Electronic Arts introduces players into a new age of Battlefield, where warfare is exchanged for high-speed and adrenaline-filled tales of crime and corruption through the eyes of the police and criminals. But is Hardline up to the task to keep the Battlefield name clear? Or does it flatline?
*NOTE: Due to technical disparities between certain versions of the game because of hardware limitations and differences, this review is mostly applicable to the version that has been reviewed. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version of Battlefield: Hardline do not offer the full 64-player experience of its current-gen and PC counterparts. Experiences may vary per platform.
Battlefield: Hardline takes the franchise in a new direction by ditching its military setting in favour of a TV-inspired cop drama that takes its cues from popular shows such as Hawaii Five-O, Breaking Bad and other popular crime-related dramas. Hardline tells the story of detective Nick Mendoza, a young detective working through the ranks of the DEA. After an initially rough introduction Mendoza is introduced to his new partner and the hunt for some of the region’s largest drug lords begins. But like in any cop drama, there’s a twist to this tale, and Mendoza soon discovers that not all is well in his department, resulting in a cop vs corrupt cop conflict that might not end well for him and his allies. The story and characters of Hardline are anything but deep and well written, but often these effects seem more than intentional considering the fact that the entire narrative is set-up as a televised cop drama, which are often produced in a similar fashion. The characters are incredibly two-dimensional, but they are written in a fashion that often makes them likeable, rather than creating the one-dimensional military grunts that we’ve often had to deal with in the history of the franchise.