As I sat there jamming out to St. Elmos Fire on my Spotify playlist, I had to think what game did I want to review today? Was it going to be PS4, PC, Wii? Who knows, I surely didn’t. Then I thought to myself, what was the last game I played on my Steam account? RRDDD. Well crap, already did that one. Aha! What about my Origin account? Boom! Battlefield Hardline; so that’s my review today.
If you’ve read my previous reviews you probably already know why I lean more towards the Battlefield games over the Call of Duty series. If you don’t, then I suggest you check out the post “The 3rd Monitor Syndrome”, before reading this post. But, beyond that there is quite a few reasons why I really enjoy the Battlefield games, and Hardline is no exception.
I’m going to say it right now and get it out of the way. I like the Co-Op; one of my close friends lives in Wisconsin and we jump between the PC and PS4 quite often. Him and I have both been a big fan of the Battlefield games, whether it was Bad Company 2 or more recently Hardline. The game supports squads and does a great job at it, re-spawning in a firefight makes it more enjoyable in the long run. Having a team-member drive the car in Hijacking mode, and having the other be the mechanic repairing it while cruising around the map, is quite fun. There are tons of tactics/strategies that you can bring a friend in to. There’s no co-op campaign, but some games just are meant more so for the multiplayer gaming. This would be one. So A+ for co-opportunities.
This game has a crap-ton of maps. I mean a lot, and a lot of different game modes available. Here are some of my favorite maps:
- Riptide: This is an island type map, there are plenty of opportunities for snipers, but also plenty of opportunities to sneak up behind them and beat them senseless with a baseball bat, whatever your fancy. The huge highlight is, if the match goes on long enough there will be a hurricane that hits the Miami style mansion and chain of islands, adding a creepy feeling over the entire map. I think EA really went above and beyond on this one.
- Dust Bowl: A great big open desert city style map, think of a smaller town in Arizona. There are plenty of houses to break into, a large apartment complex in the center which is always setup with trip mines (keep that in mind when running down the halls next time), and there is a multitude of vehicles available for map conquest. Similarly to Riptide, once the match reaches a certain point, on occasion there will be a dust storm which pretty knocks out most sniping (have a close range back-up weapon handy).
- Precinct 7: I love this map. If you’ve ever seen Assault of Precinct 13 then this map will seem strangely familiar. It’s a Detroit jail that’s abandoned. It’s night, the streetlights are on and the snow is falling. The atmosphere in this map is PERFECT! One thing that Hardline did a great job with, was capturing law enforcement movie atmospheres. This is a premium package download, and honestly I am not a DLC fan. But, although it’s somewhat expensive, when you buy the premium you get hell’a amount of stuff. Which includes 4 separate expansion packs (each contains maps, modes, upgrades, etc.), 4 super features including Masks and the Gun Bench, 12 Gold Packs (we’ll go into that in a little bit), tons of customization, and priorities in servers (this is big on the PC). It’s worth it, hands down worth it; now back to the maps.
- Break Pointe: My final choice is also a premium map. I bet you can’t guess what movie it might be based on? I think you can. It has a good layout, a mix between different environments, and the nostalgia for those who have seen Point Break is a treat.
Other then those maps there are also 9 other maps with more on the way with each expansion, and some even being added for free.
I think this is the big one for me. Customization is HIGH in this game. First of all you have five classes (Operator, Mechanic, Enforcer, Professional and Vehicles), 4 are ground classes that you can customize outfits, colors of outfits, primary/secondary weapons, gadgets, grenades and your melee weapon. These are just the primary options, within the primary, you can choose the weapon, each class has around 15+ choices; then you can choose accessories and paint jobs for each and every weapon you use; including the aiming sights etc. Next, there’s the vehicles category, which you can customize your vehicle paint jobs, weapons, extras, etc. That’s right, you can drive a solid-gold Suburban around the streets of LA… because why wouldn’t you?
But wait, there’s more. On top of the customization you can unlock duffle-bags that have random weapons, decals, colors, etc. in them. Think of opening a sleeve of trading cards for the first time. The mystery is the same feeling. You might get lucky and get awesome patches for your character’s gear, or perhaps an accessory for a weapon. Overall, it’s a cool way to get new gear. You can purchase them with cash, or the cash you earn in the game. I would say that it’s highly P2P but it’s not, you can get anything that anyone has with or without cash. So your friend could spend $100 in real cash and get crap in the packages and you could earn your pack and get something wicked. It’s all random.
Let’s Calm Down Call of Duty Boys/Girls
I have no doubt there are some crazy Call of Duty fanboys out there, just foaming at the mouth at this review. Let it be known that in my opinion each game is different. Gameplay is slower in Battlefield but much more ‘realistic’. Tactics can and should be used and communication is key. There are immense loading times and it takes awhile to get it going. Plus, the menu system is awful. I hate loading up the game in my web-browser. It is dumb because I cannot change my graphic options before the game, so I have to wait till mid-game and screw over my teammates, that doesn’t make sense to me. Also, they were having issues with the weapon loadouts saving. So you’d jump in a game expecting your P90 which is fully upgraded, but end up with a basic SMG with no attachments. That was frustrating to say the least, especially since it takes awhile to get it setup just right (after all, there are a lot of choices).
Finally, I like the game. It was a risky change from the classic warfare games, but I think they made an exciting/rewarding game. Is it realistic? Not really, the campaign has a couple merits but overall it’s an enjoyable FPS with lots of customization, fun vehicles and large battles in cool locales. It captures my interest and keeps me going. I do suggest it for Battlefield players, but for those who truly crave Call of Duty; I don’t believe you’ll enjoy it, it’s slower paced, and you aren’t going to jump in this game for your 10 minute break between classes. If you’re lucky it’ll load in 10 minutes.
Rent or Buy? You could rent this on the console, but I prefer my standard shooters on the PC, I like the precision of the mouse. However, I do like story/campaign shooters better on the console (mostly because the AI aren’t that hard to master with the controller). If you have a PC, find it cheap and buy it. But, buy the premium pack, it’s worth it. And, I’m cheap when it comes to DLC.
Alternatives: I will always say Battlefield 2 (Strike at Karkland especially, it’s what started me years ago), Battlefield Vietnam (few things are better than flying over the jungles blaring CCR) and finally Battlefield Bad Company 2 (I love blowing up the buildings, and there is still a fairly active online community, so many years later).