I’m a big Battlefield fan but let’s be honest, there’s never really been a great Battlefield single player campaign. Visceral who have a pedigree of storytelling and character development now have the helm and you know what? I think they may have cracked it.
Instead of putting the player in a war scenario, we’re plunge into the murky world of cops and robbers where, as police officer Nick Mendoza, you become embroiled in a drug and turf war on the mean streets of Los Angeles and other far away locations.
This is actually one of the first game’s I’ve also played that looks like it’s on a “next gen” console. Facial animations are almost lifelike and textures and weather affects are awesome. Acting is also top-notch with convincing performances which really makes you care about the characters – a strong point in any single player campaign. Moments such as protecting your partner and stopping them bleeding out while bullets fly all around you, or trying to close the jaws of an attacking crocodile are breath-taking and exciting, and the very fact that you’re playing a cop changes the way you may want to play the game.
When infiltrating areas you can use your scanner to tag enemies, scan them if they are a known felon and listen to what they are saying from afar. You can also use the same scanner to compile evidence in your case files which will bag you rewards in both single and multiplayer.
I also found myself playing the game a lot more sneaky to avoid killing people (call it good cop syndrome if you like). You can throw bullet casings to distract guards and “hold up” up to three enemies at once to cuff them instead of punching them round the chops.
Weapons feel suitably meaty and it’s actually rather enjoyable popping off pistol shots as well as using more conventional firepower such as shotguns and assault rifles.
Don’t expect a sandbox experience such as Far Cry 4 but you will get the opportunity to drive vehicles, trucks and boats and you can choose where to go within the arena you’re put in. For example, you can choose to sneak round the sides of a building or go in guns blazing. Trust me, playing this on the hardest difficulty, you’ll have to think carefully about how you go about completing your mission.
My only real downer on the game is that the enemies seem to be bullet sponges on the hardest setting. I know this is to make the game harder but if I drop dead after a couple of shots, so should they. Headshots of course result in an instant kill so maybe I should just be more accurate!
I’m really enjoying this different take on the Battlefield franchise, mainly because, besides the Frostbite 3 destruction and the HUD, this single player campaign doesn’t feel like a Battlefield game! With a variety of locations, interesting characters, some cool set pieces and plenty of weapons and upgrades to play with including a tazer, all new grappling hook and zip line, it’s a lot of fun to play and that’s before we even get to multiplayer! Battlefield Hardline gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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