Can ‘Battlefield: Hardline’ break out of its prequel’s shadow? (Review)


Can a new developer breath life into an aging franchise?  In the case of “Battlefield: Hardine,” the case is a mixture of yes and no.

“Battlefield: Hardline,” the new game from EA, tries hard to be the next great shooter of 2015.  The problem is, by sticking so close to the formula laid out by “Battlefield 4,” the game struggles to find its place in the gaming landscape.  It’s not bad by any means, in fact, the game is quite good.  The problem is that it brings nothing to the scene that “Battlefield 4” didn’t already bring back in 2013.

Unfortunately, the one standout feature of the game, it’s campaign, is too short to leave a lasting impact.  While it tries to bring an interesting story to the “Battlefield” franchise, and at times it does, it buckles under the weight of its own narrative.  The build-up to the finale is very interesting, and while somewhat generic in its storytelling, it keeps you engaged for the most part.  The finale seems kind of weak in comparison, with a twist that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  While the ending does actually stay somewhat open-ended, it isn’t hard to see that the writers of the game wanted to do so much more for the story.

When the game does end, it’s on to multiplayer and long story short: if you liked “Battlefield 4,” you’re going to like “Battlefield: Hardline.”  “Hardline” forgoes the military theme of past games in the series, and brings “Cops N’ Robbers” to the mix.  This means that the large scale battles that “Battlefield” is known for now take place in big cities, which leads to a variety of interesting scenarios.  Everything seems more fast paced, and having huge police chases through the cities make for some of the most exhilarating experiences in the series to date.  Besides that, the game brings little new to the franchise, and struggles to differentiate itself from “Battlefield 4.”

“Battlefield: Hardline” is not a bad game.  In fact, it’s often very fun.  Unfortunately, it offers very few news things to the franchise that aren’t already in “Battlefield 4.” If you liked “4,” you’ll probably enjoy this new entry in the franchise.  If you didn’t like it, than “Hardline” doesn’t offer anything you haven’t already seen.  I enjoyed the game, but I don’t see it as any more than a stopgap between “Battlefield 4” and the inevitable “Battlefield 5.”