It’s probable cause, I don’t need your consent (Battlefield: Hardline). The Rhetoric.
Well I am always pleasantly surprised when I stumble into a new release title that – well – does something new so to speak. Yes yes I can hear the statements now: “BF: hardline is DLC,” or “the game’s just Battlefield 4 but with a new coat of paint.” Indeed Hardline does little to change the formula for multiplayer – it is still Battlefield, just with “Civilianized” hardware, instead of military-grade weapons, vehicles, and camouflage. Multiplayer is nothing all too special to be honest; sure non-lethal weapons are added into the mix, but a melee take down is still a melee take down – you run up, press F on the keyboard (my key for melee) and watch the dude’s avatar look at you with horror as you rip the dog tags from their necks while keeping a knife plunged into the back, except this time it’s the click of handcuffs.
Rather the new flavor of taco, so to speak, comes from the campaign – from the guys who brought us Dead Space, Visceral Games. The company has done a decent job with the campaign, and I like it a lot. Sure it isn’t the best crime story, but it isn’t the worst either; though I was hoping for more police action, and less: “I was a cop on the wrong side but I wasn’t dirty so now I’m on a rampage across the US of A.” The banter in-game is nice, and the atmosphere is quite well done. Often at times I found myself repeating sections of the game as I wanted to experience those parts over and over – to get a feel for the characters and their mindset. The good part about Hardline is your character is not a mute – he doesn’t just stand there making grunting sounds, and actually says something. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but in Battlefield 4 your character was a complete mute; all the narration, in-game banter, and so forth was done by NPCs – by other characters. The character you played just simply sat there like a good little puppy, wagging its tail and thinking about what’s for dinner; you left the talking to the big boys of the yard. This time, however, your character has a personality, and I like it. They are fully involved in the story, and indeed it isn’t just one or two lines, but full dialogue – perfect.
Sounds strange, does it not? This particular writer liking the story for a game which is part of a series renowned mainly for its multiplayer action. Then again, Bad Company and Bad Company 2 had pretty good stories – I miss Haggard, Sweetwater, Preston and Sarge. The comedy that occurred when those four soldiers were together, plus the lack of the need to be all “badass special forces” is a nice change of pace – soldiers can do humor too you know. Nice to see a Battlefield edition that includes an interesting story – I wonder if they will do story-based DLC down the road.
Anyways this concludes my thoughts thus far on Hardline; I’m going to go back and rough up some cocaine dealers, see if one of them has info on a person I’m looking to arrest (because the game said so). Take care folks, and I’ll catch you later.