Battlefield: Hardline – Such Concept, Much Prototype

Okay, so Electronic Arts haven’t had too much real stuff to showcase at the biggest gaming convention of the year, and that’s fine because all their games look really nice and I’m sure they’ll all be lovely when they’re finished.

Wait, that’s not really how it works, is it?

Short answer: no. Perhaps it’s because I’m British, but the inflated hyperbolic presentation style that many gaming companies go for on their AAA titles tends to bounce right off me – my own skepticism dictates that I want to see gameplay footage. Preferably someone playing terribly live on stage, getting spawn camped or throwing a grenade off a wall and landing it at your feet. You know, like normal.

Alas, EA haven’t delivered on that front, but to dismiss Battlefield: Hardline because they decided to play dress-up with the reveal is preposterous – the reveal showed the parameters of what we can do at the moment, and the idea of a well sculpted game of cops and robbers sounds like great fun. Yeah you’ll probably end up spawning in and being driven into a lamppost by some fool more than once, and you might even actually provide some sort of covering fire unlike every single player in the short gameplay trailer, but so what?

Although, suggesting people actually work in teams in online FPS’ is hardly a more realistic assertion either. I take it back.

The theme is gritty, TV crime drama, although I pray that the last man standing won’t be seductively removing his glasses or dropping any outrageous puns – if I so much as sense The Who on the soundtrack then I’ll have to revise my positive outlook on the game thus far.

As you can see in the trailer, the law is not above worldwide destruction, and neither are the robbers. In this particular instance, you can see the underside of a motorway (or as they say in America, a ‘magically suspended concrete vehicle carpet’) blown to smithereens, revealing a ramp to escape up. Further on, a crane is leveled and yet more accessibility opens up. Yeah, it’s scripted, but it’s also extremely useful. Kudos, DICE.

Gadgets and weapons saturate your arsenal, and you can see some cool uses of zip wires and the like to get around. Cops will have access to a tazer, whereas criminals prefer the much more down-to-earth baseball bat, but both will incapacitate your target at close range. The developers assure us that you are still playing Battlefield (thankfully), and that there will be loads of vehicles to drive/fly until your heart’s content.

Scripted nature aside, the game looks exciting and tense, which is exactly what DICE are after with the Battlefield franchise. Many years ago I got very excited about the game All Points Bulletin, which was hoping to create a cops-and-robbers-esque MMO to have ridiculous amounts of fun in, but it flopped. This attacks the idea differently than I envisioned, but it looks great all the same.

If you haven’t already, chances are you’re too late to get onto the first-come-first-serve closed beta. Fret not, however, because you can get your hands on your copy on October 21st this year.

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