On the plus side, motorcycles are incredibly fun to drive for the ten seconds before you get shot off them. Also, the cars play some great music.
Another thing I noticed: There are multiple classes that seemingly focus on shotguns and close-quarters combat, but the only map I've played is the aforementioned gigantic meth compound with tons of wide-open space, rendering those shotguns pretty useless. In fact, things have gone the opposite direction, with at least half the players in any given match I played using sniper rifles.
Part of me assumes there must be more close-quarters maps in the full game, but it would be impossible to play Hotwire without wide-open spaces so... I'm torn.
Lastly, there's movement. It's funny that only a year ago every game played like a modern military shooter, with its slavish devotion to realism. Now, after a year of Titanfall, Evolve, Dying Light, and COD: Advanced Warfare I'm finding that running like a normal human being is, well, boring.
Obviously it wouldn't make sense to include something like wall-running in Hardline, but I did miss how mobile I am in other games--not just because it's fun to jump willy-nilly across rooftops but because it opens up more tactical options. In something like Dying Light a staircase is nothing but a suggestion. In Hardline, it can become a hard chokepoint.
On all that moralizing cop stuff
It's impossible (or at least irresponsible) to divorce games from a larger context, and the context when it comes to America's increasingly militarized police force? Not so great, the past few months.
Battlefield: Hardline 's multiplayerdoesn't feel like a police game or even a police movie. It feels like a military game where the soldiers forgot their uniforms and helmets, found a cache of surplus "POLICE" jackets, shrugged, and put them on.
So I could almost forget I was playing a police game and put it all behind me and pretend it's not really an issue, but there are still some gross aspects--like when you murder some criminal and bark out "SUSPECT DOWN!" Or beating a guy with a police baton until he dies. It feels weird.
And ultimately it's a bit interesting it feels weird. Apparently killing police is okay--not just in Hardline but in Grand Theft Auto and Payday, et cetera--but killing criminals as police seems wrong to me.
Oh well. Personal preference. And again, this is just one aspect (multiplayer) of what's eventually going to be a full package. I'm still holding out hope for a fun, cinematic buddy cop singleplayer campaign from Visceral.
Multiplayer, though? At the moment I'd rather stick to Battlefield 4.
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