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E3 2014: Battlefield: Hardline

Posted on June 12, 2014 AT 10:30am

Publisher Electronic Arts
Developer Visceral Games
Platform XB1, PS4, 360, PS3, PC
Release Date 10.21.2014
You can read the rest of our Opinionated Guide to E3 2014 or head to our E3 hub for even more coverage.

The Rundown

Taking this military first-person-shooter series in a different direction—well, aesthetically, anyway—Battlefield: Hardline sees you swapping Army uniforms and terrorist garb for police uniforms and, uh, whatever criminals wear. But since it’s still a shooter, this ends up feeling less like you and your little brother playing cop and robbers and more like that scene in the movie Heat when Al Pacino’s bank-robbing crew gets into a furious gun battle on the streets of Los Angeles with the LAPD…if that movie had been directed by explosion fetishist Michael Bay.

The Verdict

Unfortunately for Battlefield: Hardline, timing is everything. If I hadn’t seen Activision’s explosive Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare presentation the day before, and if I hadn’t gotten to play Ubisoft’s similarly cops-vs.-robbers shooter Rainbow Six: Siege the day before as well, I might’ve appreciated Battlefield: Hardline a lot more.

But, unfortunately for Battlefield: Hardline, I did, and it just doesn’t stack up. Not at the moment, anyway. While it is, as the Michael Bay comment above hints, quite explosive, it’s not different enough to distinguish itself from previous games in this series the way Call of Duty does from its predecessors, nor is it as unique or using the cops-and-robbers thing as well as Siege.

Instead, it mostly feels like Battlefield 3 or 4 but with people dressed as cops and criminals instead of soldiers and terrorists. And even then, some of the outfits are similar. In the mode I got to play—in which me and my fellow felons had to grab a suitcase full of cash and run away while the cops tried to stop us with extreme prejudice—I was still just running around, shooting at the people on the other team.

Also, while the game will be out this October, they only let us play the one mode, which was the same one as in the trailer, and nothing from single-player. In theory, there could be a lot of things in both the campaign and multiplayer that take better advantage of the cops-versus-criminals motif. I really hope so.

Paul Semel, Contributor
Paul has been writing about movies, music, video games, books, TV, toys, celebrities, and other fun stuff since the early-’90s. A regular contributor to EGM since 2004, he's also written for Entertainment Weekly, Bikini, Maxim, Raygun, Walmart GameCenter, Rides, and Emmy, among others. Please follow him on Twitter at @paulsemel. Or don't. Whatever.

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