Having played the beta releases of Battlefield Hardline, I was intrigued to see how the finished product turned out. The Battlefield games for me have always been the more realistic of the military shooter franchises, so was interested to see how this adapted to the new cops and robbers setting.
Visceral have really changed up the gameplay, instead of wading through levels of enemies with an arsenal full of familiar weapons, you now have the option to stealth through, giving you a lot more variety. Unfortunately they do on occasions force the new game mechanic on you, meaning you have no choice but to stealth through particular sections. I personally felt that the weapons were watered down compared to previous games in the franchise, and the lack of grenades, meant that if I wanted to play the game in my normal ‘run and gun’ style, I would struggle….which I did.
They’ve also added an investigation mechanic, which means that on every level there are a number of clues kicking around helping you to solve cases. This felt a better way of handling the normal ‘intel collecting’ you find in a lot of games, however really wish they hadn’t made the controller vibrate in a ‘receiving text message’ style, as I found it very off putting. I’ve either be attempting to stealth through a particular section, or be in the midst of a gunfight, for the control to vibrate telling me there a clue.
I guess the final main addition was the arrest mechanic. While stealthing around, you could hold up your badge to arrest up to three people at once, however if you ever took on more than one at once you normally got shot and the alarm raised. This would allow you to go through a level and harmlessly detain the enemies. On occasions you would ‘tag’ somebody who already had an arrest warrant out on them, this would normally give you additional XP and occasionally a clue.
With all the new mechanics put together, this reminded me a lot of the base takeovers from Far Cry 3, stealthing around, taking out the alarm systems so reinforcements weren’t called in, watching out for the enemies field of view on the minimap and generally getting your butt kicked if you did get spotted.
For me, the saving grace of this game was the story, without a doubt it was the best storyline I’ve had in a game for a while now, and by the end I was fully invested in the story, the characters, and would have really liked to have seem what happens after the end scene, and similar to The Order 1886, this would make a great blockbuster movie.
I’m still a little uncertain if this should have carried the Battlefield, as it didn’t feel similar enough to the previous games, however it was a genius step if they wanted to simply step out of the yearly military shooter comparison showdown.
All in all, not bad, would have preferred to not have the new mechanics forced on my, but well worth playing for the story.
Approx Time taken to beat – 7 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:3/5]
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