Battlefield Hardline. © Electronic Arts

Battlefield Hardline is a first-person shooter game developed by EA DICE and Visceral Games. Published in 2015 by Electronic Arts, it can be played on Xbox 360, Xbox one, PlayStation 3 and 4 as well as Microsoft Windows. It is a new installment in the Battlefield series but this time the emphasis is on crime rather than military warfare. The game was well received by the critics, thanks to a stellar multiplayer, great visuals and voice acting.

Key facts about Battlefield Hardline

  • Battlefield Hardline is the first game in the series to shift from military warfare to crime.
  • The gameplay rewards those who use stealth mechanics and encourages players to find covert solutions to most problems.
  • Battlefield Hardline has an easier learning curve, making it easy to complete the single player than any of the Battlefield game so far.
  • Players have plenty of options when dealing with bad guys, as they take the badge seriously and arresting them is a distinct possibility.
  • The popular gunplay of Battlefield games returns to Battlefield Hardline, with weapons feeling and sounding realistically.

The Battlefield Hardline games

Battlefield Hardline is a steep departure from the games in the franchise, as the military warfare is replaced by urban conflict. Players assume the role of police officer and their job is to maintain order within city boundaries and can resort to any tactic. The obvious way to solve problems is by arresting bad guys, but there is always the possibility of shooting your way through a bunch of criminals.

There are a couple of new Battlefield Hardline games that will keep players entertained many hours after the single player is over. Heist is a game mode in which criminals try to break into a cash fault and escape with the money, while the police officers try to prevent them from reaching the extraction point. Blood Money is similar, but in this case both factions are trying to retrieve a huge amount of cash from an open crate and the winner is the team that collects $5 million first.

Don't trip on the hotwire

A very popular Battlefield Hardline game is hotwire, in which players try to capture cars, while destroying the vehicles owned by the other team. Rescue is a classic game featured in many first-person shooters where SWAT officers attempt to rescue hostages. The game is won by the police officers if they rescue the hostages or manage to kill all the criminals in the process. When a player dies, he won’t respond and will have to wait until the three-minute long round comes to an end.

Last but definitely not least, crosshair is a highly competitive mode and these missions involve two teams of five players each. The criminals try to take down the VIP while the police officers do their very best to protect him. This game mode is not an innovative creation of Battlefield Hardline developers, but was found in Counter Strike and Call of Duty games as well. The SWAT team wins if the VIP reaches the extraction point, while the villains triumph if they bring him down before he gets away.

What is Battlefield Hardline?

Battlefield Hardline is the first game developed by EA DICE and Visceral Games that is not centered on traditional warfare. In this first-person shooter players assume the role of a police officer and fight their wars in the urban jungle. The game was published by Electronic Arts in March 2015 and is available on the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles, but also Microsoft Windows systems.

Screenshot of Battlefield Hardline. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Battlefield Hardline. © Electronic Arts

Gameplay of Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline gameplay is an interesting hybrid of stealth and action-packed gunfights, with the war on crime taking many forms. There are basically just two factions in this game, with the Special Response Units fighting a seemingly endless war against criminals. Both parties have access to powerful weapons and equally impressive vehicles, so the city can easily turn into a modern battleground.

Battlefield Hardline features destructible environment, although not to the same extent as Crackdown 3. Battlefield Hardline games can be very complex if you choose the stealth approach, or surprisingly short and to some extent easy if you choose to gun villains down. By arresting criminals rather than killing them, players earn more points which makes the effort of staying out of sight worthwhile. The intelligently designed levels allow players to plan several steps in advance, so they can take down an entire group of criminals.

Every now and then when things got out of hand, the rifle becomes your best friend and handcuffs fall from grace. Battlefield Hardline allows players to enjoy the game as they see fit and by doing so it stays true to the Battlefield legacy. There are plenty of weapons to choose from and they inflict serious damage, so it comes as no surprise that many players find it hard to resist using them.

In the single player campaign, players only get familiar with the core game mechanics and they only get to improve their skills in the multiplayer arena. Many key elements are of no use in multiplayer, such as the police badge which is extremely helpful against AI controlled criminals. The Battlefield Hardline gameplay can be very different depending on whether players choose the single player or multiplayer version.

Screenshot of Battlefield Hardline. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Battlefield Hardline. © Electronic Arts

Plot of Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline’s plot was criticized by some reviewers as too simple but it was well-liked by players. Action takes place in Miami, with Officer Nick Mendoza as the leading character trying to take down a criminal organization that is dealing drugs all over the city. As the single player campaign evolves, Nick and his partner Khai Minh Dao come to realize the full extent of this problem.

As they try to take down the leader of this powerful criminal organization, the two policemen have to use stealth, brute force and smart strategies. Quite often the central character finds himself overwhelmed by waves of incoming enemies and this is when the celebrated Battlefield gunplay shines brightly. Just as often, the two officers resort to more peaceful ways of solving conflicts, by arresting the perpetrators rather than gunning them down in the streets.

Action shifts to the Everglades and then back to Miami city and the plot thickens when fellow police officers decide to frame Nick. The campaign continues three year later in 2015 when officer Mendoza escapes from a prison bus and reconnects with his former colleagues. Bitter and disappointed, he comes up with the plan of stealing the drug lord’s money and this sets him on a very dangerous road.

The Battlefield Hardline plot gets increasingly complicated as the single player campaign is coming to an end, with more conspiracies surfacing. There are few decisions to take and missions are highly scripted, although Mendoza makes a couple of tough choices. There is a silver lining to this narrative and even though it’s not what law-abiding citizens would approve, it’s consistent with the way the story evolved.

Screenshot of Battlefield Hardline. © Electronic Arts
Screenshot of Battlefield Hardline. © Electronic Arts

Development of Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline was supposed to be the first truly different game in the franchise and developers made no compromises. Even though development started in early 2012, the beta only went public two years later and EA confirmed the release date at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014. The popularity of the open better served as a reliable indicator for the future popularity of the game, which sold millions of copies. Right from the start the game was available on the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

Where can I download Battlefield Hardline?

One year after its official release, Battlefield Hardline can be downloaded from the publisher’s official website as well as Visceral Games. Even though there are multiple differences between these new installment and the classic games of the franchise, fans should acquire the entire bundle.

What are others saying about Battlefield Hardline?

Battlefield Hardline was well received by the critics even though the postponed release date and the single player campaign drew it some criticism. The game received the best rating on Xbox One and Microsoft Windows, while the PlayStation release was the most criticized one. Overall, the critics appreciated the efforts made by the developers to come up with an entirely new gameplay. The combination of stealth single player campaign and classic Battlefield multiplayer earned the game an average score of 75/100.

Battlefield Hardline tournaments

Battlefield Hardline has a multiplayer version and it is a welcomed diversion from the single player campaign. Those who prefer gunfights to stealth tactics will spend some quality time playing among their peers, but they shouldn’t get their hopes too high up for Battlefield Hardline tournaments. The game was simply not constructed for these competitions, so those who are hell-bent on participating in tournaments should focus on Battlefield 4 or other shooters such as Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.

My rating of Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline is what I consider a successful experiment and it took a lot of courage to develop a game so different from its predecessors. I genuinely enjoyed playing this game both as a law-abiding cop and as an officer gone rogue, so a review score of 9 out of 10 reflects my consideration for the game.

Overall Score