The latest instalment of the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield: Hardline, is seeking to change the standard first person shooter formula.
But is the game is a worthy instalment or should it be sentenced to life imprisonment?
Battlefield has been one of the longest running first person shooter franchises, developed by Dice and published by EA games since the first instalment, Battlefield 1942, was released in 2002. The latest entry in the franchise, Battlefield: Hardline, was released on March 19, 2015 on PS4 (the version I played for this review), PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
The first thing many players will notice about the title is the change of themes, as it switches from the traditional army based shooter (which the majority of first person shooters use), to a cops and robbers theme. The game has outstanding graphics and overall manages to make everything feel as if there is some form of energy behind it, creating a lot of excitement and tension. It feels fresh and has a welcoming change of pace compared to other shooters.
The story mode for Battlefield: Hardline is very entertaining and manages to pull players in, making them want to experience the full story from start to finish. This is mostly due to the way the characters in the game interact with one another, and the way the game manages to give each of the characters depth, showing different aspects of their personality.
However, the actual story has a rather predictable plot, despite the many memorable moments players will not forget anytime soon.
The gameplay in the story mode is very different, not just from the multiplayer but from most first person shooters in general. The game manages to provide players with a large amount of choice when it comes to dealing with enemies, as it allows players to use a large number of gadgets and weapon upgrades so they can either go in guns blazing, or use stealth tactics to eliminate enemies one at a time.
Having that level of freedom and choice within the game really manages to engage the player more and make them more invested in the outcome of the game. There were a few moments where players had no choice but to go in guns blazing, but the game provides a certain level of freedom that others in the genre just don’t provide.
Then there’s the multiplayer, which is one of the most engaging and exciting multiplayer modes I have ever seen. There are different types of matches to choose from, many of the new modes, like hot wire and heist, that are very unique and each presents its own set of challenges for players. Many of the maps in multiplayer are very well designed and each has a different feel.
Some of the maps are very small and it is clear they were designed with close quarters combat in mind. It means players fatalities are more frequent, and even re-entering matches can result in getting gunned down by other players two seconds later, which can be more frustrating than entertaining.
Multiplayer engages players further through the use of vehicles, as they allow players to get back into the fight quicker, which helps with the larger maps. Players have also been given the ability to move faster while on foot.
All other elements of the Battlefield series are included in multiplayer, and players are able to select from five different classes, just like in previous titles. The classes have been renamed to fit in more with the games cops and robbers theme. Multiplayer is a very exciting experience for players and will keep people coming back for more.
Overall this is a good game and story mode is very entertaining to play, despite having a predictable plot. Multiplayer is one of the most exhilarating options available, even though it can be frustrating at times it makes Battlefield: Hardline is an outstanding addition to the franchise and arguably one of the best in the series. It manages to stand out brilliantly within the first person shooter genre.
Rating: 8/10 – Nathan Davies
Top image courtesy of EA games.