Hardline is a solid entry in the series, and the fact that it seems to have launched without technical issues is notable though not really something that should need to be commended. It's doubtful that it will end up as more than a stopgap for fans, however.
A hard campaign (if you play on the hardest mode) and breakneck multiplayer are a good time, if often infuriating.
Battlefield's first foray into stealth makes for a fresh campaign, and the multiplayer has something for everyone.
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.
The cops 'n' robbers theme often does more harm than good to the Battlefield formula, but this peculiar spin-off has just enough tricks of is own to be worth a collar.
Skip the single-player campaign and jump straight into the refined multiplayer
As Battlefield leaves the battlefield, Visceral Games tailors the series' distinct vehicular-based multiplayer for the crime-ridden streets of Miami and L.A. with mostly positive results.
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.
A messy but fun shooter that struggles to combine military tools with police life.
Battlefield Hardline did not crash during our tests and appears to function precisely as expected at this time.
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.
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.
Although Hardline probably won't result in any Battlefield converts, it will provide fans with plenty of entertainment.
It's easy to dismiss Hardline out of hands as being too far removed from Battlefield's typical setting to be worthy of the name, but even as Visceral ride on the brands coattails, they've had the confidence to adapt that core gameplay to suit a new setting. That's not just true of the multiplayer, but also the single player story and its compelling tale of drugs and police corruption.
While Hardline isn't the Battlefield you may be used to it offers a unique approach that will surely please fans of the genre. The campaign is a big step up from previous entries and while the multiplayer anarchy has been trimmed down, the gameplay in its place is more tactical and intimate.
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.
Battlefield: Hardline is a lateral move for the series. Even with a more ambitious single player offering, multiplayer continues to steal the show, offering best in-class gameplay when it works.
Hardline doesn't sufficiently evolve interesting mechanics in the terrible single-player and is only saved by an at times enjoyable multiplayer component.
This is the 10th Battlefield game, and at this stage in the franchise's history, it isn't easy to come up with fresh takes. Visceral Games has done that.
Battlefield: Hardline is a stupid game. I quite like it.