I was away from America for two years, and while I was gone, this little gem came out. Battlefield: Hardline. It was on sale for 5$ on PSN, so I had to pick it up. A bit late to the scene, but reviewed in the mindset of as if it just came out.
General thoughts: I’ve been a Battlefield series fan all up until 3. Before that time was a creative use of kits and customization, vehicles, and general strategy. After Battlefield 3 (or the executioner as I call it), I was very disappointed with everything Battlefield related. I skipped 4 completely. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.
And here comes Hardline, promising a riveting story line (we all saw how 3 went. Hah!), cop chases, characters, and takin’ down some bad guys.
What I experienced was EA, once again targeting the “grungy child” demographic and ignoring quality.
Let me explain.
Now, before I begin, I know the Battlefield series isn’t so far known for their single player experiences, but seems as how the marketing and game all point to the single player as a main highlight of Hardline, I might as well treat it as if it’s trying to be a triple A story.
We started off with a good opening, a take-down gone wrong, and a car chase. You end up killing some people, but as a detective, you merely get a slap on the wrist. The very first thing I noted in my mental “annoyances” notebook as I played was that the game either held your hand too tight, or completely threw you to the proverbial (literally in one level) crocs and walked away. I felt completely lost sometimes. No one telling me where I should go, or even giving me an icon. Other times I felt too guided. When I looked for evidence (which isn’t mandatory by the way), I had a compass with a distance marker telling me where the next one was.
The AI was a big thing I noticed, too. Either they’re stupid to the point where it makes the first Metal Gear Solid AI look intelligent, or they’re extremely professional shooty mcshootersons with aimbots trained on your face through walls when you’re fighting. They apparently don’t need to use cover either because they’re so good.
The game itself made me feel like I was playing a shooter from the late 2000s. Choppy models and useless quick time events aside, the graphics themselves were a little lacking for our time.
The faces were nice, however. I felt like I was watching a cop show while the characters talked.
Speaking of people talking, there’s absolutely no way anyone in a professional group goes through that many f bombs in one conversation.
I suppose to make the game more “edgy” and “hardcore” EA decided to throw in a curse word into every voice line in the first level. Appeals to the brain dead COD kid I suppose.
SPOILER ALERT IF YOU CARE AT ALL ABOUT THE STORY IN A BATTLEFIELD GAME
As the story continues, your character gets framed for doin’ dirty deeds and you go to jail. You escape thanks to some neutral bad boys from earlier (still not sure why they freed you), and get into the group to take down your dirty ex-police captain. In the end, you track him down with the intent to destroy his life. I expected it to go as most cop movies would. You show to the world that the real dirty cop is the culprit and you walk away takin’ in baddies once again.
But what happened is thus: you kill a bunch of security people in a warzone setting, get to the big bad guy, walk into his office and intend to just kill him. You point your gun at him for a while, talking about nothing, and he asks you to join him. He says you and him are exactly the same. More criminal than cop. You agree and… And…
Well, you shoot him. Dead.
But lo and behold! He left a note for you about a seeeecret storage cave behind a bookshelf that leads you to a bunch of money! And now you’re rich! Somehow! Because you can totally carry off cash and gold off the big bad guy island by yourself with no boat!
But what will money do for you? You’re a convicted felon! I guess we’ll never know BECAUSE THE GAME ENDS RIGHT THERE.
Your character had a hero conplex, too! Does this game just teach children (its obvious targeted demographic) that being a good guy doesnt pay off? Is it trying to create a generation of criminal COD kids? Why would you play up a character’s personality like that for the whole game and just DROP it? GRRRRRAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!
To sum up, Battlefield Hardline was a cool cop game idea that fell through because of time constraints and demographic targeting. The story makes no sense either.
Also, the multiplayer COULD have been cool, but it’s just COD with different objectives.
Good game, EA. You disappoint me yet again.