Hands-On With Battlefield Hardline - Battlefield: Hardline - PlayStation 4 - www.GameInformer.com
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Battlefield: Hardline

Hands-On With Battlefield Hardline

Dead Space developers Visceral and Battlefield studio DICE are two studios under the same umbrella at Electronic Arts, but there's something more that unites them - a mutual appreciation. About two years ago, Visceral general manager and executive producer Steve Papoutsis and DICE CEO Karl-Magnus Troedsson met and bonded over a love of each others' games. Out of that meeting came a desire to do something together.

First, however, Visceral had to get some seasoning with DICE's Frostbite engine and game design philosophies, so Visceral worked on Battlefield 3's End Game DLC to put in motorcycles and help on the different game modes. Despite this acclimation to the military multiplayer bent of the Battlefield series, the studios' collaboration would be something a little different - a cops and robbers Battlefield title.

With DICE providing feedback, Visceral took the reins on the new project, delivering the concept, art, code, and engineering. Creative director Ian Milham (formerly the art director on the Dead Space franchise) wanted to do something more relatable than the serious, hard-military titles that have rules the roost. "It felt like there was a really opportunity to something that was juicier and more fun," he says.

Our first look at the game featured two multiplayer game modes pitting cops vs. criminals: Heist and Blood Money. In Heist, the criminals must break into an armored location (like two armored cars) and bring the two sets of loot to two different locations. In the map we played, which was basically downtown Los Angeles, one drop-off location was on top of a skyscraper, while the other was on a road by a freeway. In Blood Money, both the cops and the criminals withdraw money from a single cache in the center of the map and bring it back to their vault - which can be raided at any time.

Despite Milham's insistence that he didn't want the game to mirror the high-tech soldier world of most shooters, there is plenty of firepower on both sides. Tazers, flash bangs, shields, zip lines, grappling hooks, boats, armored vehicles, helicopters, and much more are brought to the firefights. Both modes play out frantically, with neither side relishing a clear advantage.

Taking the class-based system from traditional Battlefield games, players choose between the professional, enforcer, mechanic, and operator classes. Each of them brings unique gadgets to the table that accentuates team play. As in traditional Battlefield, you rank up with experience, but in a new twist you can purchase new equipment with your earnings from heists.

Hardline's single-player is being kept under wraps for now, but the game puts equal emphasis on its single- and multiplayer, with the former being a crime/revenge story that Milham is confident will sate those looking a significant experience. "We're Visceral," he says. "We've done a lot of single-player stuff. I think people kind of get that we're going to come up with something there."

Visceral's expertise on single-player campaigns should help shore up what's been widely regarded to be a shortcoming for many previous Battlefield games. Combine that with a new take on DICE's signature multiplayer, and the sum of Hardline's parts could overcome the negativity many may associate with the franchise becoming an annual series just like its chief rival Call of Duty. 

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Comments
  • I am surprised by the demo they showed. I will definitely keep my eye on this one (being a fan of Battlefield 3).

  • If I have time tonight I will try the beta on the PS4.

  • I find this to be a slap in the face. After dropping $100 on bf4+Premium and getting a broken (to this day) game in return. Never again EA. Never Again.

  • Honestly this game doesnt look that good. For all the hate that cod gets for being the same every year, this game looks like a simple reskin of bf3 and bf4. The demo they showed off had nothing new other than the cool rope cannons to climb the bridge.
  • I hav a question: does the PS4/One will feature split screen multiplayer or does the only game that has split screen is Call of Duty (I am getting some big doubts about the power of the new consoles)?
  • From what I have seen, everything is the same as BF4. No way this is worth $60.

  • For the last time, Dice and EA, most of us don't want single player, and the few that do aren't buying Battlefield games because of it! Your time could be better served ensuring your multiplayer actually works as intended. (/rant - too bad they won't listen. Also, since I'm shooting off wishes into the wild blue yonder: BF2143 would be fantastic. Naval Strike doesn't compare. I want my future guns and flying ships.)
  • This trailer did a good job of convincing me to forgive EA for the abortion that was Battlefield 4, but I really hate that the beta is PC/PS4 exclusive. Hopefully it opens up before release.

    That said, this really looks like it could be F2P. Given the emphasis on money made from heists, I'm worried that you'll be able to buy your way to victory. Still, they've got me paying attention, which is more than I thought they could do after I blew $60 on Battlefield 4.

  • I was skeptical about this game, but this trailer has me intrigued. At the very least, the cops and robbers theme will feel fresh compared to the all-out warfare the Battlefield games have been lately. I'll have to keep an eye on this one.

  • I'm gonna go out on a limb and say no match during the entire lifespan of this game will ever be even as remotely organized.

  • Am I the only one who is having a blast with BF4 and looks forward to this game?