Battlefield Hardline Robbery Expansion Game Review: Same Old Tricks

Battlefield Hardline Robbery Expansion

Visceral Games made a decent game in Battlefield: Hardline. At least, it would have been considered a decent game had it not been far too much like the behemoth that is Battlefield 4. A lick of paint doesn’t do enough to make it stand out. Does the Robbery DLC do anything to make Hardline its own game?

What’s in the Box?

If you’re used to the Battlefield way of doing DLC, you can probably take a good guess at what Robbery includes. Let’s see how close you get:

There’s a new assault rifle (the FAMAS), and MP7 submachine gun and an M1 carbine. Also included are a new semi-automatic shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, a couple of new pistols and three new gadgets; a protective mask to get through fires, a first-aid kit that works from the passenger seat and a gas launcher.

Four new maps are introduced. First up is The Docks, which is a reworking of popular Battlefield 3 map. Adding verticality to the level via stacked containers, this map is all about getting the high ground and ensnaring the enemy in kill boxes.

Next we have The Museum, which is arguable the pick of the bunch. The first completely indoor map for Hardline, this detailed and absorbing map comprises two levels with a multitude of themed rooms, ranging from fossils to Ancient Egyptian. The centrepiece though is the large-scale and destructible dinosaur skeletons.

Break Pointe is aimed at encourage vehicular play. It’s a large, open map divided by a river that has a couple of bridges for crossings. Aside from that, there’s not much to it.

Precinct 7 is the final map and it’s the unique one of the bunch. Not only does it take place at night, but it also introduces a snowy environment to Hardline (although this is of course not new to BF4 players). The rest of the map consists of abandoned police stations and falls back into the building-dense model that is common in a lot of Battlefield maps.

And Finally…

There’s a new game mode. Perhaps being aware of the current trend in online gaming for 5c5 competitive game modes, championed by LoL, DotA 2 and, more close to home, Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege, Visceral Games have added ‘Squad Heist.’

In this mode, the criminal team must quickly plan out and successfully execute a large heist while the police team work to stop them. It’s similar to the other 5v5 modes already included in the game, but adding another small-scale, competitive mode like Squad Heist was certainly a better idea than adding another more traditional, large scale mode. This, at least, separates the game from Battlefield 4 a little, which is still played primarily for its large scale warfare.

Release Date: 16/09/2015

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, Windows, PC, PC Download

Critics Rating: 4.2/5

Game Play Video

Play the Game

The Robbery Expansion requires the original Battlefield Hardline Game.

Same Old Tricks, Same Old Problems

Visceral Games and/or EA opted against changing things up with the first DLC for Hardline, which is disappointing. Not only did they completely ignore the single player campaign with this DLC (are we really surprised, though?) but they also completely avoided changing anything of note mechanically.

The cynical side of me purely sees Battlefield: Hardline as a way of milking hardcore Battlefield players by operating two concurrent and annoyingly similar games at once, each with their own booster and DLC packs. It’s not something that the Robbery DLC makes me think again about, either.

This is a point of view that I apparently share with a large portion of gamers, as the numbers for Battlefield: Hardline continue to be woeful. According to bfhstats.com, there are currently only just over 1,000 people playing the game, with a 24 hour peak of a little under 3,000.

Compare that to Battlefield 4’s current player count of nearly 20,000 and a 24 hour peak of just under 40,000 and the problems with Hardline become clear. It’s being ignored – because people already have a Battlefield game to play that’s been out longer and has been vigorously improved by EA Dice over the last 12 months. Hardline and Robbery are EA ploys that thankfully seem to have fallen flat.

It’s not just Battlefield 4 that Hardline is struggling to compete against. It wouldn’t even make the top 10 list of most active games on Steam, if it were available on that platform. More embarrassingly, it wouldn’t even break into the top 100!

Wrapping Up

So do I recommend the Robbery DLC for Battlefield: Hardline? No. Not at all. There are so few people actively playing Hardline that getting into it now would be a waste of time. There’s literally no point in fragmenting a player base this small, either. If you want a fix, play Battlefield 4 instead.

Review written by Ian Wakefield from integritas.link.

Screenshots

Battlefield Hardline Robbery Expansion: View 2

Play the Game

The Robbery Expansion requires the original Battlefield Hardline Game.

Battlefield Hardline Robbery Expansion is developed by EA.

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