Battlefield Hardline – Cop Out

Game Backlog Update #5

My List of Doom gets one game shorter with this post.  Getting there!


Battlefield Hardline
(Xbox One)

I have a confession to make: I gave up on Battlefield Hardline much sooner than I should have.  I managed about three hours in total before I realised that I’m a Battlefield snob.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but being such a snob meant that I had a really tough time overlooking what I wanted instead of just enjoying what I got.

What makes my snobbishness even worse is that it’s something that I dislike in others.  It really irritates me when people show disdain for a game because it didn’t conform to their precise expectations of it.  It’s this sense of entitlement that bothers me, but at the same time, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel it towards Battlefield Hardline.

I hate myself.

There was a long period of time where I would religiously play various incarnations of Battlefield games every weekend. Strictly multiplayer though as I have a fairly low opinion of their campaigns after Bad Company 2, and with good reason – they’re shit. They almost always abandon the large maps and vehicular warfare – arguably the main attraction of most BF games –  in favour of shallow, linear storylines inspired by the Call of Duty series.

Why EA felt the need to emulate an inferior series is beyond me.  Obviously that’s just my personal opinion creeping in there.  If you prefer CoD to Battlefield then more power to you.

But I digress.

I’ve lost a score of Sunday evenings to the Battlefield series but I wouldn’t take any of them back.  I loved every minute of them, and some of my most memorable gaming moments have come from those virtual war zones.  I’m waffling here but I want you to understand my love and appreciation for the Battlefield series.  Understanding that will hopefully explain why Hardline seemed to rub me up the wrong way.  Hopefully.

Bad Company 2

This is how BF should be.  No cops, no robbers, just warring factions and large open environments to fight on.  

The reason I spent so little time with Hardline is because it just didn’t feel right.  It felt like Visceral Games (probably under orders from EA) had borrowed ideas from other popular titles and tried to mould the Battlefield series around them.  The episodic nature of the campaign and the cops versus crooks multiplayer just didn’t seem to mesh with the traditional Battlefield experience.

This tampering with a working formula felt, to me at least, unnecessary.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for developers experimenting with their past successes, but this felt more like a step in a direction that Battlefield didn’t need to go.  Hardline took a solid war game and tried to morph it into a TV cop show.

But what about the actual gameplay?

Well, it was…

…Okay.

The mechanics were fine.  The gunplay felt like it should with each gun having its own distinct feel, and the vehicular combat in multiplayer was fast and exciting.  I couldn’t really fault the gameplay at all.  Instead it’s the setting and the premise that I had a problem with.  They just didn’t live up to the expectations that I have for a Battlefield game.

I’m so ashamed of myself for even thinking that.

I didn’t enjoy Hardline because I couldn’t get over my Battlefield snobbery.  I realise that’s a criticism of me and not the game, but that’s something that I’ll have to come to terms with.  I’m determined to return to Hardline in the future with a more open mind, but for now I’m going to cross it off my list.

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