First Impressions: ‘Battlefield Hardline’ (Xbox One)

‘Battlefield Hardline’ lets you play both sides

It doesn’t take long before you realize something just isn’t quite right in “Battlefield Hardline.” I’m only a couple of hours into this endeavor, but it’s clear something is afoot.

Betrayals, lies, out illegality: I don’t even think I’ve gotten to the main crux of this game yet, and I have enough knives in enough backs out there to start a restaurant. I suppose the point is to prove the corruption infects like a virus: indiscriminately. Still, it feels oddly invasive.

You control Nick Mendoza (voiced by Philip Anthony-Rodriguez and motion-captured by Nicholas Gonzalez), a young officer who just made detective. And what perfect timing: He and his partner, veteran detective Khai Minh Dao (Kelly Hu), are tasked with dealing with the burgeoning drug trade, particularly a drug called Hot Shot.

What I’ve realized so far in the story of “Battlefield Hardline”: We’re not good cops. Like, I suppose we carry the badge of law enforcement in this version of Miami, awashed in drugs, money and gang violence. (So, the real Miami?) But you’ll have to forgive me for thinking that that shiny metal decoration is about the only thing that separates us from the criminals.

The other thing I’ve learned: The South is a dangerous place. If it’s not a gang-banger trying to cap my ass, it’s a crocodile trying to eat me. Guess what? Both events end the same way.

For the moment, “Battlefield Hardline” feels more like an episode of “NCIS” than a typical “Battlefield” game — and I’m OK with that. There’s plenty left to explore — not least of all multiplayer — but what I’ve seen so far is promising.

This is a First Impressions of “Battlefield Hardline” on the Xbox One. A full review will follow once the game is completed.

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