I was going to write this book to Box like I usually do but I thought this would be a good time to write a post.
Okay, so I recently got an Xbox One again and, thanks to a friend, I also got Battlefield Hardline. To explain why I wanted to play Battlefield Hardline’s campaign, I have to briefly discuss Medal of Honor Warfighter.
Medal of Honor Warfighter is the sequel to 2009’s shark-jumping Medal of Honor, wherein they dropped subtitles and switched to modern technology because it worked for Call of Duty 4. Features from previous games, like squadmates that weren’t invincible, were sacrificed in favor of nothing in particular. While Warfighter was as boring as that kind of game could get, it did have two incredible driving segments.
You won’t believe these driving segments. The linear city streets you drive through are rendered very convincingly, like you could turn off at any time and end up in a GTAV-esque sandbox. They were restricted to a first person view, as God intended, and had exciting car chasing and car run-awaying pieces. The second level involves looking in your rearview to see the headlights of chasing cars reflected in them. Pretty cool!
Battlefield Hardline, like Medal of Honor Warfighter, was made in the Frostbite engine. Battlefield Hardline is about cops versus robbers, so I imagined it must have a bevy of driving segments.
Well, it kind of does. The first level has one good but brief city car chase, and that’s it. Like Warfighter, the city was wonderfully hand-crafted in spite of it going by so fast that it couldn’t be appreciated. it was restricted to an immersive first person view and it wasn’t too tough but wasn’t too easy.
I’m at the last level of the game now, and I’m not sure I’m going to finish. You see, the first level lied to me. The game has one terribly bland airboating segment in a swamp, and some uneventful cruises through Arizona. While I found the setting of Arizona nostalgic, I would have preferred about 500% the number of car chases I got.
The majority of the game is spent on foot, wherein the player has two approaches for every situation.
In the first approach, the player uses Crysis-esque cyber-binoculars to mark targets before moving in stealthily to knock them all out one by one or arrest them in groups of three. This is very time-consuming and repetitive, as the game only has one enemy type, human, and they never improve their anti-stealth tactics.
In the second approach, the player abuses how stupid the AI is to shoot all of the AI. This is a very quick and effective way to get through all segments. I got from the beginning to the last level in one sitting, which felt like it mostly involved cutscenes.
I guess I’ll talk about the plot. You’re Detective Menendez, a loose-cannon cop who also does things by the books. Things go south when he and his partner, Stoddard, shoot a bunch of suspects in a drug bust. Oops!
Rather than a lengthy level of filling out paperwork, going through a psyche evaluation, and informing all the young peoples’ parents that you shot them, you go straight to Captain Badguy, who proceeds to describe the first five minutes of the game as “an utter goatfuck” and “a shit that stinks so bad, your own goddamned mother wouldn’t wipe it off your ass!”
Captain Badguy then says you should partner up with an Asian lady named Khai, who “sells sex appeal to the nerd demographic or some shit.” Khai is quick to complain about Menendez’s handling of the first five minutes of the game as “worse than ten goatfucks,” but Captain Badguy insists that the audience is demanding a Latino/Asian teamup and that they “won’t be disappointed.”
A bunch of boring shit happens. Menendez and Khai meet up with A Funny Criminal Guy. They then find out Stoddard (remember him?) is a badguy. Then Menendez finds out everyone is a badguy when Stoddard and Khai tell him to steal some stolen money. Menendez says, “No thank you,” and later discovers that Khai and Badguy were “just fucking with (him)” and that kicking Stoddard’s ass is still on the table.
Menendez then quickly discovers that actually Stoddard, Khai and Badguy are badguys after all, and Badguy is the ringleader. Menendez prays for some other cops to come rescue him, but then remembers he and the three traitors before him are the only cops in the entire precinct.
Long story short, A Funny Criminal Guy and Khai break Menendez out of prison, then Menendez shoots Stoddard right in the fucking face and texts a picture of it to Captain Badguy (that actually happens). Badguy says, “I am the big badguy, you will come to my private island where we will do final battle.”
And that’s where I’m at now. I’m shocked I not only got just a handful of subpar car chases, but also never got to team up with SWAT and storm a building. I was really expecting to have SWAT teammates at some point in the game. Instead, your teammates are just your partners. Half the time, they will follow the player and shoot badguys really weakly with handguns. The other half of the time, they actually don’t move from the beginning of the area and don’t react to enemies at all. Weird!
Don’t worry about them though, because they’re not featured on the last level. Menendez arrives to the island intentionally alone to take on Captain Badguy. Is it my fault if I don’t care about seeing the ending at this point?