The lights are on
At EA's Gamescom press conference, Visceral Games showed single-player gameplay for the very first time. (The image above is from multiplayer. New screens are expected soon.)
The scene opens on what looks like some kind of illicit undercover deal. The player character, Miami detective Nick Mendoza, and his friend Marcus a.k.a. Boomer are double crossed by a man in a strange hat named Alpert. Your pal's lady friend, Dune, is behind the setup and she seems upset that he's captured along with you.
You and Marcus are cuffed and tossed in a cell. He managed to get a lockpick from Dune when she hugged him goodbye and uses it to open the door. You creep through the dark silo hallways still in cuffs until you come across a guard. The demoer sneaks up behind, chokes him out with the cuffs, and takes the key that will free up his hands. Now you've got a handgun.
Further on, a group of enemies gathers. You grab a shotgun off a table and elbow a nearby thug in the head. Visceral notes that stealth is a valid option throughout many parts of the game. You can take out a bullet casing and throw it to lure guards and then knock them out to lower their numbers. Going guns blazing also works as you shoot up several enemies in the next room. Once the smoke clears, you pick up a new item called the scanner and your badge.
You and Marcus head outside into the bright desert sun. You scan the nearby outpost and it picks up enemies, weapon and item locations, and high value fugitive targets. Once scanned in, these icons remain onscreen so you can easily keep track of them.
You head to the right side of the compound and flash your badge at two thugs (it's unclear at this point what law enforcement sector you work for). They put their hands up at gunpoint and you move in to knock them on the ground and cuff them. You move into the nearby hut and find blueprints for a bomb. Next you head in for more intel while Marcus tries to contact an ally on the radio.
You creep in through a trench of bones and meat and when you make it through the fence, a butcher tosses a bucket of blood behind his back and it splats right in your face. You take him down and get the next goon with a silent tazer takedown. Next, you toss another casing to lure out the high value target. He goes to investigate and you take him down and cuff him. These warrant targets will offer huge perks and cash to make it worth your while. You head to get your confiscated gear and are able to swap out weapon and gadget loadouts on the fly and purchase new guns and items on the fly.
You move toward two enemies with your hands up in surrender. The first guy approaches and asks who you are. When he's within reach, you grab him and use him as a human shield against the rest. Everything goes to hell in a hail of gunfire and explosions. Reinforcements arrive in beat up trucks and cars. Eventually, you are able to get away from the fray and find a tower. You launch a rope at it and use it to climb to the top. Here you shoot a zipline to Marcus' waiting car outside of the compound. The demo closes as you zip over enemies shouting and shooting below.
This undercover cop/agent storyline could be the freshening up that Battlefield needs. New stealth and non-lethal options combined with what could be more developed characters may shake things up from the standard "military saving the world" plot we've seen in most of the Battlefield single-player campaigns. We'll have more on single-player and multiplayer in the months leading up to Hardline's spring 2015 release.