Play cops and robbers in Battlefield Hardline
Swapping the frontline for the thin blue line, Battlefield Hardline puts you in the shoes of a Miami cop called Nick Mendoza.
It becomes clear very early on that this isn’t a straightforward first-person shooter. As an officer of the law you can flash your badge and shout “FREEZE!”, causing any ne’er-do-wells to reach for the skies. Keep your gun trained on them and you can arrest them, but let them out of your sights for too long (or try it on a whole gang) and they’ll laugh in your face. And these people laugh with their guns.
Perps can be identified using the scanner you carry, which tags enemies and adds them to your map, highlights alarms, analyses evidence, and even lets you listen to conversations from afar. It’s hardly The Wire but at least it gives the illusion of some police work before the bullets start to fly.
Scanning crime scenes allows you to plan your approach – and there’s more than just ‘sneaky’ or ‘shooty’ to choose from. The game’s Fortress Encounters offer multiple routes of attack, and if one doesn’t work you can fall back on another without being unfairly punished.
But Hardline still feels like a Battlefield game. The guns feel big and heavy, and the environments deteriorate brilliantly when caught in the crossfire (we particularly like the way soft furnishings leave a cloud of feathers hanging in the air when the shooting stops). What sets it apart is its more memorable characters and police-specific game mechanics. Let’s hope it lives up to the promise when it’s released next year.
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