Both EA and Visceral Games welcomed a wide range of reactions when Battlefield Hardline was revealed, not only due to the fact that Battlefield 4 was still broken in the minds of many, but that the game bears little resemblance to past entries in the series. Focusing the action on city streets instead of distant battlefields – and between police and criminals instead of warring armies – is a clear departure from DICE’s past work, but the new developers aren’t intent on simply making the action look different.
With the addition of modes like Hotwire challenging players to use vehicles and teamwork in new ways, Visceral is swinging for the fences. The latest gameplay trailer and details on the game mode may not convince skeptics that it’s true to the Battlefield legacy, but it should prove that Hardline could attract all new fans as well. And that police/criminal warfare isn’t restricted to city streets, either.
Although it’s fair to point out that from a technical standpoint, there are plenty of similarities between Hardline and BF4 – both vehicles and team-based gameplay were hallmarks of the latter – it’s equally fair to argue that there’s still plenty of the game that hasn’t been shown. Forget the singleplayer campaign; the multiplayer is clearly going to be a bit more… exotic than some may have assumed.
According to the developers, Hotwire will challenge players to steal a number of marked cars before the police are able to stop them. But the vehicles won’t be captured by simply getting behind the wheel: players will need to drive a lengthy distance before fully completing the task. And in filling up their ‘Capture’ bar, driving faster works best. The police won’t be expected to just lay back and watch it happen though, meaning players will need to team up to sabotage, defend, and generally interfere with the law’s efforts.
To make things a bit easier, the developers are also bringing back the ‘Tracking Dart’ from Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Tag an enemy vehicle with the dart, and not only will other players on your team be able to track them, but “RPGs and other rockets” will be able to target it precisely as well. Giving yet another reason to drive towards insane jumps and obstacles, instead of avoid them.
In addition to the new details and footage, the developers also clarified just how many ranks multiplayer users will have to work their way through. As Hotwire demonstrates, working to defend your teammates can be just as effective as handling the stolen vehicles yourself. And doing so will earn players step after step through the 150 ranks available at launch:
Its announcement may have raised as many questions as it did positive reactions, but Visceral has done the best to convince existing and new fans that their feedback matters. It matters so much, they claim, that the game’s release has been delayed to make sure fan concerns are all addressed before the game launches.
How high on your list of anticipated gamed is Hardline? Are you more interested in Visceral’s scripted singleplayer story, or is it Battlefield gameplay in a new multiplayer setting that has your attention? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Battlefield Hardline will release in March 2015 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.