20140528022000_battlefield_hardline__46118.jpgA big name in first-person shooters, the Battlefield series has long been a favorite among multiplayer types. Known for large scale military battles, developer Visceral Games is switching it up, taking the battle out of the theatre of war, and into the war on crime. Be the cops, or be the bad guys and battle it out with Battlefield Hardline.

Battlefield Hardline is developed by Visceral Games in conjunction with DICE, and published by EA

Release Date: March 17, 2015

Consoles: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4

Genre: First-person Shooter, Multiplayer

Rating: M

A different sort of battle

Cops and robbers, it’s a ripe concept for storytelling. On our TV’s, in our movies and books, in the backyard full of neighbourhood kids yelling ‘I shot you’, and ‘No you missed!’. Happily for us, it makes for entertaining gameplay on a console too, and EA, with Viceral Games in collaberation with DICE are putting it to good use with their newest title, Battlefield Hardline. With a campaign like something out of an HBO TV series, this first-person shooter has a healthy multiplayer suite to make sure, whatever side of the law you’re playing for, you’ll be at it for a good long while.

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A welcome change of pace for the first-person shooter, previously the Battlefield franchise was known for its epic military battles, large maps, huge numbers of people, lots of vehicles, heavy metal, explosions, that sort of thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but with the dominance of the military simulation, multiplayer shooter, we’ve been seeing a lot of the same ‘warfare’ scenarios, just in higher and higher fidelity. The first game in this long running franchise to be developed by Visceral Games, developers of the Dead Space games. In their own words, they worked closely with long time series developers DICE, so don’t worry, it’s still a Battlefield title, the ‘battlefield’ has just changed locations. This is a war on crime, but it’s got all the vehicles and big weaponry, gadgets and gunplay you expect from this series.

Not content with the usual generic afterthought of campaign attached to a multiplayer game, the campaign in Hardline looks like it’s right out of my Netflix ‘recommended’ playlist, with a cast of three dimensional characters on both sides of the law. Don’t get me wrong, I like shooting friends and complete strangers all day long in multiplayer, just as much as the next guy, but I really appreciate a compelling campaign.

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Multiplayer

Campaign aside, there’s one big draw to games like Battlefield,the multiplayer. In this case, it’s like they gathered up everyone’s favorite ‘cop show’ scenarios and turned them into endlessly replayable, interactive episodes and cast you and everyone else as the heroes and villains.

Battlefield Hardline is class based team warfare, each class has a roll, and it’s worth a bit of research to understand the advantages of each. Operator (Medic), Mechanic (Engineer), Enforcer (Heavy), and Professional (Sniper), each have their own unique weapons and gadgets. The class rolls aren’t merely lip service either, you’ll need the advantage of teamwork and each classes special abilities. Whether you’re doling out health, or laying down suppressing fire, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. With a total of 8 multi-player maps on release, Hardline comes with seven multi-player modes, which are as follows.

Hotwire – A bit of the old car chase to brighten your day, there’s a list of ‘hot’ cars. The criminals are stealing them, the cops are, well, ‘repossessing’ them, but it amounts to the same thing. It’s fast cars and flying lead as you chase each other around the map.

Heist – Classic cops and robbers, the bad guys are trying to get in, grab the loot, and get out. The cops are running interference. I’ve always been more for the ‘Lone Wolf’, ‘Team Deathmatch’ sort of multiplayer, as opposed to the more objective based varieties, but ‘the bank heist’ is so steeped into our popular culture, just the idea of it is giving me an itchy trigger finger.

Rescue – Ever wanted take part when a SWAT team goes head to head with a sinister group of bad guys, the lives of hostages in the balance? Well…. I think I’ve made my point. One of the two competitive modes, this is single elimination. Get killed and you’re out. Don’t forget your flack jacket.

Blood Money – There’s a shipment of cash on route through the city, the police are need it for evidence, the criminals… well, probably want it for something much less savory. Grab the loot, stash in the vault, or pinch it from the vault of the other guys, most cash wins!

Crosshair – The second mode with single death elimination match, there’s a high priority target on the run, one side wants him, one side wants to off him. High stakes, high tension, high probability of some fun.

Conquest – Classic Battlefield, this is the big map, big teams and vehicles style multiplayer the series is known for. With 24 players on the Xbox 360 and PS3, Hardline fields a massive 64 players on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. In Conquest, players capture points and deplete the enemy teams ‘reinforcement tickets’ (respawns). Capture more points to bleed your opponents ability to respawn, last team standing wins.

Team Deathmatch – What’s not to understand? Maybe that’s why I like it so much.

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Using a classic matchup the folks behind Battlefield Hardline have created a new take on an old series, taking the strong multiplayer foundation of the Battlefield franchise and gave it a healthy dose of ‘cops and robbers’. With a campaign like something out of your favorite crime drama, and a big suite of multiplayer modes, EA and Visceral Games aim to keep you on the ‘battlefield’ a long time.

Battlefield Hardline is available for the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4

And for addition gear, including the Versatility, Precision and Suppression Battlepacks, get the Deluxe Edition, Available at Best Buy and Bestbuy.ca for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4

 

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