Here’s the things that parents should know about Battlefield Hardline. I worked with my Family Gamer TV colleague Jordan Erica Webber to put together this comprehensive list of why it’s such a popular game and what to watch out for.
Battlefield Hardline is the latest in the Battlefield series of first-person shooters, games viewed from the eyes of the main character. The previous games in the series were about military situations, but Hardline features a different kind of war, between police and criminals.
In the single-player campaign, players play through an “episodic crime drama” as a detective called Nick Mendoza. In the online multi-player mode, players can play as either cops or criminals in various modes that pit the two against each other. Aside from more traditional “death match” and “capture the flag” style modes, there are also multi-player modes that fit better with the cops vs. criminals theme. In Heist, for example, the criminals have to infiltrate a vault, steal two bags of cash, and take them to base points, while the cops have to stop them.
Battlefield Hardline will likely feel similar to previous Battlefield games to play, but the crime theme and modes bring it closer to the online multi-player of GTA V.
Hardline‘s single-player campaign is made up of ten episodes and a prologue. Nick Mendoza and his sidekick Khai carry out various missions dealing with criminals in Miami. Since they’re cops, guns are only a part of their tool-set. They also have their badges, police scanners, and various gadgets.
Developer Visceral Games is better known for the Dead Space series, and also made Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel.
Battlefield Hardline is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and 360 for around $60. To play online multi-player on PS4, Xbox One, or 360, you’ll need a subscription to either PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold.
5. Duration and Difficulty
The single-player campaign varies in duration depending on how a player chooses to play, but with ten missions it is expected to last around 10 hours. Those who want to play the online multi-player will spend more time with the game.
The variety of gadgets and ways to tackle missions should make the game more accessible to those who aren’t experts at first-person shooters
In the US, the ESRB rates Battlefield Hardline M for Mature, with content descriptors for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, and Use of Drugs. The rating summary describes the “firearms and tactical gear (e.g., pistols, shotguns, rifles, machine guns, grenades, tasers)” and violent effects of the player’s actions: “realistic gunfire, screams of pain, and blood splatter effects. Cutscenes depict more intense acts of violence: a man shot in the head at close range; an unarmed character shot in the chest. In one sequence, a corpse is depicted with its legs chewed off.” Enemies are shown taking drugs like cocaine and marijuana, and the “f” and “s” words appear in the dialogue.
Lobby group Common Sense Media hasn’t yet rated Battlefield Hardline but rates recent games in the series as “not for kids.”
In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Battlefield Hardline as only appropriate for those aged 18 and older for “violence against vulnerable and defenseless persons, frequent strong language and glamorisation of the use of illegal drugs.”
The GRA expands on its PEGI details, explaining that the game “revolves around police corruption and Miami’s drug war”, that the multi-player allows players to “beat and shoot at restrained hostages with bags over their heads,” which is met “with flinching and blood splatters, though the hostages will not die,” and that there are “frequent uses” of the “f” word. The GRA also adds that the game “features online playing capability which may involve real-time interaction with other players.”
7. Why people play
The Battlefield series has traditionally been known as a competitor to Call of Duty, another military shooter with similar story lines and mechanics. Battlefield Hardline changes things up with its story of cops vs criminals; while the change of scenery is refreshing enough in itself, the reduced reliance on guns and the introduction of various ways to play each mission makes this an interesting take on the overly familiar formula.