Battlefield Hardline

Winning at multiplayer games is always fun. However winning when you’re not really sure what the hell you’re doing is a tad unsettling, as we found out in a recent hands-on with Hardline’s new Hotwire mode. The idea, as the criminals, is essentially to take control of various vehicles on the map, gaining points for time spent at the controls.

The cops, meanwhile, have to stop you. And so we found ourselves riding a motorbike around and around the perimeter of a swampy, countryside map, racking up a massive score while never coming close to getting caught. But this is probably more down to a lax law enforcement presence than anything to do with Visceral’s design.

Rescue is the other fresh take on MP, and it’s one designed specifically with eSports in mind. Five cops take on five crims, attempting to free hostages trapped within a building – but the key differentiator is that each player only has one life. With the small squad sizes and high penalty for death it makes for tense exchanges, and ones which are pleasingly tactical compared to Battlefield’s usual bombast. It feels like a cross between Payday 2 and Rainbow Six Siege, and that’s definitely a positive.

Vice grip

But this is a series that always does online well, so it’s perhaps more pleasing to see the promise that single-player is showing. The episodic (in terms of story structure, not release), cop show vibe looks to be well implemented, with enjoyably scholcky dialogue and a slightly off-the-wall cast of characters. Also promised is a ‘choose your approach’ system, which, to be frank, looks like it’s riffing a hell of a lot on Far Cry 3 although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Tagging tools allow you to track enemies around encampments, and you can choose to stay hidden and do your business using chokes and tazers, or simply wade in shotguns blaring.

It’s hardly revolutionary, but combined with the less straight-faced approach it should freshen up what’s become an increasingly stale campaign offering. Basically if we can have a Payday game made with Battlefield polish, that’d suit us down to the ground.

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