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Full review: Battlefield Hardline

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Fans of FPS games will love Hardline for its new features and the continued expansion and improvement of the multiplayer and, especially, since the last DLC pack 'Betrayal' is set release this year.

By Paul Farrel & Jonathan Shaw

The latest instalment in the Battlefield series, Hardline, takes players to the streets of Los Angeles, as rookie cop Nick Mendoza, tasked with a drug bust, goes south faster than a bird, flying in the middle of winter. In the process, they do manage to arrest the last surviving suspect of the crew and manage to get information out of him about ties to a cocaine broker, called Tyson Latchford.

After being reassigned to Khai Min Dao, Nick locates one of Tyson associates, Tap Milstein, and force him to wear a wire where they learn the existence of a new type of cocaine called Hot Shot. However, after this op, Mendoza’s former partner Carl Stoddard fatally shoots a defenceless man, causing Nick to confront Captain Dawes about the shooting. Afterwards, evidence linking Stoddard to the shooting is destroyed and Nick is arrested.

On the way to prison, Nick escapes with the assistance of Tyson and Tap. The mastermind behind the escape is none other than Kai and, according to Kai Dawes, founded a private law enforcement called Preferred Outcome, which has cleaned up Miami and is planning on expanding it to other US cities.

Now Nick is forced to fight against some of his former friends in the Police Department while dealing with a drug operation run by a Henry Kang, who is a investor in Preferred Outcomes, at the same time dealing with other criminals who have warrants on them.

The multiplayer is also fairly expansive with a heavy emphasis on civilian armaments and vehicles and players able to drive modified SUVs, and use double barrel shotguns. Unlike past Battlefield games, the four classes are Operator, Mechanic, Enforcer and Professional, each of them having their own unique gadgets and weapons. The Operator has access to assault rifles and carbines, with first aid kits and some of his gadgets being a syringe that can revive teammates or allow the player to survive being hit by a car. The Mechanic class has access to sub-machine guns and revolvers, with a various amount of explosives and a satellite phone to allow people to spawn in where ever the player chooses. He can also use explosives to sabotage different vehicles and repair them as well. The Enforcer has access to shotguns and battle rifles, with his gadgets being ammunition boxes, a riot shield and breaching charges. And, finally, the Professional has access to sniper rifles (both semi-automatic and single fire) and machine pistols. His gadgets include laser trip mines, cameras, decoys and a mask, which reduces the likelihood of him being spotted by thermal imaging and making their footsteps quieter. IN addition to that is the various DLCs available, all of which add new weapons, new gadgets, new maps and vehicles. One of the main gameplay mechanics is the two different types of melee weapon. Players can choose the traditional knife or a blunt object such as a police baton.

The Knives can be used to kill, but the baton can be used to non-lethally subdue an opponent, allowing the player to interrogate their foe, which reveals the location of all enemies currently alive. However, non-lethal takedowns aren’t just limited to melee weapons, because the player can equip a taser as their secondary weapon, which can easily stun opponents. But it does come at the cost of a short range.

Another main gameplay mechanic is the unlock system. Unlike Battlefield 4, where you had to get kills to unlock stuff, in Hardline every action whether it be objective or acquiring a kill, will get you money that you can use to purchase weapons, attachments and gadgets of your choice.

Not all weapons will be available for purchase though, as some require a challenge to be completed. One example being the double barrel shotgun, as to unlock it, you must complete the Enforcer Syndicate challenge which is the final Enforcer challenge.

There are four syndicate weapons available, the ARM for the Operator, the FMG-9 for the Mechanic, the previously mentioned double barrel shotgun for the Enforcer and finally the 300 Knockout sniper rifle for the Professional. One returning gameplay mechanic from Battlefield 4 is the commander mode, but this time it is referred to as ‘the hacker’. Similar to commander role, the hacker can identify enemies and conceal teammates. The only downside is that he needs to find an electrical item and override it, if the enemy destroys that device then he will lose his connection.

All in all Battlefield Hardline is a very innovative turn for the series, showing fans that series fatigue has not set in for the Battlefield series. Fans of FPS games will love Hardline for its new features and the continued expansion and improvement of the multiplayer and, especially, since the last DLC pack ‘Betrayal’ is set release this year, adding more content, as well as introducing the gun bench for premium players, allowing the player to customise the look of their weapons – even adding a stat tracker showing how much damage they have done.

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