Battlefield Hardline is undoubtedly the big new release of the week, but with reviews held back until launch day, are the press playing good cop or bad cop with this spin-off first-person shooter? Well, the game's certainly not getting panned – though some sites have intelligently held back their scores until they can test the title in a live environment – but it doesn't sound especially arresting [Pun most definitely intended – Ed] either. Seeing as our copy is still locked up in EA's slammer, here are some select critiques from around the web. We'll bring you our verdict soon.
Polygon - 7/10
In areas where Battlefield has always excelled and pushed forward, Hardline presents experiments, rather than refinements or fixes. The result is multiplayer that feels very familiar, very quickly. But its campaign, while feeling not completely sure about what it wants to be, is more interesting and certainly all-around better than the last few years' worth of Battlefield games. The result is something that's both less and more than its predecessors.
GameSpot - 7/10
The simplicity of the campaign's stealth gameplay and the enemies' readiness to submit at the sound of "Freeze!" is comical, though the silliness was not likely Visceral's intention. Even in Battlefield: Hardline, multiplayer competition remains the series' heart and soul. It wasn't that long ago that the ability to eject from a fighter plane and seamlessly continue the battle on foot was one of the most awe-inspiring things you can do in an online shooter. That's why many gravitated to the Battlefield series in the first place, and Hardline isn't short of similar transitional vehicular moments. You can spawn in a chopper, do your part as a gunner to take out valued targets on that ground, and then jump out with a parachute so you can capture a marked car. This isn't Iwo Jima or an Arabian oil field--but it's still pure Battlefield.
USgamer.net - 3.5/5
The single-player mode starts out promisingly, but bogs down into a rather weak stealth game whose action feels hit-and-miss. Multiplayer is where the game works best, especially on its smaller maps, which can deliver truly thrilling and intense action.
Destructoid - 6/10
While Hardline is tone deaf at times, mostly it is just deafening. Explosions and bombast are used not to distract from a troubling narrative as much as a stale one perfunctorily paced and reminiscent of network television emptiness.
Eurogamer.net - No Score
What the campaign is good for is unlocking a hefty selection of Battlepacks - the blind bagged power-ups that send you into multiplayer action with additional perks, or supply new patches and camos for your weapons. That side of the game, based on a few days of early access play, already seems more promising.
Will you be cuffing yourself to Battlefield Hardline come launch day, or couldn't you care less about this police-themed first-person shooter? Show us your taser in the comments section below.