Battlefield: Hardline

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Battlefield: Hardline Game Poster Image
Violent, bloody shooter offers option to arrest enemies.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 25 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Suggests strength of will, sense of righteous purpose can triumph in the face of overwhelming odds. Sensationalizes realistic gun violence but rewards players for using nonlethal force when possible.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play a police officer with a sense of purpose, only using lethal force when necessary, subduing suspects whenever possible, only firing on enemies when attacked. Diverse cast with strong characters of both genders, though some are criminals and corrupt.

Ease of Play

Multiple difficulty levels let players tune campaign to match their abilities. Success online against other players determined by experience, skill.

Violence

Players use pistols, rifles, shotguns to kill enemies. Blood flows, splashes from wounds. Characters scream in pain when struck. Noninteractive narrative sequences depict murders, including an execution-style gunshot to the head. Dead man shown hanging, his legs bitten off by crocodiles.

Sex
Language

Frequent use of  "f--k," "s--t."

Consumerism

Part of Electronic Arts' popular Battlefield series. Players encouraged to purchase additional downloadable content. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters depicted drinking alcohol, snorting drugs. Large packages of drugs, opened and sealed, must be found, examined. Some story elements focus on drug dealers and contain descriptions, discussions of drugs, including liquid cocaine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Battlefield: Hardline is a first-person shooter with strong violence. Players take on the role of a noble police officer attempting to take down major drug dealers while dealing with corrupt colleagues. Players can choose to have him act like a real officer, arresting and nonlethally subduing most of the criminals he encounters and shooting suspects only when he's fired upon. But once he engages in combat, the gun battles are intense. Blood gushes from wounds, splattering the ground, and victims scream in pain. Dialogue is laced with very strong profanity, and nonplayer characters can be seen consuming alcohol and snorting drugs. Note, too, that this game supports online play with open voice communication.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byBest reviews around March 19, 2015

Multiplayer is the way to go

The campain on this game is like any other game, there is violence but nothing that bad. I have never been a supporter of rated M games. But the multiplayer on... Continue reading
Adult Written byNeighbor52 March 22, 2015

Other comments explain all

I myself own this game and I just knew this would be popular with kids. It's got car chases, multiple gadgets, all the exciting stuff that gets their blood... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byimjustab03 April 1, 2015

It's fine honestly.

Just because it's an 18/M doesn't mean you shouldn't allow your child to have it. The blood and gore isn't really that bad. In campaign ther... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCheesyHotDogPuff April 5, 2015

Battlefield takes a new turn, but not for the best

This game is overall an ok game. If it didn't have "Battlefield" in the title, this game would be an easy 4/5. However, I am dissapointed overall... Continue reading

What's it about?

Players step into the shoes of righteous Miami detective Nick Mendoza in BATTLEFIELD: HARDLINE, an urban, police-themed first-person shooter. Surrounded by corruption and going up against drug dealers who don't hesitate to attack officers, Mendoza and his partner Khai Minh Dao engage in off-the-books ops around Miami in a mix of stealth, tactics, and gun combat. Players use a scanner to evaluate environments, searching for clues and suspects. You have the option to arrest or detain criminals nonviolently, which provides bonus points and quicker leveling progression. But violence is often unavoidable, leading to frenetic gun battles. Online play features large teams of cops and criminals fighting each other in huge urban environments across a broad selection of modes with varying objectives. Hotwire mode is much like a typical Conquest mode, save that players must capture and drive vehicles rather than capturing spawn points. Another called Blood Money has teams rushing toward an open crate of dirty money in the center of a map, trying to collect as much as they can before time runs out.

Is it any good?

Battlefield: Hardline's campaign presents a gorgeous, lushly detailed world and a twisty story filled with interesting characters on both sides of the law. It also introduces some relatively novel concepts in the world of first-person shooters, such as the ability to subdue rather than kill enemies. However, it also suffers from uneven pacing -- you'll encounter lengthy swathes of play without any real action at all -- and clunky level design that abruptly shifts between open-world play and extremely linear chases without quite managing to really excel in either type of play. It's spectacular in some sections but ultimately forgettable.

Multiplayer, however, is where most players will spend the bulk of their time and makes for a much more compelling experience. Despite some obvious deviations from previous Battlefield games (the urban setting means a different selection of weapons and vehicles compared to the series' war-themed editions), the overall vibe and tactics are surprisingly familiar. There's the same massive scale of maps and players, the same unpredictability from pitting vehicles such as helicopters and armored cars against characters running around on foot, the same sense of chaos that's embraced or tempered by disciplined squads of friends playing as a strategic group. A couple of new, more intimate modes with fewer players and smaller maps provide a nice change of pace for those who want it, but for the most part, the multiplayer is simply Battlefield with cops and criminals instead of soldiers. That'll likely suit most fans just fine.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Did you find the inclusion of nonlethal weapons to be more satisfying or realistic than other games in which player characters simply shoot all their enemies?  

  • Families also can discuss online safety. What do you do when you encounter abusive players? Mute them? Block them? Report them? Try to find another session? 

Game details

For kids who love action

Our editors recommend

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