Battlefield Hardline: Dead Spacious

Much as Dead Space’s achievement lay in persuading you that it hadn't, in fact, gotten Alien pregnant with Resident Evil 4, so Battlefield Hardline’s key gambit is to pretend that it isn’t just a Battlefield game with a plot and aesthetic abducted from television cop shows and heist cinema. The weapons are unfortunately telling, here. Yes, you can flick out a taser to non lethally disable an enemy sold sorry, armed suspect, if you want to play the responsible enforcer and yes, those grappling lines (which are handy during flanking actions) do put us in mind of Ocean’s Eleven.

But at the end of the day, you’ll still get to wield rocket launchers, grenades and c-4, and those heavier-hitting weapons and gizmos are still instrumental to a campaign and multiplayer in which buildings topple backwards like penguins mesmerised by passing aircraft. similarly, those story levels that we’ve played still involve following an NPc down a corridor while they dispense authentic-sounding patter.

Maze runner
Hardline’s corridor might be a wrinkly avenue in the housing projects, splattered with fliers and gum, but that’s all much of a muchness if you look at your mini map, on which swarms of orange icons await destruction or takedown. Doing the latter shows the premise to strongest effect rather than just creeping up with a set of cheese wires, you’ll need to hold up the target (or targets) by showing your badge, then keep them in your sights till you’re close enough to administer the cuffs.

If Hardline often apes its DICE-developed predecessors hardly outlandish behaviour for a studio taking its first pop at a licence it is at least trying to fix them. The single player campaign is much more supportive of player choice when it comes to the scenarios pegged out inside that corridor, for example. There are Far Cry 4 Outpost master-style segments where you’ll be called upon to take or hold a stretch of ground by fair means (making arrests) or foul (pretty much every other approach available to you).

The result is a play of tactics that genuinely compares to what’s possible in multiplayer, as you tuck mines near blind corners, and use ziplines to enter firefights boots first. multiplayer, conversely, borrows a few devices from the campaign in the shape of hostage rescue and car chase modes. Hardline aims  to liberate players from the squalid grindiness of previous offerings which is somewhat ironic for a game in which you’re asked to uphold the law.

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