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Battlefield: Hardline by Paul Leonard-Morgan (Review)

posted Apr 2, 2015, 8:58 AM by Kaya Savas

The Battlefield series has always been pushing to be the modern and rockstar FPS that focuses more on gameplay instead of story. While Call Of Duty continues to drive the path of epic action warfare, Battlefield decided to change things up a bit with Battlefield: Hardline. Hardline plays out more like a Michael Bay version of CSI: Miami. In essence the game is a hardcore version of cops and robbers. Composer Paul Leonard-Morgan has demonstrated he’s a master at electronic soundscapes with his fantastic scores to films like Limitless and Dredd. Here he lays on the rock thick and heavy for an unapologetic electronic jam session that fuels the over the top and fun action of the gameplay.

Battlefield: Hardline had a lukewarm reception from gamers and critics. The experiment to do something different didn’t necessarily do something memorable. It’s the same Battlefield experience with a different gloss of paint. The rock score from Leonard-Morgan does an admirable job at filling the air. It provides the propulsive action and testosterone one would expect from a score like this. Despite the purpose of raising adrenaline, the music has some great textures as well. Paul adds some cool southern twang to the Everglades tracks, which give a nice feel. Some of the story-focused tracks have some nice builds to them as well, and it provides a needed break amidst the action-heavy tracks. I feel like the music decidedly stayed away from melodies that provided too much of a hook. In video games, when you have melodic looping, the music can sometimes stand out too much and annoy the hell out of gamers. That shouldn’t be an issue here, but even the core thematic material doesn’t jump out as strong as it should. That’s the one thing holding it back. Overall though, it’s a kick-ass ride that offers plenty of fun.

Battlefield: Hardline is not a game-changer, nor does it offer up a central storyline with much to offer. Amidst the guns and explosions, Paul Leonard-Morgan found a way to add controlled chaos to the mix. His score does a fine job of focusing you through the game even if the thematic pull is not that strong. The electronic rock approach was a perfect fit, and Leonard-Morgan has tons of fun with it. The score offers up some great textures and builds for a fun time.