Thursday, May 7, 2015

New targets

Battlefield: Hardline started out by at least trying to be original. The player character is the good guy. He is a good cop bent on bringing down corrupt cops. He tries to arrest people before shooting them and he even does right by his partner when it means letting a few of the bad guys go. He is a good guy and it was nice to be the good guy for a while.

Then he was framed for stealing drug money, spent three years in jail (during which time his mother died) and finally busted out by one of the cops who framed him and a high end drug lord. By the end of the second half of the game he is just as bad the criminals and dirty cops he spent the first half of the game trying to put away.

It isn't even subtle (spoilers begin here).

At the end of the last level our 'hero' is invited to the island hideout of the police chief who sent him to jail in the first place. He moved from end of the compound to the other, killing everyone, and corners the unarmed chief in his office. There is a speech made by the 'bad' guy about how what he was doing wasn't really all that bad, just making things easier for everyone else, cop and criminal alike. He then accuses the 'good' guy of being more criminal than cop.

I thought that this was when the hero would redeem himself, cuff the bad guy, and ride off into the sunset. Nope, he shoots the bad guy in the chest at point blank range and helps himself to the ill gotten money.

Holy shit, it was depressing. No point on being good, everyone is bad in the end, right? Might as well get something for your effort. (spoilers end)

That was not the only spin on what is normal for AAA shooters. Call of Battlefield shooter usually pit Americans against an enemy of different heritage. To be a bit more crude, the white guys shoot the not white guys. White male power fantasy, blah blah, such discussions are far, far above my pay grade. Three of the four main characters in Hardline are not white: the main character is Cuban, his partner is of Asian decent and the hacker/comic relief guy is black. Only the smarmy cocaine king pin is white.

There is a level near the end of the game in which the ex-cop and hacker are captured by a bunch of racist doomsday preppers. If ever there were people other than Nazis who it was okay to shoot, it was these guys. One even said, referring the bounty he was going to collect:

'$250,000 for a Mexican? When did they get so expensive?'

Scum. Scum. And a refreshing change of pace of whom I was pretending to shoot. All in all, not a bad shooter, just one of many that will be dropped into the collective shooter memory vat and melded into one, long corridor of high definition murder.

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