Despite utter disappointment back in early October, we can now forgive Visceral for delaying Battlefield Hardline for just under five months. And to be honest, we should all be glad they did!

Following up on any award-winning game is a hard task, especially when your predecessor sold seven million copies. Yes, seven million copies, and it’s still cranking along nicely today. With huge shoes to fill – and Battlefield critics always out for blood (no pun intended) – developer Visceral took over the reins from DICE, the team responsible for the last Battlefield title.


Campaign

Think CSI, NCIS and other American cops-versus-criminals shows and you have yourself a Battlefield Hardline single-player campaign. The campaign itself kicks off with former Miami cop Nick Mendoza (voiced by David Aceveda from The Shield ) rocking an orange jumpsuit and being delivered to a federal prison. Then comes the obvious jump back in time to deliver the ‘how he got here’ spiel. Cue begin game.

I’ll be honest here: I was only a few episodes/missions in when I hung up my controller for the trusted experience we all know multi-player is. I really felt let down with the campaign. The graphics might be amazeballs in parts, but the bad seems to out balance the good.

By simply flashing your badge, three guys are willing to be subdued and arrested all by a lone cop, while all are in possession of AKs and other various weapons. You can even arrest them one by one, while other criminals are literally metres away, oblivious to all that’s happening!
This kind of breaks my gaming trust of what’s realistically possible and not. The only redeeming factor, as mentioned, is the inclusion of David Aceveda from The Shield as the main lead.

Also, be on the look out for other famous faces making cameo appearances within the campaign.


Multiplayer
We all know that multi-player is the reason we pick up our controllers and ignore our parents, partners, small kids and furry animals. The Battlefield series wouldn’t function without it.

Like the single-player campaign, Battlefield Hardline’s multi-player mode sticks to the theme of cops-versus-criminals. While this is vastly different from the all-out warfare that the Battlefield franchise has always relied on, not to mention perfected, it seems to keep to that same level of quality that we know and enjoy.

The maps are smaller, but we know EA love releasing additional content regularly. And as you would expect with a change of game type, a few new unique game modes have been added to keep your inside tan pasty as.

Modes include:

Blood Money
A huge pile of loot has been intercepted in transit. The criminals are fighting to steal the money while the cops are trying to secure it as evidence. Each team is trying to secure the money in their team’s vault – but it’s not safe there. Raid the enemy team’s vault to help your team score the most money.

Conquest
A Battlefield staple, Conquest is based on the idea of controlling a base. Capture a base by standing near a flag on foot, in a vehicle or in the skies. If your team owns more flags than the enemy, you’ll slowly reduce their tickets, their ability to respawn. The first team to run out of tickets loses.

Rescue
Rescue is one of two competitive modes. This is a cop-centric mode that lets you step into the boots of a SWAT operative tasked with saving innocent lives from the hands of criminals. Lead your team carefully into dangerous environments and get the hostages back to safety. Be careful though, because there are no second chances in this mode.

Crosshair
This is the second competitive mode. In Crosshair, a criminal-turned-state-witness is on the run from his former crew. The criminals are trying to erase the VIP’s face from the world, while the cops are trying to get him out safely. Once again, there are no second chances – one death and you are out for the match.

Heist
Heist is all about pulling off that big job or that perfect score. The criminals are trying to infiltrate a cash-filled vault and the cops must stop them. Once the criminals break in, they have to nab two bags of cash and get them back to each of the two base points.

Hotwire
The criminals are trying to steal a list of marked cars while the cops are trying to repossess them. Use your driving skills to catch up with the enemy and bring a friend riding shotgun to take them down.

Team Deathmatch
Team Deathmatch is infantry-only and has the easiest objective to understand: Shoot the enemy team more than they shoot you.


Last word
Battlefield Hardline has taken a brave new step away from the original classic Battlefield warfare style of first-person-shooter that we have all grown to love and anticipate. Saying this works flawlessly or even well at this stage is too much. Changing from Dice to Visceral Games as the developer for Battlefield Hardline has breathed fresh new ideas into the series; it succeeds in certain areas, but fails in others.

Multiplayer is the gem of all FPS’s and Battlefield Hardline still produces the platform for some true multi-player shoot-em-up gold. The new modes spring new life into the game and ultimately please a variety of different playing styles.

Game: Battlefield Hardline

Score: 8/10

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Visceral Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Date: March 20th, 2015 (NEW ZEALAND)
Rating: R16

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