Meta-Review: Battlefield Hardline (PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360)

BFH01To be upfront and honest, I have never played a single match of EA’s Battlefield series. DICE’s aesthetic was never appealing to me. While I could appreciate CoD’s pulp take on militaristic killing, the celebration of combat that permeated Battlefield always made me feel a little bit more uncomfortable. That is why when Hardline was first introduced – a cops and robbers inspired shooter from Visceral, the makers of the awesome Dead Space series (foregoing number 3) – I was, for the first time ever, excited to play a Battlefield game. Now the betas were certainly anything but thrilling, but I think they were also somewhat informative to Visceral and EA on what frame the game should take. Well after several delays and drawing board moments, the game has finally been released.

Here is what the critics have to say:

BFHL02The Sixth AxisIt’s easy to dismiss Hardline out of hands as being too far removed from Battlefield’s typical setting to be worthy of the name, but even as Visceral ride on the brands coattails, they’ve had the confidence to adapt that core gameplay to suit a new setting. That’s not just true of the multiplayer, but also the single player story and its compelling tale of drugs and police corruption. (8/10)

Playstation Lifestyle: Fans of the series will find many moments that harken back to the heart of franchise if they are willing to try something new and are are able to make a few gameplay adjustments. Anyone trying out a Battlefield title for the first time will find a game that’s much more accessible than any of the other ones in the past, but much like the previous ones, if you’re getting in the helicopter, please practice in an empty lobby before crash landing with your whole team on board. (7.5/10)

Games Radar+: The campaign may lose its way at the midpoint, but it’s a no less entertaining accompaniment to the multiplayer’s main show. And online, Hardline delivers. While not quite as main-event-essential as previous Battlefield blockbusters, the tighter, faster Hardline is most definitely the good cop. (3.5/5)

Game SpotEven in Battlefield: Hardline, multiplayer competition remains the series’ heart and soul. It wasn’t that long ago that the ability to eject from a fighter plane and seamlessly continue the battle on foot was one of the most awe-inspiring things you can do in an online shooter. That’s why many gravitated to the Battlefield series in the first place, and Hardline isn’t short of similar transitional vehicular moments. You can spawn in a chopper, do your part as a gunner to take out valued targets on that ground, and then jump out with a parachute so you can capture a marked car. This isn’t Iwo Jima or an Arabian oil field–but it’s still pure Battlefield. (7/10)

Destructoid: While Hardline is tone deaf at times, mostly it is just deafening. Explosions and bombast are used not to distract from a troubling narrative as much as a stale one perfunctorily paced and reminiscent of network television emptiness. (6/10)

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

 

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