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Spectacular thrills in store as battle commences

Spectacular thrills in store as battle commences

Get the flak jackets at the ready because the heat is coming. The Battlefield franchise has taken a dramatic new trajectory with its latest instalment, Hardline.

Gone is the theatre of war setting, with publishers EA and developers Visceral Games going instead for a focus on crime and heists in the first-person shooter.

It’s the old confrontation of cops and robbers – just throw in some seriously explosive firearms, super-performance vehicles and enough violence and bad language to leave The Expendables cast with their jaws on the floor.

Powered by DICE’s award-winning Frostbite 3 game engine, the game’s production values are on a par with any Hollywood action blockbuster.

For the single player campaign, the developers have made a conscious effort to avoid a linear experience. So the campaign features episodic crime dramas where choices will influence situational outcomes and gameplay experiences.

Controls are tight and seamless and the physics will come naturally to any FPS veteran. You’ll have to choose whether to run-and-gun or use stealth elements to achieve your goals, depending on the situation. Both can be enjoyable, but I always find the sneaky side more rewarding and here it’s no different.

The storyline isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but the characters are interesting and the dialogue is fun.

New multi-player modes included are Heist, Blood Money, Hotwire, Rescue and Crosshair.

In Heist, criminals are trying to infiltrate a cash-filled vault and the cops must regulate them. Once the criminals break in, they have to nab two bags of cash and jam out with them back to each of the two base points.

Then Rescue lets you step into the boots of a SWAT operative tasked with saving innocent lives from the hands of criminals. Players must lead their team carefully into dangerous environments and get the hostages back to safety.

Conquest, meanwhile, sees players capture a base by standing near a flag on foot, in a vehicle or in the skies – if your team owns more flags than the enemy you’ll slowly reduce their tickets, which are their ability to respawn. The first team to run out of tickets loses.

In Blood Money, a massive sum of cash has been intercepted in transit. The criminals are fighting to steal the money, while the cops are trying to secure it as evidence. Each team is trying to secure the money in their team’s vault. Factions must raid the enemy team’s vault to help your team score the most money.

In Crosshair, a former-criminal-turned-state’s witness is on the run from his former crew. The criminals are trying to erase the VIP’s face from the world while the cops are trying to get him out safely.

As stated earlier, the presentation here is nothing short of spectacular. Considering the amount of action on screen at any given time, the fact it runs at a smooth 60fps at 720p on Xbox One and 900p on PS4 is impressive.

The full facelift has given the game a new lease of life, one that we’re sure will see fans give it the thumbs up.