First and foremost, I am NOT a multiplayer guy. Someday I’ll explain why, but today is not that day. While most people who pick up First Person Shooters (FPS) are avid multiplayer gamers, I am not. I will be reviewing strictly campaign missions and the overall story of Battlefield Hardline. As well as talking about how amazing their burger looks. That will make sense later.
NOTE: The guy on the cover, looks nothing like the protagonist.
Overall, the game is clean and cut. What that means is that it is super easy to navigate the menus, attach mods to your weapons, and continue the story. The layout is reminiscent to Netflix or Hulu, which is great because the game itself is set up like a Police Procedural Drama with massive environments, set pieces, and action sequences.
Each episode (after shutting off the console and continuing at a later time) starts with an “On the last episode” prologue type montage, explaining the purpose of characters actions and motives etc.
While on the “Mission Complete” screen it shows a small preview thumb of the next “episode” on the bottom right with a countdown exactly like Netflix, which is awesome.
While most shooters follow the vein of Call of Duty, Hardline does not… To an extent. This is refreshing for Battlefield though, because to be honest, I don’t even remember the story of Battlefield 4.
Overall the graphics in this game are hit or miss. So here are the top 5 good and bad things in Hardline.
- Water in the distance (not on the shore) is amazing. It looks like real water with reflections of lights, cars, buildings, etc. bouncing off of the crests of waves like real life.
- In the first REAL mission there is a burger that looks INCREDIBLE. It sounds stupid, but seriously go find it and just admire it. They did a hell of a job; I was starving at the end of the mission.
- Facial expressions are on point in this game. When someone furrows his or her brow, it actually furrows.
- Small things like a puddle of rainwater on a sidewalk interacts with light, movement, and rain perfectly adding even more to the setting of the game. Even the rearview mirror shows what’s actually behind you, not a dumbed down reflection. Rain running down the side of a car, ripples in water when you walk through it, etc.
- The backgrounds are extremely well done. The occasional airplane flies over, and the highways in Hollywood and Miami have actual cars with lights driving on them as well as enough going on in the background to feel alive.
- Water near the shore is terrible. It doesn’t move at all really, and when the waves crest over the white caps are flat and pixelated and move straight and simply like a picture, not an object within the game.
- It is realistically cartoony. The characters have so much detail in their face but very much less in their clothing or even hair. They react and act accordingly well, but when their hands are all blocky and rarely move it makes them less and less human.
- The character models, like I said are great, but there are some times where they are so much like a cartoon that I end up watching it to try and figure out what is happening.
- The devil is in the details. Like when you shoot a laptop or a cup and it stands perfectly still after a rocket blast or a mine detonates on it, it kinda ruins it. I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting picky.
- The backgrounds are great, but there is little to nothing going on in terms of life. Sure, sounds and movement are great, and the trees all move realistically and that is more than enough, but the final mission (SPOILER) in on an island where there are long stretches of grass and instead of having grass there is just a huge stretched out picture of grass over the ground. There could have been tall grass there that I could hide in DICE!
Overall, the graphics are incredible at parts but they can be dumbed down due to the small things.
You are Nick Mendoza, an altruistic detective. When a crooked cop throws a stack of hunnits’ at you, you drop it on the ground and leave.
Overall, someone is importing and distributing a super-cocaine called HotShot. This stuff is nasty, making coke heads crazier and heroin addicts, addict-ier.
It is your job to find the source, stop it, and arrest the kingpin. If only it were that easy.
Along the way though, you get ranked up based on experience gained from the game. You can get more points by being stealthy and arresting as many people as possible rather than guns blazing, which also serves the story. With each level you unlock more weapons, mods, and camos as well as battlepacks you can use in the multiplayer aspect of the game.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
So, there are some twists. Don’t read any further. Unless you want to.
You go through all of the trouble of tracking down HotShot drops in the everglades in a massive open mission where you can drive a fanboat, ride zip lines, and climb grappling hook lines. The last two you get as fire-able weapons and they are AWESOME. Anyway, using evidence from the multiple areas in the level you can deduce who the culprit is. As you burst in the room the kingpin bellows, “I took Stoddard’s deal!” Basically, he was passing the corporation and its worth to your first partner, Detective Stoddard, for a hefty price tag. Only, as he’s yelling this Stoddard bursts in and blows his brains out.
After painting the suitcase packed with dirty monies with brains, he tosses you a stack. Nick, dropping a badass line or two, drops it to the floor and walks out.
Next scene, you are told that Khai (your new partner) didn’t take the monies but told Dawes (your boss) about the set up. Long story short, you end up pursuing Stoddard during a massive hurricane. By the way, there is a part where you have to dodge parts of a building that is collapsing in front of you and it… is… awesome.
Anyway, you get to him but Khai is stuck under fire so now you and Stoddard team up and try to help her. Once you help her, Dawes lands in the intersection in a massive helicopter. You toss him the audio file on Stoddard, where he drops it, crushes it, puts you in cuffs, and puts you away. Yeah. Twist.
After 3 years in prison, a certain someone breaks you out in probably one of the best stealth missions of this year (so far). During that time, your mother died and Nick couldn’t see her because he was put away on charges he didn’t commit.
So that is the basis of the story, and it flows well. Usually these transitions in character happen towards the end of the game, but Dawes’s turnaround is actually in the first half of the game. And all the while, you chase down everyone in your way from Hollywood to the middle of nowhere in western Cali.
SUPER SPOILERS, THIS IS HOW IT ENDS SO DON’T READ THIS
But the ending is surprising. After hunting through the entire game, Nick kills the Dawes. He takes out his entire compound, and Dawes is up against the glass of his beautiful penthouse. Nick, the perfect cop is now a murderer, no matter how justified.
The reason why is that he has no choice. Dawes is so well protected that even if they brought the evidence of everything to the proper authorities, it would be turned away. So now (by circumstance) Nick is the criminal he fought to capture, and with access to Dawes’s fortunes, a billionaire.
And this is how it ends. Sequel? Probably. Ok, definitely. But I felt almost let down by the ending. I was hoping for the feel good ending at first. But after I let it sit a while, I mulled it over. This is how it should have ended. What I took away was that there is never a “bad cop” or a “good cop”. There is never black and white, just grey and different shades of it (lol). So all in all, the game tells you that police are humans. They make mistakes and they can sometimes not be the greatest of people. But those who truly seek justice will find it, in unorthodox ways.
Also, the little things hidden in the characters are amazing. For example, the crazed psychotic with a weapon of mass destruction wears buddhist mala.
Buy it for $25
Rent it and beat the story in a week.
Battlefield Hardline is available now on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4.