It’s no secret that the Battlefield franchise’s reputation has seen better days. After the tumultuous (to say the least) launch of Battlefield 4, which included numerous server connection problems, few look at Battlefield now as they did a few years ago, when the series was the standard bearer for online FPS games.
Still, Electronic Arts has marched on undeterred, and they hope that today’s release of Battlefield Hardline will help improve the franchise’s standing with fans. Even so, Battlefield Hardline is not a proper Battlefield game, and therefore has its own inherent appeals and risks. Set against the backdrop of the US drug way, Hardline puts players into a cops vs. robbers scenario, played out in typical Battlefield fashion.
For some, though, the prospect of a day one Battlefield purchase is not as exciting as it once was. Rather, many gamers likely want to read a few reviews for the game before dropping down another $60.
So, what did the critics have to say about Battlefield Hardline? Read on to find out:
Polygon (Arthur Gies)
"In areas where Battlefield has always excelled and pushed forward, Hardline presents experiments, rather than refinements or fixes. The result is multiplayer that feels very familiar, very quickly. But its campaign, while feeling not completely sure about what it wants to be, is more interesting and certainly all-around better than the last few years' worth of Battlefield games. The result is something that's both less and more than its predecessors."
Gamespot (Miguel Concepcion)
"It wasn't that long ago that the ability to eject from a fighter plane and seamlessly continue the battle on foot was one of the most awe-inspiring things you can do in an online shooter. That's why many gravitated to the Battlefield series in the first place, and Hardline isn't short of similar transitional vehicular moments. You can spawn in a chopper, do your part as a gunner to take out valued targets on that ground, and then jump out with a parachute so you can capture a marked car. This isn't Iwo Jima or an Arabian oil field--but it's still pure Battlefield."
GamesRadar+ (Ben Griffin)
"While it doesn't feel as vital as Battlefields past, inventive new multiplayer modes and a fresh, if slightly unfocused campaign make Hardline the worthy TV spin-off to DICE’s big budget blockbusters."
EGM (Chris Holzworth)
"Hardline might not reinvent the wheel the series rolls on, but it certainly makes it spin a whole lot smoother. Speeded up gameplay, an opened-up single-player, and a robust suite of new multiplayer modes lends itself to the best Battlefield to date—though that’s not saying much, a decade later."
US Gamer (Kat Bailey)
"The single-player mode starts out promisingly, but bogs down into a rather weak stealth game whose action feels hit-and-miss. Multiplayer is where the game works best, especially on its smaller maps, which can deliver truly thrilling and intense action."
Destructoid (Steven Hansen)
"While Hardline is tone deaf at times, mostly it is just deafening. Explosions and bombast are used not to distract from a troubling narrative as much as a stale one perfunctorily paced and reminiscent of network television emptiness."
Shacknews (Ozzie Mejia)
"Battlefield Hardline feels like a valiant attempt from Visceral and EA, but the gritty crime drama that they're aiming for comes out as an underwhelming effort. Multiplayer offers some fun moments, but it doesn't do enough with the concept to feel like a major leap in the world of first-person shooters. Meanwhile, the campaign feels bogged down under the weight of silly cliches and doesn't offer enough of a tactical, strategic cop experience.
Hardline does show occasional flashes of brilliance, though, so there's definitely something worth pursuing here. With a stronger emphasis on open area stages and multiplayer modes that utilize the police arsenal, Visceral could craft something much stronger in the future. Further investigation is required."
While many publications are still waiting to see if the multiplayer servers can handle the looming onslaught, others have rendered a solid verdict that's slightly above average but not great. A few publications praised the game's campaign for its inventiveness, but the general consensus seems to be that the multiplayer is business as usual. For some that will be perfect, and for others that will be disappointing.
Also, look for Game Rant's Battlefield Hardline review in the coming days.
What has your experience with Battlefield Hardline been like so far? Do you enjoy the game?
Battlefield Hardline is available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.