muddled visuals – Battlefield Hardline is visually appealing on the Ultra setting for PC, but it looks like it was held back by last generation consoles. It’s not all bad news due to top notch environmental explosions and weather effects.

Lack of destruction – Battlefield Hardline promotes camping like no other Battlefield in the past couple of years. It’s the lack of destruction that allows players to sit back and relax without much fear of repercussion. Destruction in Hardline is restricted to a few levolution events and select collapsible buildings on certain stages. The days of blowing out a wall or a window to expose a camper are null and void.

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Low Points

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Routine Single-player – You start a level using stealth to arrest foes, find evidence, and gain points to unlock weapons, it all goes bad and turns into a shooting gallery, and then you find yourself in a vehicle driving through a Michael Bay scene. Nearly eighty percent of the episodes in the Single-player campaign consists of the same formula and it gets old fast.

Map Selection – Battlefield is usually about the hustle and bustle of bullets and armored vehicles threatening your every movement. A few of the maps hold up to that legacy, but there are far too many that focus on ground warfare. There are five maps that are more focused on running into enclosed spaces and battling it out. Which is a symbol of arena based games not the Battlefield titles.

Battle Pickups – Why do I drop my pick up if I switch to another weapon? It’s kind of terrible that I have to drop a weapon to switch to another weapon to paint a target, and then I have to fumble around on the ground hoping not to get shot while I pick up the RPG.

Bullet Lag – Hit Detection is better than BF 4 when it works properly, but bullet lag is the outright devil. You can still get shot around corners, and consistently empty a clip into a person’s chest and miss every shot.  It’s all over the place and needs to be fixed ASAP.

Gun Balance – There are quite a few guns that are exceptional and way too many that are terrible or middle of the road. Expect to see a lot of Operators and Mechanics using the ACWR, AKM, and K10/P90 every time you die to them.

Transition time – Reloading takes forever and so does switching between weapons. The game gives a reward from a hacker so you can reload faster instead of just innately giving it to the player. They are tailored to the classes and there is even a “Fast Aim” perk in there. If I’m in a warzone and I don’t realize the urgency of reloading or aiming at a target, I deserve to die.

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Conclusion

Battlefield Hardline is the ground focused title in the series. Kills are quicker, everything is faster, and heavy vehicles are sparse. We recommend that you wait for a sale for Battlefield Hardline. Even with its own key modes, it still has the look and feel of an expansion to Battlefield 4. The key price to pick this up would be about thirty five dollars. It’s just not pushing the boundaries for a new Battlefield title as it should.