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Battlefield: Hardline Review

Battlefield: Hardline Trainer
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 
 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Battlefield Hardline. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

A friend asked me recently just what made Battlefield Hardline qualify as an actual Battlefield game and though it may seem like a strange question, it's certainly a valid one. EA and Visceral Game's cops and robbers title may seem like it has more in common with Overkill's Payday series but it's DNA is built firmly upon that of what makes the Battlefield franchise so great to begin with. Looking closely though, this is a game that's unafraid to take chances, (big ones at that), with it's established formula and while they don't all pan out, the ones that do are remarkably refreshing and fun. The developers have done a great job striking the balance of pleasing series diehards while not being afraid to try something new and for that, Battlefield Hardline deserves to be experienced.

 
...the vast majority of Hardline's script is well written...
Battlefield Hardline Review Screenshot
 

Hardline takes nearly everything you expect from a Battlefield game tries to give you something new. Most important here is that instead of spending your time in some war zone overseas, you're cast in a gritty war on drugs in the heart of Miami. The whole thing plays out like a weekly episodic crime show like CSI or NCIS, but the developers clearly drew at least some of their inspiration from Netflix binge watching as evidenced by the "next episode begins in" counter in the bottom right corner after you complete each mission. The story of the boy from the wrong side of the tracks done good but ending up back on the wrong side of the law isn't exactly the most novel idea and it's one that's been done nearly to death in all sorts of media, but it's still done well here. To the developers credit, the vast majority of Hardline's script is well written, and there are even times when the characters almost break out of their archetypical roles, but they never truly achieve that throughout the game's campaign.

The biggest surprise with Hardline is that you can get through a major portion of it without even shooting anyone; no really...in a Battlefield game. Hardline allows you to approach most situations how you'd like, be it going in guns blazing or methodically, choosing to take as many perps into custody as possible. While the stealth gameplay may be new to the franchise, it'll likely seem like old hat to anyone who's played even just a few modern day action games, like the Batman: Arkham series. You can tag enemies to highlight them, and then you'll sneak around taking them out one by one. I found the arresting mechanic to be wildly rewarding and tried to use it as much as I possibly could. You'll have to get the drop on suspects and flash your badge at them, then keep them still until you can get close enough to put cuffs on them. Each enemy to stop has a bar over their head that shows how likely they are to either draw their weapon on you or run so you'll have to keep your weapon trained on them as much as possible; a system that's easier said than done when there's multiple targets but it's an undeniably rewarding feeling to walk through a level and see a bunch of enemies cuffed on the ground.

Maybe it's because of all the stories in the news lately, but playing through Battlefield Hardline, I tried to use as little lethal force as possible and was disappointed at how the game seemed intent on making me do otherwise. Look, I get it, this is a Battlefield game, and shooting is sure to be included but it's treated so lightly here. It would be something else completely if the game treated using your gun as a something unavoidable, or a major plot point, but it's done so in a way that the first time is something you can't avoid, and I felt uneasy about, as I did each time I had to draw my weapon. It also didn't help that regardless of which weapon I had out before trying to take suspects into custody, toggling back to would always result in a gun being drawn. When I knew I had to be more aggressive in my approach I tried to use my stun gun as much as possible, but it almost seemed impossible without ending a few digital lives.

 
...a bit disappointed by Hardline's unlock system.
Battlefield Hardline Review Screenshot
 

I was also a bit disappointed by Hardline's unlock system. Regardless of what mode you're playing in the game you'll earn experience points that can be used to unlock new abilities and equipment, but it seems just a bit misguided. You'll earn the most experience by playing the game as stealthy as possible, but doing so will unlock bigger and noisier guns, but I never really wanted to use them so I ended up losing interest in trying to gain as much experience. I imagine it's much the same for someone who plays Hardline more like a traditional Battlefield game, why should they have to play a game a way they don't like just to earn rewards for the way they do want to play. It is possible to do things the other way but just be warned, it's going to take you a lot longer to do so.

Where Hardline feels most like a traditional Battlefield game is with it's multiplayer modes. Though they too have been dosed with a good deal of cops and robbers, it's here you'll get the large scale warfare the series is known for. The servers have been pretty rock steady since the game's launch and though most of the maps are smaller than in previous games in the series, action has been fun throughout each of the different modes; most of which have all been done, but are still fun never the less.

In a genre full of games that are afraid to change almost anything, Battlefield Hardline dares to buck the system. While not all of it's ideas pan out, those that do are great fun and part of a total package that's remarkably different. It's not for everyone but don't let that stop you from delving into one of the first shooters to really take chances in a long time.

 
Overall:  7/10 Presentation: 7 Gameplay: 8 
Lasting Appeal: 7 CHEATfactor: 6 
 
 
CHEATfactor
 
CHEATS USED: No Recoil, Super Zoom, Invisibility, more
 

The trainer for Battlefield Hardline is remarkably similar to the trainers for other shooters, but that doesn't mean the features are any less useful. I used a lot of the cheats, especially the no recoil and super zoom cheat when the game got really hectic and hey - can you really beat combining an invisibility cheat with perfect accuracy?

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