Battlefield 4 was a huge success but this is new, risky territory

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There have been about 30 different titles in the Battlefield series - including expansion backs and download content - and up until this one, developer DICE have kept the action within the theatre of war. They've been very successful, mostly because of the brilliance of the multiplayer modes.

Hardline is the first title in years to be developed away from DICE - Dead Space developer Visceral Games take over - and they've pretty much changed everything.

It's no longer a war game. You are Miami vice detective Nick Mendoza and rather than fighting enemies with ideas on global or national domination, you are trying to stop drug cartels in the city - and it goes deeper than that as the campaign developes.

In previous editions the series has hung its hat on the sheer carnage of the online world, as dozens of gamers fought side by side.

Hardline appears to have put a lot of stock in its campaign mode; rather than the all guns blazing style of previous games, taking the subtle, stealthy approach - and making arrests rather than blowing criminals away - rewards your character with greater XP and chances to unlock new weapons. Of course you can play it in a conventional way, but the rewards are smaller and the AI is tougher to kill.




Deciding which approach to go for in any given situation presents you with a dilemma, and gamers will have to take note of the suspects, their weaponry and the environment they find themselves in - probably not smart to shoot up a gang of men armed with assault rifles when all you have is a standard-issue pistol.

Some excellent animation, acting and a great storyline make the campaign mode a real triumph.

The multiplayer mode doesn't lose any of its previous insanity and it's here where the game will still likely find the most gravity, despite the quality of the campaign. The arenas may be urban centres with cops and robbers rather than fully kitted out soldiers but it loses none of its allure.

Despite a return to form for the Call of Duty series with Advanced Warfare, the FPS genre was becoming a little stale. Hardline is a brilliant twist on a much-loved genre.