The idea of transferring Battlefield’s grand scale warfare to a more urban and subdued setting like the streets of a major city definitely turned heads, for many different reasons. Leaving aside the bad timing of the game’s initial announcement aside (which was a sticking point for many), it felt like such a strange and jarring concept for the series. While Hardline is far from a bad game, it’s not the greatest the series could be.
On the multiplayer side of things, the series definitely holds up, though not without some problems. It turns out that cops and crooks works very well for this series, because the Heist and Blood Money modes are incredibly fun. Thankfully, the launch was much more stable than Battlefield 4’s, and as cringey as the term “Levolution” is and continues to be, it’s just awesome to watch a crane explode and cause a bunch of chaos during a match. Single player is much more of a mixed bag. Previous games in the series have been about soldiers and vaguely topical wars, and this shows why they’re best suited to that format. While the episodic structure actually ends up working in its favor, the stealth and handcuffing stuff detract from it all and feel like they belong in a different game.
Still, those reload animations are pretty funny.