For a series that is as rife with the potential for emergent, spontaneous carnage, this new installment still manages to surprise me. Watching a thief grab the suitcase, hop on a crotch rocket, and immediately erupt in an explosion of flame and mangled steel is hysterical. And those pesky snipers; watching one of them get pancaked by a cruiser is a joy that is unmatched outside of this series. Add to that gadgets in line with the heist motif (grappling hooks, ziplines), and you’ve got a power fantasy in the making.
Battlefield Hardline might be the shooter to get this holiday season, and when it’s in such company as Destiny and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, that’s really saying something.