Battlefield Hardline Episode 2: Stop the Bleating!

By Shamus Posted Thursday Apr 9, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 100 comments

Link (YouTube)

At five minutes, the protagonist aims his camera at a car and the computer is able to instantly identify the rear passenger by taking a picture of the back of his head at night inside a darkened car through the closed window. That is so silly it actually makes me laugh. It’s the perfect set-up for any number of jokes about technology, privacy, or police funding. But the game plays it totally straight without even a whiff of self-awareness. Working on this videogame would drive me bonkers.

I also have to wonder how many sets of handcuffs the average officer carries around. Is it infinity?

And then agent sidekick plugs her USB device into a laptop to “get a traceroute on an outgoing IP” for a videoconference that has already ended. On one hand, that’s more bonkers than the magic camera that can identify people you can’t see. On the other hand, I take it that’s pretty much par for the course for CSI depictions of the internet.


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100 thoughts on “Battlefield Hardline Episode 2: Stop the Bleating!

  1. Cilvre says:

    actually the traceroute is somewhat believable if you can still access the computers ARP table to see what last addresses were added to it and route those. (currently in college for networks)

    1. Knut says:

      Yes, but wouldn’t that give you the IP of the Skype (or Hangouts or whatever) server they used to make the call?

      1. Cilvre says:

        yes, totally depends on what service they used. but they could also then get the info from the group who runs the service as well possibly too, not likely, but possible.

      2. Nixitur says:

        Pretty sure Skype is P2P. So, yes, you connect to the Skype servers when you first sign in, but when you actually do the call, you’re connected to whoever you’re talking to.
        I think.

        1. psivamp says:

          It used to be.

          My understanding is that sometime after Microsoft acquired them, they switched from an arbitrated model to a server-based model, in part to allow them to hand information over to the US government.

          1. guy says:

            Primarily it’s because pure P2P protocols don’t work properly through firewalls and Network Address Translation.

    2. MrGuy says:

      But a traceroute is still not sensible. Because you can’t do a traceroute without the destination IP. And if you have the destination IP (for example from the local network stack), you ALREADY HAVE the thing you need. Knowing the set of devices between this machine and the destination IP doesn’t tell you any useful additional information.

      Also, even if it was useful, a traceroute doesn’t necessarily tell you how the routing of a previous connection happened. It tells you how a connection initiated from this machine would route to a specific destination, which isn’t necessarily the same thing. (example – I’m on network A, destination is on network B, networks A and B have multiple peering locations. A connection from B->A will go through network B’s chosen peering location to network A. A connection from A->B will go through network A’s chosen peering location to network B. These need not be the same location.)

      This is still the “movie magic” idea of working your way up the network connectivity tree one step at a time to DETERMINE the IP of the other side of the connection. Which, if you don’t have it, you won’t get after the connection’s broken.

      1. Nixitur says:

        That’s a good point. Not to mention that if you have the IP, you very probably won’t know exactly what location that IP points to.
        For example, public information on my IP address simply states that I live somewhere near Hamburg which just happens to be the second-largest city in Germany. If you wanted solid information, you would have to contact the ISP which definitely takes way longer than what is shown in this scene.

        1. snimat says:

          Well if they’re able to scan the back of a head of a suspect and identify them in milliseconds, they will be most likely able to query the ISP in seconds. You have to remember, physical and judicial restrictions are no matter here.

          Greetings from Frankfurt, Germany. According to my IP … woooooo magic.

    3. Majromax says:

      That wouldn’t work. The ARP cache is for resolving addresses on the local network only, since those are connected via a single layer-2, non-routed network. (Usually, that’s Ethernet or Wifi). The ARP cache turns the IP address into the layer-2 (MAC) address.

      For a remote videoconference or anything you’d want a traceroute on, you’re looking at layer-3 (routed network) networking.

      Yes, this is very pedantic.

      1. Bryan says:

        Yeah, the traceroute result for *anything* in your ARP table is always going to be one hop: from your machine to it. Anything in that table is always going to be on the local broadcast domain.

        Now, if you could read the DNS resolver library’s cache, you might come up with some usable IPs … but that cache is in memory in the program that was doing DNS resolution, and that program has exited, so you can’t read it anymore anyway.

        Unless *maybe* you could get the cache out of whatever non-stub resolver the machine was configured to talk to. I suppose that might help, but it’ll usually be a different machine, and the DNS protocol doesn’t give you any way to do this. You’d have to be an admin on that machine, and know where the cache data is stored, as well as how to read it…

  2. Archimedes says:

    @45 sec: Wait, you can get a subscription for drugs? Well, don’t I feel like a chump for paying my doctor to write me a prescription, and then driving to the drugstore like a loser when I could just be paying a monthly fee to have it shipped straight to my house!

    1. Some insurance plans force you to mail-order prescriptions (it’s cheaper for them). You send in the script, they fill it and send you back the meds. Of course, there may be hiccups. One time my mom’s pain meds got lost in the mail, and god that was an ordeal, second only to the arguing with insurance over 3 month vs 1 month scripts (DEA rules say 1 month script only (and now you need the actual paper to take into the pharmacy, no electronic script allowed), insurance wanted 3 month, I ended up spending 5 hours on the phone and finally screaming at the person to take it up with the DEA if they don’t like the rules).

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      To be fair,he is a dumb guy,so maybe its a deliberate joke by the devs.

      1. Archimedes says:

        I thought about that possibility, but then I listened to more of the dialog and decided against it.

  3. Grudgeal says:

    So does this game come with a post-mission minigame about you writing down post-action reports? Where you have to justify all those guys you killed/assaulted through “resisting arrest” and “assaulting a police officer” and find out which excuse will slip best by Internal Affairs and preventing a premature Game Over after you fail to justify not holding back and waiting for the SWAT team?

    It’d be kind of funny, in a horribly insensitive kind of way.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      “Detective Campster – your latest after-action? Yeah, we’re going to need a bit more than ‘I honestly thought I was arresting him, and I kinda beat him to death.’ Oh, and what’s this I’m hearing about a vicious assault on a Department vehicle?”

      1. ? says:

        “Could you explain why did you pick up a gun found at the crime scene, leaving your service weapon behind, and then used this firearm to fatally shoot three suspects?”

        1. Chauzuvoy says:

          Ummmm… it did more damage?

    2. MrGuy says:

      Actually, that would be a kind of appropriate way to encourage playing through the game non-lethally.

      After each mission, if you just arrested people, you get a quick “Book ’em, Dano!” montage of the prisoners getting mugshots done and you’re on to the next mission. If you killed people, you get a longer drawn-out unskippable cutscene of you filling out “use of force” paperwork (the size of the stack/length of the cutscene is larger the more you killed). You’re “punished” for going lethal by having to watch a longer unskippable paperwork-doing cutscene.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        Really, having to justify the arrests would be almost as bad a headache. Like that gangbanger that got snuck up on and taken down last mission — what’s he going to be charged on, one charge of “loitering with intent to cause a breach of the peace (if he’d spotted us)”? “Possession of an illegal firearm (I looted off him after I’d punched his lights out)”? “Obstruction of justice (because he was standing in my way without knowing it)”? “Walking around with a loud shirt in a built-up area during the hours of darkness?”

      2. Distaff Pope says:

        So… you’re saying there’s no way someone could perpetrate that amount of carnage without incurring a considerable amount of paperwork?

  4. Twisted_Ellipses says:

    And then all the suspects had to released because no-one read them their rights…

    1. Alex says:

      No. Not reading someone their Miranda rights does not mean they have to be released, only that their words have no legal weight and cannot be admitted as evidence.

      There is a public safety exemption, but that exemption is bullshit that should never have been allowed to exist, because the public safety argument only applies to information you need to use, not information you need to present as evidence. If you need to find a ticking time bomb before it goes off? Go ahead and ask without reading him his rights. But if you need to use that information as evidence, you should be forced to ask him again after you’ve read him his rights and given him access to a lawyer.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        What?!You mean all those movies and tv shows lied to us?!!Nooooooo!!!

      2. Jeff says:

        “Not reading someone their Miranda rights does not mean they have to be released, only that their words have no legal weight and cannot be admitted as evidence.”

        This is also incorrect. Only responses to questioning are inadmissible.

        If the officer doesn’t read you your rights and you spontaneously confess, your confession is fully admissible as evidence. If the officer doesn’t read you your rights and asks you a question, your confession in response to that question would be inadmissible.

        1. Natureguy85 says:

          It’s even farther than that. They have to be “questions likely to illicit an incriminating response.” So they can still ask you standard booking questions like identifying information.

  5. Alex says:

    “I also have to wonder how many sets of handcuffs the average officer carries around. Is it infinity?”

    I haven’t watched the video yet, but cable ties are sometimes used instead of metal handcuffs, and are a lot easier to carry around in large quantities.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Not sure he’s even using handcuffs! Seems like the primary method of subdual is the “faceslam into the pavement,” after which there’s a sound like he’s winding his watch or something – but with the loss of consciousness apparently being the main thing.

      PS That takedown animation got old pretty fast! Like, halfway through the first one… :p

      1. MrGuy says:

        I would assume the sound is from the use of the “zip-tie” style disposable handcuffs that the police will sometimes use during mass demonstrations/situations where they think mass arrests might be possible. They’re a real thing, and they’re cheap enough for it not to be implausible that a cop might be carrying around several of these as a supplement to their “standard” lockable, reusable handcuffs.

        Sure, infinity many is too many, but hey, it’s a game, and to some extent not letting you run out of these could be considered a gameplay convention like cars never running out of gas or never needing to eat…

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Aye, right – or e.g. taking seventeen shots to the heart and only needing a little R&R. (Get well soon, Josh!)

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Seeing how there was a zzz above that guy that was handcuffed,I think you actually do knock them out when you bonk them down.

        1. Nidokoenig says:

          Ooh, that is super bad for you.

    2. methermeneus says:

      I think this is one of those places where it looks like there’s two designers working at cross-purposes. When he does the takedowns, you can sometimes see Mendoza slapping a cuff on the first wrist before pulling both wrists down behind the suspect’s back, as per standard police procedure, and the sound effect when you take them down sounds like a handcuff ratcheting. Which is nice, and would work if you were only taking down one or two (standard cuff loadout for cops is two sets: enough to cuff everyone who’ll fit in the back of a squad car), but does bring up the infinite cuffs problem. On the other hand, when you leave first person for some cutscenes, you can see that Mendoza has the standard vest for non-SWAT officers accompanying a SWAT raid: A bullet-proof vest with a whole bunch of cargo pockets full of zip ties. Not something he should probably be wearing every day, but certainly appropriate for the stuff he gets up to in the game.

      Kinda makes me want to play SWAT 4, which, among other nods to realism: has you restrain suspects with zip ties, lets you direct your teammates (yes, even AI ones) to cuff people for you while you provide cover, and doesn’t give you infinite zip ties (although it does give you a lot since, well, they’re not exactly bulky). On the other hand, “I swear, Reynolds, if you say I’m in your way one more time-You mother f***er, I will punch you in the f***ing soul, you f***ing asshat!”

      EDIT: Correcting the Spoony quote

      1. INH5 says:

        Another thing I like about SWAT 4 compared to this is that you get points for “securing evidence” by picking up the guns that the suspects drop, whereas several times in this video Chris leaves a gun right next to the suspect he’s just handcuffed, close enough that it wouldn’t be very hard for the guy to wriggle around, grab the gun, and try to free himself by shooting the cuffs as soon as the cops leave the room.

        Though despite all the nods to realism in SWAT 4, I had a hard time taking it seriously in the later levels. The main reason is because I kept thinking back to a time about 10 years ago when a guy living 2 blocks away from me tried to take his girlfriend hostage but she escaped and called the cops, and they responded with about 8 SWAT officers with rifles and full body armor and more than a dozen more uniformed police officers, who set up a roadblock with armored cars and made everyone within several blocks go inside until the situation was resolved (including my family). This was, again, in response to one guy with a handgun, in his own house by himself.

        Whereas in SWAT 4’s later levels, you and the 4 other members of your SWAT team in addition to maybe one or two snipers are sent in to take on more than a dozen heavily armed members of paramilitary groups. In a few levels, you could make some sort of excuse that maybe you’re just the first on the scene and you don’t have time to wait for backup (such as the level where North Korean special forces start shooting up a hospital in an attempt to assassinate a South Korean diplomat), but in most of them there really is no reason for why the cops couldn’t send in more guys.

        1. Mephane says:

          it wouldn't be very hard for the guy to wriggle around, grab the gun, and try to free himself by shooting the cuffs as soon as the cops leave the room

          By shooting the handcuffs, as in the very handcuffs your hands are tied together with? Probably behind your back? Surely nothing can go wrong…

          1. INH5 says:

            Yes, it would have a very high likelihood of injury and even death, but lots of people have done even stupider things while attempting to escape the police.

            Regardless, a police officer trying to secure an area just leaving a loaded gun lying on the floor just doesn’t make much sense. But since this game uses reskinned military shooter mechanics, you can’t pick up a dropped gun without replacing it with one your own. I’m just saying that a “secure evidence” mechanic like SWAT 4 would go a long way towards patching this particular bit of gameplay/story weirdness.

          2. Jabrwock says:

            Without an upper-arm-binding, it’s possible he could wiggle his way to pulling his hands under his bum so they are in front. Then he picks up the pistol.

            1. Jeff says:

              This is why officers are taught to cuff suspects thumbs-out.

  6. lucky7 says:

    Continuing the idea of Batmendoza, we have:
    -Crazy dumb attract one enemy throwables.
    -The REC (A tazer)
    -A resistance to bullets once the combat is over.
    -Detective Vision.
    -Routinely enters incredibly dangerous situations and gets out of them alive.

    The only thing he needs now is a cape.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Also like the Dark Knight, he knows how to trigger a (very well) disguised loading screen by slowly opening a blockage to progress. (Essential skill in these impressively-detailed criminal underworld thingies.)

      Comics could get pretty goofy in the Silver Age. Was there ever a tale where Batman, for some reason and for a short time, could only speak if he crouched right down?

  7. Avatar says:

    The silliest bit of CSI computer-wonkery I ever saw had a murderer who was legally barred from using computers because of his super hackery, so he took a piece of charred human bone and inscribed a pattern on it that caused the program that scanned the bone to go nuts and -ignite the server on fire-.


    You just want to shake the writer and say “you really have no idea how computers work, do you?!”

    1. MrGuy says:

      When charred fragments of human bones are outlawed, only outlaws will have charred fragments of human bones.

    2. guy says:

      It would be potentially possible to hack a computer that way; data is data and a buggy program can write input data into somewhere the operating system thinks is program data. Though modern processors don’t generally implement Halt-And-Catch-Fire.

      1. Nixitur says:

        Must have been written in PHP. Shoulda sanitized the inputs.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        It would be if you actually had a computer that automatically tries to recognize the text from a scanned image.And then run the thing that was inscribed instead of keeping it saved as just text.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          A program that does that would quickly fall from popular use, for precisely this reason.

        2. guy says:

          Doesn’t have to be text, and it doesn’t have to be on purpose. If it’s got a bug that can cause a buffer overflow when storing or analyzing the image, it can write the image into the wrong part of memory and cause the processor to treat it like a program. You’d really have to work at it to produce something that would cause the computer to do anything except crash when that happened, but it is not impossible.

          1. INH5 says:

            Since we’ve apparently decided to apply complicated technical knowledge to a very silly scene in a very silly TV show:

            Even assuming that there is a bug of that sort (and you’d think that if there was it would be triggered by a bunch of other things and thus get pretty quickly patched), to deliberately activate it you would need to know exactly how the image would come out after being run through the scanner, which would depend not only on how the scanner worked but also on how the bone was positioned when it was scanned in.

            The only way this would be believable at all would be if the hacker had access to the computer beforehand and had installed some kind of script that would watch the scanner program and activate if it detected a specific symbol. But while having such a thing crash the server, or maybe even wipe the hard drive or activate a malicious virus would be sensible, having it make the server catch on fire is still completely ridiculous. Even if you went in and manually disabled all of the cooling systems, then overclocked the server as much as you could, modern computer hardware has countless temperature detectors and failsafes that would force it to shut off long before it got anywhere near hot enough to start a fire.

            So even for a show that prominently featured a magic holographic computer display in the first season, and is in a genre that is known for all sorts of computer wizardry, this is truly something else. I’d say that this must be a parody of some kind if I hadn’t seen enough of the earlier seasons of the show to know that this sounds exactly like something the Bones writers would do.

    3. newdarkcloud says:

      That was from an episode of Bones. The writers assumed that computer-hackers were near-omniscient gods who are so smart they can use computers to track all things all the time AND predict his/her enemies’ actions, with 100% certainty.

      Because the villain who did the bone-hack was the primary antagonist for three entire seasons, the show was really starting to get old. Almost every episode he was in got irritating.

    4. WaytoomanyUIDs says:

      Shoulda been running Linux 2.4.x. That still had the PRINTER ON FIRE error, but NOOO, they had to get rid of it in 2.6.x. Guess who’s laughing now?

  8. el_b says:

    did you see that at 12.13? she had her gun on that guy all the time as he kept going for his gun and when the shooting started she lowered her gun!

  9. Spammy says:

    So in addition to the tons of clutter and detail in the environments, with the whole bleating scene I’m impressed that as it goes on you see Khai start to sweat, and you can even see the actual liquid bleat flow going out of the wound.

    I mean the lighting makes it all look kind of plastic and fake anyway, but someone on the graphics team was putting in work to try to add these little bits. Although maybe she could hear you to keep looking at her if you weren’t shooting off a revolver by her ear.

    Also if this was Payday 2, yelling at her would exactly save her life.

    1. krellen says:

      Only if Mendoza is a Mastermind.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Now we are entering the realistic territory.

  11. Grudgeal says:

    Incidentally, Shamus, it’s a myth that the heart is anywhere near your shoulder — the heart lies between the lungs and is actually close to centre of mass on your body (though slightly on the left). You can see it quite clearly if you take a short jog to get the circulation going and then look at your chest: The heart area will be going up and down quite visibly. That gunshot looks like a shoulder wound, which won’t kill you quite as fast but still very fast because the deltoid area has quite a lot of blood flowing through it. Also, the shoulder joint is very fragile and being shot there usually paralyses the entire arm.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “I think it hit an artery”

    Its a good thing you arent a doctor then.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    On the other hand, I take it that's pretty much par for the course for CSI depictions of the internet.

    But unlike csi,this was made by people that are constantly on their computers.Making a video game that is primarily played over the internet.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      And… with dedicated programming teams.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    As Conan O’Brien shows,archer definitely needs to be injected into everything.Also cocain.It too needs to be injected into everything.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Hey Shamus

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:


        1. Daemian Lucifer says:


          1. Daemian Lucifer says:


              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                I totally injected your blog with some archer.

                1. krellen says:

                  I can’t stop laughing. Why can’t I stop laughing?

                  1. Neko says:

                    Brain Aneurism? You should get that checked out.

    2. Joe Informatico says:

      I’d take Sterling Archer or Cate Archer at this point…

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:


  15. Andy_Panthro says:

    Every time someone says “Mendoza” all I can think of is this Simpsons/McBain bit:

    1. Henson says:

      You and me both, buddy.

  16. @15:50 You gotta put the right amount of pressure on it.

  17. Tizzy says:

    So I guess the game is set circa 2001, since the artists made a point to have the laptop connected to a WEBCAM.

    Seriously, what the hell?

  18. Note: I am not defending anything shown in this game, but it does show a problem with cop/law enforcement dramas in all media right now.

    The technology out there is almost magical. I mean, that whole “at night, they can scan a guy at 100 meters” thing is possible, I think, though I’ve never seen it in color. It often uses infra-red lights to illuminate the target for the camera, so they don’t even know a spotlight is being put on them.

    Anyway, the problem is that while all this amazing stuff for scanning, surveillance, eavesdropping, etc. apparently exists and is in use somewhere, it seems to rarely ever get used for cases brought to trial, or at least, it’s not used regularly. This gives fiction writers headaches because they either give their story access to all this magi-tech (since it could be used) which makes it nigh impossible for most fictional criminals to get anywhere for dramatic purposes, or they ignore said technology and get called on not using “obvious” solutions a cop could bring to a problem.

    In a way, I wonder if this isn’t why detective stories are more popular, since it lets the writers automatically limit the protagonist’s access to crime lab stuff that may or may not be in common use.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Aren’t judges reluctant to bring in new technologies into trial proceedings. And with good reason too, anything they do creates a precedent, and with any new argument introduced you need to worry about the rate of incidence of false positives. Plus, I guess that once you have your guy, you hope to have enough old-fashioned evidence to put them away.

      1. I’m not sure on the procedures. There have been stories of cops using infra-red cameras to basically see through the walls of homes and they use cell phone tracking/eavesdropping equipment fairly often these days. I never hear of these techniques being used in arrests but often in stories about police scandals where they’re abusing the technology against innocent people.

        1. JAB says:

          It gets messy. Basically, law enforcement is doing everything it can to keep certain technologies from coming to the attention of courts, to keep from the possibility of the courts saying “No, you need a warrant for that.”

          For example, license plate scanners and databases. It’s clearly legal for a cop to notice that a car with a particular license plate is in front of him for 20 seconds. When every cop car has a license plate scanner, and it all feeds into a database, though…

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        And yet,oddly enough,for decades they all accept fingerprints as something that is unique to every single person.

    2. Joe Informatico says:

      How are detective stories not popular? Half of the highest rated programs on American TV are some kind of crime procedural, and a good number of the most critically acclaimed are a procedural or straight up crime drama. There have been three different film or TV adaptations of Sherlock Holmes in the last decade alone (he remains the fictional character with the second-most TV and film adaptions in history, with only Dracula beating him out). Detective fiction continues to make a big splash on the bestselling fiction lists.

      But to your main point: I have friends who worked for the fraud divisions of big, massively profitable banks, that would rather write off the comparatively trivial losses of ATM fraud and petty theft, than install security cameras that could even come close to measuring up to the resolution of your 2 year old smartphone camera. How much less willing is your typical cash-strapped North American city government to pay for that kind of tech (which must include not only the tech, but the training, support, maintenance, requisition process, and the massive markup always charged to the public sector), to police the lowest socio-economic classes of society? The tech has to get way cheaper for that to happen.

      1. I didn’t say they weren’t popular. I said I was wondering if the above thoughts on police technology were among the reasons why they are. Not having to futz about with CScI-Fi stuff and concentrating on characters probably makes it easier to construct the narrative.

  19. PlasmaPony says:

    “I honestly thought I was arresting him and kind of beat him to death!”


    1. Mephane says:

      I mentally read that sentence in the voice of Karl.

  20. INH5 says:

    You know, it’s one thing when TV shows and movies get computers and technology wrong. Those are after all made by producers and writers whose primary experience is in writing stories and managing creative types, not with the finer points of computer science, and technical consultants cost money for a service that most viewers probably won’t care about anyway.

    But when video games get these details wrong, there is no excuse. On a AAA game, there will be dozens of programmers on staff. If the writers have any technical questions, they can just walk over to the programming department and ask them. There will also be plenty of texture artists who work with Photoshop for a living, who would be able to answer any questions the writers have about how much you can “enhance” a blurry photo.

    So really, there’s no excuse other than pure laziness here.

    1. Ledel says:

      Yeah, but then the cool writers would have to talk to nerds. Don’t you know all game writers are cool, dark-haired, square-jawed, manly-men. They don’t need to know the technical terms, they solve their problems through action!

      In all honesty the vast majority of the people who play these games won’t know/care proper terminology for programming, and won’t have perfect understanding of the limitations of programmers and IT today. At least this game uses some proper terms like “traceroute” for their computer lingo. Otherwise it doesn’t look like the formula hacking=computer magic is going away anytime soon. They’ve been using that formula since the late 80s.

      1. INH5 says:

        That is true, though I’m sure that a much greater portion of the players of this game know about programming stuff that the portion of CSI viewers who know this stuff.

      2. Mephane says:

        I’d prefer it if they use pure technobabble to name stuff that is effectively magic, and not use the words for real things.

  21. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    OK, someone should say it. I had no interest in this game based on the adds, but I’m kinda digging the show. It’s Miami Vice by way of HEAT, or perhaps just Michael Mann’s Miami Vise. Dhao just needs to be wearing more colorful clothing and Mendoza needs to sing soft-rock while they cruise around in a Mercedes.

    The crew is complaining, but I’m not really sure about what. There’s character development, you don’t have to shoot anybody -if you’re skilled enough you can arrest everyone -I mean the throwing a shell casing is a bit weird, and a pebble or pop-tab might have made more sense. NOLF had the coin, for example -and criminals just sending one person off to investigate is a touch contrived.

    But it’s Miami Vice. You don’t watch Miami Vice for the realism.

    1. Nidokoenig says:

      The shell casing is there so nobody has to ask where he got his noise maker from, though it’s a bit weird in a police shooter where you might not have fired a shot. Guess he must save spent casings from the time he spends on the range and just can’t be bothered recycling them. Shit, we definitely need an Archer game, “Why in God’s name do you have so many of those damn things?” “They switched metal recycling to alternate Tuesdays.”

      1. INH5 says:

        I think that picking up and throwing a pebble off the ground would make sense in 90% of the game environments.

        Or why not just have him throw coins? Plenty of people carry around dozens of coins in their wallets, and it’s pretty easy to get more of them, so it would certainly be more plausible than shell casings.

        Shell casings have the problems that 1) they are ejected from the gun at a pretty high velocity and frequently end up on the other side of the room, usually during a firefight where the last thing you’re thinking about is where the casings end up, and 2) recently spent casings are hot enough to burn you if you touch them. So having a collection of shell casings would require Mendoza to wait around at the scene of gunfights until the casings cool down then go around picking them up. Which I’m pretty sure the player never does.

        And that’s not even bringing up the fact that spent shell casings are evidence, and by casually picking them up to throw them around somewhere else Mendoza would be tampering with evidence and making the job of the CSIs and prosecutors that much more difficult. Even if he had just saved some casings from the firing range, throwing them around a crime scene (or what will likely soon become a crime scene) could create all sorts of problems.

        Yes, I know that complaining about this stuff can seem nitpicky, but this is something that the game deliberately and specifically went out of its way to include, so I think it deserves special attention.

        If this was a military shooter and the PC was a soldier with a colorful personality, collecting shell casings to use as distraction tools would make sense as just a personality quirk. But in a police setting that is at least trying to feel realistic, it makes no sense at all.

    2. Tizzy says:

      I liked some things about what we’ve seen so far, though my overall take is mixed: the most interesting parts appeared to be the less interactive ones.

      But it’s hard to see how we can go from this to tanks without the game going downhill very fast on the story front.

  22. There’s….there’s a loooottta cringeworthy shit going down in this episode. I laughed…but it was an uncomfortable laughter…

  23. Ledel says:

    Okay, two things:

    1) I really can’t wait for the sequel to this game where it is just a 4 hour long psych evaluation where the psychologist is literally pulling his hair out by the end of it just reading your report.

    2) I can’t help but to notice the difference between Khai’s small, lightweight bulletproof vest and everyone else’s super heavy tactical with pockets for everything vest. I know they make all different kinds of bulletproof vests, it would just be less jarring if the female character wasn’t the only one wearing the lightweight vest in this seemingly hyper-realistic game.

    1. Bryan says:

      Doctor Scratchandsniff!

    2. guy says:

      Actually, it’s the main character’s vest that is out of place. The two of them aren’t working as SWAT team members, so both of them should be wearing the lightweight vest. The guys who bust in to rescue them actually are the SWAT team and naturally wear the heavy tactical vest.

      1. Ledel says:

        Agreed, but in the first mission last episode your partner is wearing the same exact vest as you. If I were a guessing man, future missions with other male companions they will also be wearing the heavy vests and if you have any more female companions they will be wearing the lighter vests.

  24. Vorpal Smilodon says:

    It’s interesting how that scene after she got shot and the house gets shot to smithereens and a hummer crashed through a wall while you’re shooting back at enemies – in a good game that scene would have been really awesome. But because the game is this sort of silly bland thing, storywise, the coolness of the scene is completely wasted. Like honestly, that exact scene cut and pasted into even something silly but self-aware like Bulletstorm would have been really fun.

  25. Thehokeypokey says:

    That’s right. Knock on the door with your gun so that every time you hit the door the gun is pointed directly at your partner’s face.

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