Spoiler Warning Battlefield Hardline Episode 1

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Apr 8, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 130 comments

Josh was sick this week so we couldn’t continue our Absolution playthrough. Instead…

Link (YouTube)

The common defense is that criticizing the story parts of a COD or Battlefield game is like critiquing the story parts of a porno: You’re missing the point. But if a porno spent over half its budget and a third of its running time on story parts, and if they hired AAA actors to be in it? Yeah, I think that’s worth a critical look. If the story doesn’t matter, why spend so much money on it? And if you spend THAT MUCH money on it, why can’t you make it good? And if you can’t make it good, why spend so much of the audience’s time on it?

I like the criminal chatter behind the door before you bust into the room. But then you kick open the door and everyone is clearly sitting down and making no effort to do the things they shouted. I like that you can arrest people instead of murdering them. But then one person pops out of the bathroom and you somehow end up murdering everyone anyway, including the people who were cuffed on the floor? And the table disintegrates? Then we need to gather evidence, but instead we trample on all the bodies and evidence before having the magic teleporting car chase.

It’s like there was one game designer who wanted to make this game grounded and interesting, and another developer who was a hyperactive 12 year old, and they took turns designing the game.

Sure is pretty, though.


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130 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning Battlefield Hardline Episode 1

  1. General Karthos says:

    I’ve never understood the appeal of shooters at all. I’m more of an RPG player, and the kind of RPG player who is pissed off about all this combat in the way of my story.

    A little combat is fine, and you need to kill the jello mold to get the ding of your next level, but I’d honestly be fine if they cut the combat content in most RPGs down to about a tenth of what it is, and let me level up, then get on with the story. Hell, since most of leveling up just makes you better in combat, skip the combat entirely and let me push a button that gives me access to more conversation options.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Well, RPGs are in this game.

      Just, not the one you were referring to.

      1. Aulayan says:

        …So many comments, so I’ll just leave it to…


        1. Ravens Cry says:

          Interestingly, rocket propelled grenade is actually a backronym. It originally meant ruchnoy protivotankovy granatomyot, Russian for ‘hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher’.

    2. Tizzy says:

      General: I’m with you man. I could do with less combat. And when the crew mentioned the lack of dialogue wheel, that reminded me of my favorite late 90's RPG’s, where dialogue was not a way to game morality points, or a stealth quicktime event or pass/fail mechanic, but rather a valid way to bypass combat or discover new quest hooks.

      Whatever happened to that?

    3. Bropocalypse says:

      I guess it really depends on what you’re looking for. I find turn-based combat and random encounters incredibly tiresome, and so Japanese RPGs in particular drive me insane. Hell, I even find the original two Fallouts tedious.

      1. General Karthos says:

        Actually, this is kinda the point I was making. Tedious repetitive combat gets in the way of my story in RPGs. And often makes little sense. I figure cut the combat to 10% of what it was, multiply the XP gain by 10, and let us get on to our story.

        Better yet, let those who love combat have their full share of it, and let those of us who don’t like it skip most or all of it.

        1. Ringwraith says:

          Currently been playing Bravely Default, a turn-based JRPG which lets you freely adjust the encounter rate (want to turn them off? No problem!) Has its combat system be deliberately deep (like you can skip turns when you want, and take multiples turns in one go) and one of the stars of the show, and has a really robust auto-combat option, so you can easily set it up walking around in circles mowing down double-rate random encounters in one turn and getting stackloads more experience for it if you do ever need to grind anything.
          Although strategy and messing with the job systems is where its at.

          1. Dt3r says:

            The ability to set the encounter rate was pretty awesome! The game was pretty good overall, but then end had some issues… I’ll stop there to avoid spoilers.

            1. Ringwraith says:

              Yeah, does start dragging out a bit, however, with the aforementioned encounter-reducing, not massively deal-breaking.
              It’s not ‘pretty much every JRPG’s final dungeon ever’-level though.

    4. ehlijen says:

      It all depends on the quality of the combat mechanics. If the combat is actually fun (for me that’s MechWarrior, Tie Fighter/Freespace, new Tomb raider, XCOM+JA for example), I’ll happily play the game just to enjoy some shooty fun even if I already know the story in and out.
      If the combat is at least fast paced (high levels in Kotor, Fallout New Vegas minus some of the DLC), I’ll not mind grinding my way through.
      But if the combat is neither fun nor fast (Dragon Age, especially 2), it does indeed become a chore.

      A good story in a game is great, and I’ll play even through a linear one again. But there is something to be said about being able to just jump into a game and cause a bunch of mayhem and not care.

      The issue is that some people love certain combat gameplay and others don’t. Those who love it want more of it, those who don’t want less, and both camps can be it in for the story in the end. It’s like spices and condiment on food.

      1. General Karthos says:

        I enjoy flight simulators, but I don’t really include them in the shooter genre. I guess you could, but at least my favorite flight simulator of all time (Red Baron 3D) makes no effort to present a story beyond “you are a fighter pilot in World War I”. X-Wing and TIE Fighter both had stories but they were very much secondary background elements.

        What gets to me is when a game presents “story” as the main element, and then puts in ten minutes of combat for every minute of conversation.

        The Combat in Dragon Age II was terrible, but it made up for it by having an even worse story. The Combat in Dragon Age Inquisition isn’t as bad as II, but isn’t as good as Origins. (IMO.)

        I don’t much like the combat in Mass Effect either, though some of it is fun.

        In all these games, no matter what difficulty I start at, I end up turning the difficulty down to casual and waltz through all the fights to get to my story. (Dragon Age: Inquisition is the only exception. So far. Haven’t finished the game yet.)

    5. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Pillars award xp for exploration and questing,so you are encouraged to avoid unnecessary combat.

      If only alpha protocol was more balanced and less buggy it would be great,because its meat is infiltration and talking,and infiltration can mean sneaking or punching or shooting,depending on what you prefer.

  2. Dt3r says:

    I was legitimately curious about how bad they would screw this up. Thank you for playing it, so we don’t have to. :P

  3. Toasty Virus says:

    This game is an interesting ATTEMPT to do something different, I can give it that.

    I do like your new background, keeps everything looking interesting!

    1. Tizzy says:

      I see so much potential. The mechanics spoil it pretty fast, but this could have been so much more.

      But the only way this could have worked is by disallowing shooting through the game, and I guess they didn’t want to disallow the player to do that. Maybe it’s the weight of the franchise’s expectations…

      1. Chauzuvoy says:

        I feel like 1/3 to 1/2 of the design/writing team wanted to pull a Spec Ops: The Line with this, and sneak a thoughtful and subversive game into a franchise that nobody expects anything of. The crew jokes that the game wants to be The Wire, but there are hints of something along those lines. I’m imagining that with a few changes you could use the mechanics to force players into a difficult situation where using force risks hurting an innocent person and damages your relationship with the community you’re supposed to protect and serve, but holding back risks placing your life at risk if it lets a dangerous criminal get the drop on you. Throw that in a story where the criminals you’re facing off against are well-rounded characters rather than merely obstacles to overcome and you have something resembling an actual examination of the subject.

        Unfortunately, instead we got a game that plays it extremely safe on all fronts, and the only departures from the standard Modern-Military-FPS model are to bring it in line with the Stealth-Option-FPS model that’s gotten so popular these last few years.

  4. Mathias says:

    I’m sorry, but I cracked up when that one guy turned towards Chris and Cuban McPoliceofficer just threw a damn haymaker right at his jaw.

    Protect and serve, ladies and gentlemen!

  5. gggggaaaaarrrrrrreeeeeetttttt says:

    Come on Guys don’t be so childish Battlefield: Hard-On? Okay lets keep it mature in here and call it its actual name Battlefield: Wee-Woo.

    1. bucaneer says:

      Don’t be so hard on them.

      1. MrGuy says:

        Yeah. Get yourself a stiff drink.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Ohh,trying to loosen the situation,I see.

    2. Syal says:

      Buttfield: Hardass

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Aww yeah,its bad cops time!

  7. The Rocketeer says:

    Chris, I mean no disrespect at all, but please, please:

    A Vox AC-30 is a vintage guitar amplifier.

    A Lockheed AC-130 is a prop-driven heavy gunship.

    I know you mean the airplane, but you’re setting me up for a finale where the bad guys are defeated with this, and I can’t handle the disappointment when that fails to materialize.

    1. Chris says:

      In fairness, a level with tanks and AC-30 guitar amps still sounds like it would be pretty cool.

      1. Jeremiah says:

        One time playing a tabletop rpg (OctaNe), the PCs were all in a rockabilly band in post-apocalyptic Austin TX. And at one point we strapped all of our gear to giant bats, flew them around the city, and played bad-ass music to drive away shitty hipster musicians (this took place during SXSW).

        So, what I’m saying is, a climax with guitar amps is definitely awesome.

        1. Rutskarn says:

          That sounds like OctaNe, alright.

          1. Jeremiah says:

            I don’t even know how to process you knowing OctaNe. Pretty obscure even for indie games. Nerd cred++

      2. MikhailBorg says:

        I can’t help but think of the “Macross 7” anime, and the transforming space fighter with super-powered external attack speakers and the guitar controller in the cockpit.

        (The aliens are vulnerable to music, because Macross.)

      3. pdk1359 says:

        Command and conquer tiberium Wars 2 had the Disruptor, a GDI sonic tank. I always felt they should be crewed by Heavy Metal fans, myself.

      4. Tizzy says:

        Doesn’t the movie Kelly’s Heroes have tanks armed with giant speakers?

      5. DougO says:

        “…how did you get your *tanks* to have a dance-fighting bonus?”

        “A good bass line and freaking large amps.”

    2. McNutcase says:

      For my money, the best part of any Deep Purple track is the organ. That gorgeous Hammond-through-a-Marshall-stack tone, and Jon Lord had awesome technique.

  8. Isaac says:

    I actually…liked this game’s plot (at least the 2nd half) and characters? I can’t speak for the gameplay but the plot was genuinely interesting and I liked the characters even though they weren’t very complex.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I kind of agree. This is the exact sort of game I would pick up two years and three price drops after release. Not a game I would need to play, but probably worth my time for cheap.

    2. Rutskarn says:

      You know, it doesn’t seem bad? Just sometimes badly handled in execution (I think it could space the dialogue over the action a little better; the stops for cutscenes seem jarring) and really, really flawed in concept. I think this could have stood much more confidently and much less distractingly in a speculative fiction scenario.

  9. I dunno if this is mentioned in this episode or if I just missed it in the Diecast, but Yahtzee pointed out that not only is the arrest mechanic weird, it’s applied inappropriately. Naturally, as in any cop story, there’s going to be a point where you’re on the run from your own law enforcement group, and even though you are now a wanted suspect, you can still ‘arrest’ people.

    1. lucky7 says:


    2. Downie says:

      More games should have a system where you can point a weapon at someone and they surrender rather than fight to the death. Even if you’re not police.

      1. I think some of the Fallout series had something like that, in that some NPCs would run away. But yeah, seeing an NPC suddenly notice you with your gun drawn (and what level you were) and instantly putting their hands up in surrender would be a novelty.

        This is especially fun if the game treats it the way most DMs do: Killing someone who has surrendered is an evil (bad karma) act. Of course, the trick would be to goad them into attacking you, but it’d be a step in the right direction.

        1. dp says:

          Both skyrim and oblivion had NPCs surrendering during fights. Of course they only did this when very low on health so if you were a melee guy whaliing on them you wouldn’t notice . They’d just say something like “I surrend-argh” whilst you administered the final blow. Which is a shame because it would be nice for an RPG to have some non-lethal options.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I don’t remember how it worked in Oblivion but in Skyrim the surrendering was total BS. Yes, they would surrender and beg for mercy but it was basically just for a few seconds before they got back into the fight, I have not had a single case where the surrender would “stick”.

            1. C0Mmander says:

              Well that’s the thing. Even in real life having someone surrender is kinda pointless if you don’t have something to hold them up and make sure they don’t shoot you as soon as you have your back turned. So I don’t really blame most games for taking the easy way out and just having you shoot them. although having more enemy run away could be a nice compromise.

  10. Jabrwock says:

    It looks like it’s trying so hard to be S.W.A.T. I’m almost expecting someone to say “excuse me Sir, you’re in my spot” and for Spoony to come on the audio feed and start railing.

    1. Bitterpark says:

      If only. If it was anywhere near SWAT I’d buy this game immediately, the world needs SWAT 5.

      1. Isaac says:

        Yup! Too bad that it looks like the closest we’ll ever get to this generation’s SWAT is the new Rainbow Six :(

      2. Jabrwock says:

        “Trying” too hard. Unfortunately, it does not succeed.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:


      Also yeah,we definitely need a new good swat game.

  11. Charnel Mouse says:

    Huh. I’m really out of date on shooters and have mostly missed the casual-stealth-section trend that’s been going on, but between throwing shell casings and the vision cones on the mini-map, the stealth system here looks like a simplified version of the one from the Commandos series.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its basically the one used in far cry 3/4.Only there you are throwing rocks,and those get the attention of everyone,not just the single idiot.I guess because they are bigger?

  12. Thomas says:

    Even the little details like throwing a shell-casing… it’s just weird that thats what a policeman would throw. Solid Snake sure, CoD protagonist sure (before he’s killed off). Why not throw a pebble instead?

    And to be fair, a SWAT game could have been fun. As people mentioned above, they tried to do something different. It’s just they didn’t put any effort into actually making it different so it all comes off as wrong. If Dark Souls is a game where every little thing is designed to reinforce the games theme and feel then Hardline is the opposite of that.

    1. AdmiralCheez says:

      Yeah, why does a police officer have so many empty shell casings? That implies that they’ve been firing a lot of bullets, and that’s not something you want your police to be doing. Plus, the sound of those things clanking together has got to be noisy, which defeats their point in stealth.

      1. ehlijen says:

        Why not just make it coins? Everyone’s* go coins and most people wouldn’t mind finding some more, so the distraction part makes more sense as well.**

        *Not Everyone, but you know, almost
        **In as much as any thrown object distraction makes sense. Surely some mook somewhere will have figured out what’s up and turn the opposite way from the tiny, obviously a distraction noise?

        1. Thomas says:

          I laughed when Josh did it the first time. It was a shiny object that very clearly flew right over the criminals shoulder, in front of his face and then probably even bounced away when it hit the ground.

          And then the mook is like “Well I better investigate the spot where that shell case hit the ground”

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Even when he isnt here,Josh is with us.In spirit.

      2. ? says:

        Except when you fire a gun the casing is ejected, so you have to walk couple of paces to your right to pick it up (possibly out of some bushes or garbage), except right after being fired it will be hot hot hot. Only reason for a cop to collect a casing is as evidence on a crime scene, which makes it even more incompetent. Althought with little self awereness it could be really funny if every time you throw a casing you pull it out of large evidence bag.

        1. AdmiralCheez says:

          The only logical explanation I could think of is that these rounds were fired on a practice range, and he just saved the casings for some reason.

          I still think they should have gone for something less obvious. Shell casings are not something that just drop out of the sky. Finding a pebble would not arouse much suspicion, but shell casings mean that someone with a gun has either been here, or is here, and that’s something to get worried about.

          1. Thomas says:

            And something like a pebble reinforces the ‘is a civilian’ part. A police officer shouldn’t be literally _all guns_

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The only logical explanation I could think of is that these rounds were fired on a practice range, and he just saved the casings for some reason.

            2)He knew he will be in a stealth section sooner or later
            3)There are no trash cans in the precinct

  13. Henson says:

    Rutskarn, my mother visits our relatives in Florida on a semi-regular basis, and according to her, no one in Florida stops at a stop sign. Everyone cruises through.

    I guess if you stop, the crocodiles catch up.

    1. shiroax says:

      I thought the crocodiles are no big deal in Florida, since the pythons eat them all.

      1. lucky7 says:

        What eats the pythons?

        1. Thomas says:

          Bigger pythons

          1. lucky7 says:

            Ah, the circle of life.

            1. Henson says:

              An ouroboros.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Nah,its just snakes eating their own tails.

        2. Bitterpark says:


        3. Mephane says:

          Anacondas, Vultures and the occasional Fer-De-Lance.

          scnr :)

          1. Thomas says:

            I think an anaconda counts as a ‘bigger python’ =D

        4. Wide And Nerdy says:

          Honey Badgers.

      2. Tizzy says:

        The crocodiles are not a big deal because there is maybe a dozen of them total. What is common as muck there is alligators.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          They pretty much leave us alone. I’ve never personally seen an alligator out of captivity in 36 years of living in Florida and my friends have only reported a couple of instances among them. They’re afraid of humans unless you feed them.

          We also usually stop at stop signs.

          Then again, I live in North Florida, most of the gators and all of the pythons and most of the crazies are south of here.

          1. Sagretti says:

            I’m in Central Florida, and the drivers are a mixed bag of terrible. This is a melting pot kind of area with an extra dose of tourists, so we get every culture’s bad driving habits all crashing into each other.

            As for the alligators, they’re pretty common sights along the waterways and lakes around here, but are surprisingly docile. As long as you’re not poking them with a stick or messing with a nest, they’re not really a threat from a safe distance. There are one or two that live behind my apartment, and they spend most of their time finding decent sunning spots and failing to sneak up on the ducks.

            1. Wide And Nerdy says:

              I think that “mixed bag” thing is where you get the whole “Florida Man” phenomenon.
              You have a mix of southerners, refugees, retired people from all over and rich people from all over plus tourists. We’re also one of the bigger states so that helps. Drug trade is also big here with so much waterfront.

    2. Rutskarn says:


      To be clear, my freakout has nothing to do with verisimilitude and everything to do with being extremely anxious about driving.

      1. Cinebeast says:

        I hear that. I kind of hate driving in general. It’s an omnipresent element of modern society, sure, but it doesn’t feel like it should be.

        Can’t wait for automated cars.

  14. shiroax says:

    Actually, real life is the more extreme version, not the Wire: That guy jumped from the sixth floor.

    Oh, that’s what Rutskarn actually says, nvm

  15. hborrgg says:

    So is it normal for cops to sit around the station doing paperwork while still in their bulletproof vest and gear?

    1. Jabrwock says:

      Depends how tired they are. End of shift, just want to get the paperwork done, de-gearing can come later. Need coffee… blerg.

    2. Torsten says:

      They would have had to model the lady cop with the vest and without the vest, and as Ubisoft has told us, modeling women in video games is hard. EA, having a bigger budget, still only managed to make that one model.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You never know when a suspect is gonna try and shoot up the place.You have to be always vigilant!

  16. hborrgg says:

    For added immersion pretend like this is a near future where police are supposed to all wear cameras on their chests and that you are actually watching Chris’ feed.

    1. Jabrwock says:

      But wouldn’t it “mysteriously fail” just before he shoots someone?

  17. Bitterpark says:

    I also thought this game would take place in some sort of a dystopian future/District 13 scenario where the crime has gotten so bad the police has to use rocket launchers and helicopter gunships routinely.

    They should have just made it a ripoff of Robocop. That’d be so cool. You wouldn’t even have to explain the protagonist’s ability to shrug off bullets or blow up cars with anti-tank rifles… I’d buy that for a dollar!

    1. Adam says:

      Just as Hitman: Absolution would’ve been a far superior game if they’d just made it Archer Fucks Up Being A Spy, Battlefield: Iron-On Patch would have been much better as Battlefield: Robocop.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      In other words, they should have just set it in modern day Detroit.

  18. Thomas says:

    The problem with the suggestions that would make the game feel thematically less problematic, is to be honest I think that thematic problematic is the target demographic of the game.

    Part of the problem why the kitted out, badass lets-play-metallica-whilst-driving-a-tank mindset is so kind of problematic at the moment is because a lot of people have it (and some of those people went on to become police officers)

    And just like CoD wants to sell the dream version of being a ‘soldier’, this game wants to sell the dream version of being a ‘cop’ to those people.

    Anything that tries to distance itself ruins that dream. Setting the world in a crime-ridden dystopia stops people from dreaming that they’re being a badass modern cop.

    Admittedly it does seem to be really exciting anybody, so maybe that demographic isn’t very large, or maybe this game even sucked at catering to it.

    1. Tizzy says:

      I just think it’s not such a geat idea to try to turn a military shooter loose into civilian space. Unless you go for a dystopian civilian life, you can’t win: you have to either betray the franchise or present extremely questionable scenarios.

      1. Thomas says:

        And when you’re even very specifically keeping the branding of the military franchise =D

      2. Wide And Nerdy says:

        Why not? We’ve done it before. Its just been foreign civilian spaces. Let that stew for a bit.

  19. SlothfulCobra says:

    Rutskarn, don’t you read the news? The U.S. Police force has been becoming increasingly militarized for a while now with surplus military equipment. It’s not really like what this game presents since crime hasn’t really been getting worse, but there are small town police forces that get to play around with tanks. Not to mention all the swat teams running around with full combat gear and M-16s. I’m trying not to be political, that’s just how it is these days.

    Everyone’s just gearing up like they think The Dark Knight Returns is going to happen next week.

    1. Alex says:

      That’s not a tank, it’s a truck without any windows. When they do the same exercise with a Merkava, then you can say they’ve got a tank.

      1. SlothfulCobra says:

        Well I mean it’s a treaded vehicle that has no place on the roads of a small town with only 8,000 people considering how that police force will most likely never need it. There’s also vehicles police forces get that have been designed to protect against mines that destroy the roads of the towns that they’re used in.

        Either way it’s ridiculous.

    2. drkeiscool says:

      That wasn’t a tank, that was an armored personnel carrier (APC).

      And SWAT having full combat gear isn’t militarization; if the everyday cops started arming up, than it would be.

      1. Phill says:

        I always get annoyed when the media describe just about any military vehicle as a tank (helicopters not included…)

        More on topic, I agree re SWAT teams. Isn’t it rather the point of SWAT teams that they have the capability to handle exceptional circumstances, and given that criminals can get their hands on military grade hardware (quite possibly legally, in some states, for all I know) you need to have SWAT teams capable of handling that kind of event. And they do it precisely so that a) the majority of the police force don’t have to walk around with assault rifles and b) the actual military doesn’t regularly get called in to handle domestic criminal issues that exceed the capabilities of the police.

        1. Felblood says:

          Plus, actual SWAT teams are required to act a bloody lot more like police that the PC in this game.

      2. Bloodsquirrel says:

        The problem is that SWAT teams are being used more often in less justified circumstances. They aren’t just being sent out to deal with hostage scenarios, they’re being used to execute search warrants. Instead of sending them in when there’s a genuinely violent situation that needs to be defused, they get sent in on preemptively shove somebody’s face in the dirt because maybe they’ll resist arrest.

        We’re moving to the point where SWAT team members are the everyday cops.

        1. Natureguy85 says:

          You should be more concerned that federal departments like the Department of Education now have their own armed units. For what possible purpose would that department need a SWAT type team?

    3. Rutskarn says:

      Of course I’ve been following that, but it’s less about the tech available and more about, you know, the multiplayer gameplay they’ve been showing off and the relentless pitched battles.

      One of the most obnoxious factors of our militarized police force is that it’s frequently inappropriate. In Hardon, it *is* appropriate, and that’s the part that feels so weird.

    4. WayttomanyUIDs says:

      That’s an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, not a tank. Still disturbingly inappropriate in a civilian setting. I can’t think of any circumstance short of military insurrection where the police might need one.

      1. guy says:

        A house with a man in a window with a rifle is a good reason to have something nice and bulletproof.

  20. Tony Kebell says:

    As far as Im aware this was supposed to be a COPS FPS, before EA were like “Na, it wont sell, its Battlefield LAPD now”

  21. Fawkes says:

    As someone originally from Miami, there were parts of this I liked far more than I should have.

    The whole opening dialogue about the Cuban food was so very on point. (Though if you are in Miami and there isn’t a ‘good Cuban place’ around the corner, you may actually be somewhere in Canada. Seriously.) And even the windshield guy, while perhaps overblown, is a thing that happens in some places in Miami. (It’s a big city. When Mendoza asked if she was from South Beach, it’s still Miami, but basically a different city and culture.)

    And I will say, it feels like Miami. Compared to Hitman: Absolution and their attempts at South Dakota, this just is Miami. Even the dead end road with a random rail.

    And Rutskarn, Florida, and Miami especially, driving in the rain is just something you do. I’m surprised she wasn’t texting and driving in the rain.

    I also getting the idea this is part Wire, part Law & Order/CSI, and part Miami Vice. They even explicitly make the reference first time at the office how it’s the 80s again and they should get pink ties.

    1. MrGuy says:

      More than any of those, it’s Training Day. I mean, Brix’ first line is “This is chess. It’s not checkers.”

      1. Fawkes says:

        I think we can accept this is a melting pot of all cop-related cliches and movies/shows ever. Which if this was going to play up the parody angle, could be pretty fun! But I’m not going to hold out hope, all things considered.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          So does that mean in the end you will go to canada,grow beard and cut wood?

          1. Wide And Nerdy says:

            The inevitable Monty Python joke got me thinking.

            It would be great if this game had a qualifying exam and the counselor sat down with you afterwards and told you that you should be a chartered accountant.

            “But don’t we have Certified Public Accountants in the U.S.?”

            “Yes but the results say you should be a British accountant. We weren’t even testing for that.”

    2. Rutskarn says:

      I’ll say this again, I didn’t think that part was unrealistic at all. I’m just an anxious baby about stuff like that.

      1. Fawkes says:

        Oh no, and you totally should be. Especially in Miami. No one actually knows how to drive in Miami, Stop Signs are decoration, lights are mere suggestions. The rain just adds ambiance to your high-speed no signal light lane switching an inch in front of the car you’re cutting off.

        What I’m saying is, never drive in Miami.

  22. McNutcase says:

    So my big immersion-breaker came when the new partner said she came from LA, and followed up with “Orange County”.

    That never happens. Orange County people NEVER say they’re from LA. LA is that annoying place just North of where they’re from, and they’d be perfectly happy if it were wiped from the face of the earth, thank you very much. They may be right next to each other, but LA and OC are just vitriolic, without the “best buds” part.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      I haven’t seen the video yet but, is there a joke in there about the fact that Florida also has an Orange County?

  23. Okay, Shamus…man, how to be nice about this…

    Alright, look…you’re not ‘getting’ the metaphor. The effort put into the ‘story parts’ isn’t for the story, it’s for the spectacle. That’s the ‘porn’ part. It’s called production value. The budget is being spent on making the experience feel genuine to the shitty procedural shows they’re emulating (presumably), same as porn is focusing on making sure you’re never without want for a tissue box and both use the narrative/character drama as a basic and nigh-irrelevant excuse towards those goals.

    1. Bloodsquirrel says:

      If the spectacle’s primary effect is to make me complain about what crap the story is, then it’s entirely fair to criticize it. After all, that’s how the spectacle is being packaged: as narrative.

  24. MrGuy says:

    I can’t see the whole “riding around in a car world building” scene and not somehow compare it to the “What I Got” scene from Saints Row III, which for some reason is one of my very favorite moments in videogames.

    I’m not even sure why, but I think it’s having the confidence that the world can speak for itself without having to narrate it or “witness” forced dialogue. Plus having a singalong to an awesome song.

  25. The Specktre says:

    I don’t know. To me, asking “Why would someone make this particular game?” is like asking why would someone make Payday. They’re both ridiculous, both unbelievable, and both in (I think) bad taste. Just opposite ends of the spectrum. My two cents.

    But yeah, Chris. A nice 18 minutes while it lasted (I mean, that opening chase was super disjointed and hilarious, but anyway). Too bad it couldn’t be something else.

    1. McNutcase says:

      Payday seems to own its ridiculousness better, though. So far, Hardline looks like it’s trying to be Very Serious about its subject matter, while Payday has decided to just roll with being goofy.

      Of course, I say that as someone who’s ground to the level cap in Payday 2 twice, and reset for bragging rights both times. I’ve also accepted the hypothesis that all the enemies in the game are clones, and that my armour contains a nanofabrication foundry to make it self-repairing, and to convert the ammunition I pick up into the completely different ammunition my weapons require. The game I’m playing in my head may be goofier than the game Overkill made…

    2. Felblood says:

      –But Payday knows it is a crass joke, and takes steps to point that out to the audience.

      Whereas, this game seems to be under the impression that the audience should be seriously investing it it’s world and characters, which is terrifying on several levels.

      This game is twisted power fantasy, for delusional, wanna-be cops, who should be (best case scenario, anyway) washed-out and become bitter, belligerent mall-cops.

      1. Rutskarn says:

        Exactly. Payday is goofy and clearly audacious. To me, Payday makes me most uncomfortable when it tries to make your characters look like modern-day Robin Hoods. That’s when I check out of the game’s thin narrative and concentrate on the heisting.

        This game has pretensions of being about something, and it’s something extremely important and frequently misrepresented. My criticism is that it should be either better than it is or more fantastical.

  26. Ofermod says:

    I still maintain that this game really should have been made with the license for Judge Dredd.

  27. Neruz says:

    I’m actually not seeing the problem with the killing everybody part; you’re in the process of arresting people and then someone leaps out of the bathroom with a goddamn shotgun and blows away the table and at least one of the guys you’re arresting, two of the other guys dive for pistols and the whole thing immediately goes to hell.

    There are plenty of other problems with the scene, but I don’t think that’s one of them. Especially since I think the person with the shotgun is who killed the guys you’d already handcuffed with the crazy fire and the other two went for their handguns.

  28. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The common defense is that criticizing the story parts of a COD or Battlefield game is like critiquing the story parts of a porno: You're missing the point.

    Except in this game multiplayer segment is worse than in the last battlefield.So even the “point” of the game is lacking.

  29. Grudgeal says:

    How many minutes of actual gameplay was it in that episode anyway? That wasn’t “follow in the NPC’s footsteps and press on-screen button prompts”?

    Maybe the gameplay gets more open-ended later but if it weren’t for the driving section this would have struck me as a cop film with quicktime events in it.

    Also, am I the only one getting uncomfortable with this game combining modern military shooter gameplay with a police story, especially considering the recent focus on police brutality and racial profiling in the real-life U.S.?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      We talked about this extensively and no,you are definitely not the only one.Everyone but the developer feels uncomfortable about it.

    2. The Nick says:

      Ideally, that would be what they’re getting at, with good writing.

      I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it won’t be done well with intent, but it might do it accidentally (“Cops need tanks. Look at how peacefully they manage to deal with the latter part of this game with the better hardware!”).

      1. MrGuy says:

        I think it’s much more likely that the game will show “Look how well armed, organized, and dangerous these guys we made up and put into our end game to make it more challenging are! See, this is why cops need flamethrowers!”

  30. Nataline says:

    Thomas (17:50-18:10) should just try halving all his arrows.

    (Whoever genuinely remembers what this is about without any help from search engines and such gets the princess and half the Internet. (The princess might be in another castle and also unaware of this offer. No refunds or exchanges.))

  31. djshire says:

    What’s wrong with Josh?

    Wait, let me rephrase that….what is Josh sick with?

  32. Natureguy85 says:

    When I heard the description of this game I (probably unjustifiably) got excited that this might be somewhat like L.A. Noir though obviously more focused on shooting. I expected something like a “Lethal Weapon” or “Rush Hour” type plot and characters, but what makes those movies good is that the characters are as wacky and insane as the action. This game tries to play serious characters in wacky movie (game) and it doesn’t work. Then it turns the “could be cool” arrest mechanic into a scoring system. And where do these bullet casings come from to throw as a distraction? That bothers me more than the infinite handcuffs.

    I like the main character well enough, but Khai is awful.

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