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Video Game / Battlefield Hardline

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"Welcome to your new playground."

Battlefield Hardline is a First-Person Shooter video game developed by Visceral Games in collaboration with EA Digital Illusions CE and Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts.

Hardline is a radical departure from the military theme associated with the Battlefield franchise, instead placing you in the shoes of Detective Nick Mendoza, a rookie detective with the Miami Police Department, as he battles against criminal gangs.

Miami is embroiled in a drug war and Officer Nicholas "Nick" Mendoza (voiced by Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, motion captured by Nicholas Gonzalez) has just made detective. Alongside his partner, veteran detective Khai Minh Dao (Kelly Hu), he follows the drug supply chain from the streets to the source. In a series of increasingly off-the-books cases, the two detectives come to realize that power and corruption can affect both sides of the law

It was released on March 17, 2015.

A total of four expansions were released: Criminal Activity, Robbery, Getaway, and Betrayal, each adding four new maps in addition to new weapons, vehicles and equipment.

Now it has a character sheet.

Battlefield Hardline provides examples of:

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  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: The developers have mentioned that bullets do not penetrate car doors in-game, making cars more viable.
    • Motorcycles and cars can survive long jumps and falls because it's exciting, invoking action movies.
    • Zig Zagged with Nick's takedowns, where he seems to have an infinite supply of handcuffs. What's odd is that his vest has plenty of plastic safety cuffs on it, but the sound effect is specifically metal cuffs.
  • Action Bomb: When the Fuel Tanker gets set on fire, get far, far, away. It's common for players to rig it up with C4 for this purpose.
  • A.K.A.-47: There are a few examples. The "Bald Eagle" is, of course, the IMI Desert Eagle; the ".410 Jury" is the Taurus Judge.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power:
    • The early-game .357 revolver actually does more damage than the higher caliber .44 magnum revolver, despite the latter being unlocked much later and having a lower ammo capacity and higher recoil.
    • The game exhibits the common FPS trope of handguns dealing more damage than assault rifles as a game-balancing feature to balance out their lower rate of fire and ammo capacity (in real life an assault rifle round is significantly more powerful than any handgun round, including high caliber magnum rounds). In the single-player campaign, most pistols kill in 2-3 torso shots while the M16 assault rifle and M4 carbine require 4 torso shots to down an enemy.
  • Batter Up!: The Baseball Bat is a melee weapon for the Criminals.
  • Bottomless Magazines: During the car chase scene, you can fire your weapon infinitely without even needing to reload.
  • Car Fu: Of course.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The new "Hotwire" mode sets the police chasing down the criminals in a variety of souped up performance vehicles and even helicopters.
  • Dueling Hackers: The Mission Control role.
  • Dynamic Entry: The sledgehammers mentioned above.
  • Easter Egg: Several, such as images of Visceral staff appearing on billboards and more quirky ones:
    • When reloading certain weapons, there's a one in ten thousand chance that you'll get a humorous reload animation, including tossing bullets into the chamber of a revolver, attempting to reload an RPG into the launcher wrong-way-first, then throwing it in the air and catching it in the launcher, making your pistol perform a disappearing act, or having a third hand give you a magazine for your assault rifle.
    • In some multiplayer maps, doughnut boxes can actually be spotted by cops with hilarious enthusiasm.
    • When you're on the criminal team, there's a rare chance that you can trigger a special spotting animation where your character flips off the police.
    • On the Dustbowl version of "Hotwire", players can commandeer a two seat high-speed couch.
  • Escort Mission: In the "Crosshair" game type, the police team is tasked with escorting the VIP past the criminals to extraction. The VIP is a player character and is armed with a Hand Cannon.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Downplayed Trope. While cars will catch fire and explode when their health is low, it takes a lot of gunfire, and collisions generally can't cause enough damage.
  • Exploding Barrels: The Fuel Tanker is basically a drivable one.
  • External Combustion: The "Saboteur" gadget for the Mechanic is this trope, causing a vehicle to explode when an enemy gets in.
  • Gangbangers: These guys are a subfaction of the Criminals in the multiplayer, and are usually seen on maps set in rural or low-income areas. Because Hardline is set in 2015, their attire is slimmer than usual for this archetype. Curiously, the Bangers are primarily white (though their voices would suggest otherwise); the Professional is the only class with an African-American Banger character model.
  • Gangsta Style: Characters hold the dual Skorpion vz.61s in this manner while aiming it.
  • Gatling Good: Despite being a ostensible domestic setting, there are still miniguns involved.
  • Golf Clubbing: Another melee weapon for the bad guys.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Most weapons in the game are restricted to either cops or criminals, such as the M16 for cops and the classic AKM for criminals.
  • Grappling Hook Launcher: A gadget available to all player classes. Unlike most examples of this trope, it makes a climbable rope to a ledge, rather than pulling its user upwards.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Betrayal DLC introduces a pair of Skorpion vz.61 machine pistols as a secondary weapon for all classes.
  • Hand Cannon: The "Bald Eagle" and the .44 Magnum.
  • Hollywood California: Almost every multiplayer location is in California: Los Angeles and South Central. Though the map "Dust Bowl" is in the California desert, "Backwoods" takes place somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, and both "Riptide" and "Everglades" return the action to Florida.
  • Hostage Situation: In the "Rescue" game type, very reminiscent of Counter-Strike, the criminals are holding two hostages, which the police are tasked with freeing.
  • Joke Weapon: "Backwoods" has a usable nailgun as a pickup weapon. You can also kill people with harpoon guns, throwing knives, and inquisition swords.
  • Lawman Baton: Several different batons are available as melee weapons for the police. One of them is Nick's melee attack in single player.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Ballistic Shield, unlike in Battlefield 4, protects its user from all small arms fire and even explosives. Wearing it on the back will also provide some protection.
  • Magical Defibrillator: In grand Battlefield tradition.
  • Mission Control: As with earlier installments, one player can take over a lead role and assist from a top down view.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Covers a small area in fire, and is quite deadly.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: No matter what handgun you select for your loadout, Nick will always use the Beretta 92FS (the game's starting handgun) in cutscenes (although he does switch to a Glock 17 towards the end of the game after he's no longer a cop)).
  • Punch-Packing Pistol: Pistols are actually considered primary weapons in this game with assault rifles, shotguns, and other long guns classified as secondary weapons. Thanks to Arbitrary Gun Power, pistols will do more damage shot per shot than rifles. This can be justified, or at least handwoven by the fact that for the first half of the game Nick is a cop and would be using his service weapon, as opposed to toting a rifle everywhere.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted. The .357 magnum and .44 magnum revolvers don't do much more damage compared to other pistols, and they suffer from reduced ammo capacity and the inability to equip a silencer. In fact, balance-wise there's no real reason to use them outside of one scripted sequence in Episode 1 besides you just finding them fun to shoot.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: Of the side-by-side double-barreled variety.
  • Shot to the Heart: Can be used to revive a teammate. The developers have said that the animation for using it is a reference to the famous scene in Pulp Fiction.
  • Shout-Out: A multiplayer map has a Marker statue, another one has an Ishimura shop
    • The multiplayer map "Growhouse" is set around a large underground marijuana farm beneath an industrial laundry. In Breaking Bad, Walter White ran a major meth lab underneath an industrial laundry.
  • Tactical Door Use: Most doors are interactive, and metal security doors are bulletproof.
    • A player with a sledge hammer can defy this trope by simply smashing the door in.
  • Weather of War: Two of the multiplayer maps feature weather effects that will begin mid-match. "Riptide" will be hit by a hurricane, and "Dust Bowl" will be overtaken by a sandstorm.

  • Actor Allusion:
  • Ass Shove: Heavily implied with Tap's handcuff key.
  • Big Bad: Dawes is this as he is behind the corruption of the Miami PD and creation of Preferred Outcomes.
  • Brand X: A few of the detectives have shark-themed knockoffs of the Miami Dolphins' helmet on their desks.
  • Car Chase Shoot-Out: The 6th episode, "Out of Business" ends with a car chase that has you and your partner switch seats midway through so you can hang outside the car to shoot the pursuing gang vehicles.
  • Car Hood Sliding: Nick performs a hood slide to get into the driver's seat of his police car to pursue a suspect in the opening cutscene.
  • Cop Show: The single player campaign plays like one, complete with Netflix-style mission result screens.
  • The Corruptor: This turns out to be Dawes' specialty as he apparently not only destroys Khai's morality but has done so to hundreds of other cops. He also plans to do it posthumously with Nick Mendoza, offering him all of his wealth as a Thanatos Gambit.
  • Cutscene Boss:
    • Towards the end of the game, Stoddard gets taken out almost exactly like a Call of Duty Big Bad. He's about to kill you while you're incapacitated, only to be momentarily distracted by your teammate, giving you an opening to shoot him.
    • Dawes too, except the player has no input on this one.
  • Downer Ending: Yes, Dawes and Stoddard are dead. But as Dawes admits, there's too many reputations on the line, too much at stake, too many power players for a group of four people to actually accomplish anything useful in taking it down entirely. The corruption runs so deep that it's nigh impossible for Preferred Outcomes to be stopped as it is. Either Nick takes over the organization (thus becoming a villain just like Dawes) or else he hides, and gets a new identity - but still will never be able to clear his name of the corruption charges. Given how it ends on a cliffhanger of what Nick is going to do, also doubles as No Ending.
  • Dynamic Entry: Stoddard gets in on the action in Episode 9, blasting his way into your safehouse.
  • Genghis Gambit: The drug war that serves as the main plot of the first half of the game is revealed to be one of these; Dawes manipulated all the criminal gangs into killing each other, so the gang under his direct control could swoop in and corner the market.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: In the first half of the game, you're a by-the-book cop attempting to learn the cause behind the outbreak of a massive drug war between all the city's criminal gangs. In the second half of the game, you're an escaped convict working with a gang of similar miscreants, running heists to get revenge against the dirty cop who framed you.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The campaign characters bear fairly closely resemble their voice actors.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: As badass as Nick, Khai, Boomer, and Tyson are, there is pretty much no way they are going to take down Preferred Outcomes by force. As is admitted by Dawes in a Posthumous Narration, there are too many reputations at stake, too many power players all over the police and other industries and across the country in the very least, for just four people to mount any reasonable offensive in taking it down, especially when one of them is a wanted felon as a supposed Dirty Cop and is a cop killer.
  • No Ending: Dawes is dead but whether Nick take over his empire after his death is left in the air.
  • Nostalgia Level: In Episode 8 Mendoza briefly commandeers a tank, calling back to the series' long roots in armored warfare.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Hardline is the 13th full Battlefield game and the 21st installment including expansion packs.
  • Only in Miami: The singleplayer storyline is centered in Miami, though it does extend beyond it.
  • Only Six Faces: There are only a handful of different face models for the single player campaign's game's enemies, which becomes apparent if you use the up-close-and-personal takedown move a lot instead of just shooting everyone from a distance.
  • Private Military Contractors: An evil PMC becomes the mooks in the latter stages of the campaign. Their name, "Preferred Outcomes" is a reference to the one of most (in)famous PMC, Executive Outcomes
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits/Enemy Mine: Nick's crew in the second half of the game consists of himself ( an escaped convict), a dirty cop, a drug dealer, and a white-collar criminal hacker. They all make it clear early on that the only reason they're working together is to get revenge on Big Bad Dawes and (for at least one of them) advance their own criminal interests, rather than any higher ideals of justice.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: In episode one, Mendoza uses the butt of his handgun to knock on a door, pointing the barrel right in his partner's face.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Nick sets out on this path after spending three years in prison for a frame-up job.
  • Secret Test of Character: Early on, Mendoza has one where Stoddard gives him money for a job well done for Stoddard, not for Mendoza. Mendoza drops the money behind him, which proves to Khai, Stoddard, and Dawes that Mendoza is in fact a By-the-Book Cop. Unfortunately, it's an inverted example to the norm: they wanted him to take the money and prove he was corrupt to let him into their schemes, not use him to root them out.
  • Shout-Out: As of the Feb 5th second beta, quite a few have been seen.
    • A movie poster showing 'The Dead Rise' is styled similarly to The Walking Dead.
    • *Upon spotting enemy player wielding T62 CEW*
    • When the Syndicate Hacker gives a squad the 'Fast Deployment' upgrade, he may tell them that, "'s too dangerous to go alone."
    • One of the achievements you can get(from profiling ten criminals in single-player) is called "Watched Dawg"
    • There are lots of Dead Space references in the game, because they were both developed by Visceral:
      • Two enemies can be seen playing Dead Space 1, even discussing some plot elements (Nicole's name comes up, though spoilers are avoided) and lampshading how good the Line Gun is. The game will actually pause when they see the player.
    • One of the primary villains is named Roark.
  • Take That!: One mission has you find a grave as evidence that lets you press E to pay respects.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Dawes does one of this to Nick at the end, giving him all of his wealth and contacts while daring him to do better.
  • Universal Driver's License:
    • Nick is able to operate helicopters and tanks all by himself, even though there's no mention of him having military training in his backstory.
  • Vigilante Man: Nick ends up becoming this halfway through the game, joining with Khai in bringing down Dawes as well as his network of crooked cops and mercenaries.
  • Visionary Villain: Dawes is not only content to run all of the organized crime in Miami but also moves into Los Angeles as well as expanding his business to become the head of a Private Military Contractors firm.