Gamescom 2014: Battlefield Hardline – Nine Things We Learned From the GC Demo
Written Sunday, August 24, 2014 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
By the time we got to sit down and take a first look at Battlefield Hardline's single-player up-close and personal behind-closed-doors, EA had already released a video showing the exact same mission in full the day before. So instead of bringing you a preview of something you can just watch anyway, we thought we'd break things down a bit and isolate nine things we learned about Battlefield Hardline during Gamescom.
1 . It's a Super Gritty Cop Show-Type Thing: We can't imagine it'll be able to contend with the likes of The Wire or The Shield, but Battlefield Hardline might be able to give The Bill a run for its money. You play as LA detective Nick Mendoza (MENDOZAAAAA!!!!), who in the demo is partnered up with Marcus Boomer. Each chapter in the game's single-player campaign will act as a TV-style episode, in which Nick will get himself into all kinds of scrapes like the one we saw in the demo. What are you like, eh Mendoza?
2. Mendoza Will Have All the Tools of the Cop Trade: Handcuffs? Check. Standard issue sidearm? Check. Taser? Check. Pepper spray? Maybe. Badge? Yes! Blue uniform? No! Mendoza's an undercover cop, stoopid. He can brandish his badge to make arrests, sweeping the area using his police scanner for perps he can bring in alive. Nailing scumbags with arrest warrants will bring with it bonus mission points and rewards, providing you can keep your gun trained on them to make sure they don't try and draw on you. Battlefield Hardline will put your cop skills to the test. Probably.
3. “Player Choice is a Big Part of Our Game”: That's what Visceral Games tells us anyway. In the demo, you'll have seen Nick and Boomer presented with three paths they could have taken through the trailer park at the end. While Mendoza chose the stealthy route for the video, in our behind-closed-doors showing, we saw what happens if you go in all-guns blazing. It plays out exactly as you'd expect, with gas canisters exploding left right and centre, while all of those valuable bounties on marked criminals and high value targets go up in smoke. It's a viable choice, but it might not necessarily be the best choice. Still, choice and that, yeah?
4. Mendoza Can Gather Evidence and Stuff: Scanning things like blueprints will open new cases, as well as helping you piece together clues to form a bigger picture of what's going on in Battlefield Hardline. Collecting evidence is a big part of being a detective, but what it's function will be beyond the aforementioned, is unknown for the time being. Ooh.
5. You'll Be Able to Change Your Loadout at Lockers: Which as we all know is impossible in real life, unless there's some sort of express speed tunnel system connecting them throughout LA. Still, it worked in Resident Evil and in the previous Battlefield, so it's in Hardline too. Forget the logic and be thankful you can change your weapons out in the field.
6. If You Get Caught, It's Not Over: Trying to be stealthy? Got caught with your pants down? Well before throwing the controller to the ground and dancing around like a maniac, you should try raising your hands in mock submission before grabbing a meat shield and a gun. Hey presto and wham bam, you're back in the game! It's what Visceral calls a “soft fail”. Of course, your stealthy run through will be compromised, but now you can enjoy the Rambo approach instead.
7. You've Got a Grappling Hook: And a zipline thingy too! You can latch onto shiny surfaces and climb up for a handy vantage point, and then deploy a zipline to descend to safety in seconds. Where does Mendoza get all of those wonderful toys? From the police armoury. How does he keep them all on his person out in the field? We have no idea.
8. Multiplayer is Cops Versus Robbers and More: On paper, Hardline's multiplayer sounds like it can't possibly fail. Payday proved how fun pitting cops against crims can be, but in practice, we're still on the fence regarding the game's multiplayer offering. Heist mode sees criminals fighting to liberate packages full of cash from armoured trucks like in the movie Heat, before making it to an extraction point while the cops strive to stop them. Blood Money sees teams fighting over a pool of cash, Hotwire Mode is a police chase and the recently revealed Rescue sees police or SWAT saving hostages from the criminal team. It all sounds like a lot of fun, but on typical Battlefield-sized maps, we need convincing that it'll actually hang together properly. Which leads us neatly to point number nine.
9. We're Not Sure We're Entirely Convinced Just Yet: Although Visceral Games' decision to delay the game into 2015 might be a savvy one, giving Hardline more space to breathe outside of October's insane release schedule and there'll be no Call of Duty to go head-to-head with this year. Granted, it probably shouldn't be called Battlefield, but let's not forget what a big and recognisable brand it is. It's heartening to see that there's clear effort going into the narrative for this one after the damp squib that was BF4's campaign, but like a keen detective, we want more evidence before we draw up Battlefield Hardline's rap sheet and pass judgement.
Just one more thing, as Columbo would say: Battlefield Hardline will be available in 2015.