Hardline Miami: The Next Battlefield Is About Police

By Nathan Grayson on May 28th, 2014 at 8:16 am.

War sometimes changes, but its basic color scheme sure doesn't

There’s gonna be another Battlefield. Of course there’s gonna be another Battlefield. The sun rises and falls, the grass sways innocently as worms make sweet, sweet wormlove below, and virtual men keep on shooting each other. Cut, print, put on repeat until sun collapses and time ends. Battlefield: Hardline, however, at least looks a little different. While EA’s revealed very little at this point (“tune in during E3 yada yada yada blugggggh”), the focus appears to be on cops, robbers, SWAT teams, and the like. So Battlefield: Payday, basically.

EA made the sorta-announcement in the wake of a probably accurate leak that suggested a cops/robbers motif, classes with names like Enforcer, Mechanic, Operator, and Professional, and a new developer doing the honors.

Dead Space’s resident evildoer Visceral is apparently in charge of this one, presumably freeing up DICE to continue hammering away on Battlefield 4 and – let’s face it – probably work on Battlefield 5 proper. And also maybe Mirror’s Edge 2, but I doubt we’ll be seeing any more of that any time soon (please let me be wrong, please let me be wrong, please let me be wrong).

Battlefield: Hardline will get its official blowout reveal during EA’s E3 conference on June 9th. I’ll be there, so expect me to let you know all about it and/or send a series of passive-aggressively disappointed postcards.

I really do hope it’s good, though. Even if Dead Space 3 landed with a wet thud, Visceral is an insanely talented developer, and Battlefield could use a gentle shove in a new direction. Well, newish. It’s a different boyhood fantasy, at least. And in the realm of first-person shooters, that is tantamount to evolving a bristling swathe of new toes. Here’s hoping for the best, as truly interesting multiplayer FPSes aren’t the easiest thing to come by these days.

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64 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Shodex says:

    Remember that police chase a couple months ago? You know, those 32 thugs robbed a convenience store and were chased through a vast open field by 32 cops in tanks and jets? Oh, and remember how the robbers were capturing landmarks and defending them against the cops with their own military grade attack helicopters?

    A real classic cop chase.

  1. int says:

    I can’t wait to meet Mahoney, Lassard, Hightower and all the other cops!

  2. Philomelle says:

    As much as I love Visceral, all their best games so far have been immersive single-player. It’s a bit hard to imagine them making a title for a multiplayer franchise like Battlefield.

    Unless I should read between the lines and realize that they’re trying to build on Bad Company’s single-player focus, which… I am very okay with. There should be more single-player focused FPS in this world.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      The Bad Company games were far from single player focused, they just happened to have rather good tongue-in-cheek campaigns. Bad Company was mainly about the awesome multiplayer.

      • Philomelle says:

        It might be my memory then. I clearly remember the Bad Company marketing campaign being focused on how they tried to provide a rich single-player experience that time around.

      • Tams80 says:

        I think the single player was the main focus (and damn good it was too). The multiplayer ever so slightly took a backseat, as mist if the advertieing was about the games’ character, which you just don’t get in multiplayer.

        A lovely and compact multiplayer it was though.

    • Syra says:

      Any mention of multiplayer cops makes my loins ache for a new take on slow tactical gameplay that was SWAT

      • Philopoemen says:

        SWAT3 (arguably 4) with a good co-op team was awesomesauce. SWAT3 with a bunch of DM kiddies was horrible. Given this will be about the multiplayer Us vs Them, I’m not holding my breath for the same level of play. Long live da Furryclan!

  3. Hunchback says:

    Battlefield: Call of Duty?

    WOT?

    Why did Visceral even accept this project? :/

    • zeekthegeek says:

      Because they’re a fully owned subsidiary of Electronic Arts?

    • fatgleeson says:

      For the bags and bags and bags and bags and bags and bags and bags of money?

    • The Random One says:

      I was under the impression that Battlefield: Call of Duty had already come out, and was called Battlefield 3.

  4. Text_Fish says:

    Here’s hoping the maps will be populated by civilians going about their business and the robbers can try and blend in to them or take them hostage. Oh, and car chases. I want car chases.

    Then again, I probably don’t want to install whatever DDS this requires and I’ll stick to CS:GO because it runs on the lesser of all evils.

  5. Shodex says:

    I weirdly can’t say I support this. As much as I’ll complain that the Battlefield franchise has grown stale, I don’t think I really like a change like this. Battlefield has always been soldiers at war. SWAT teams was Counter-Strike’s thing. I also can’t help but worry about how a cop theme would change game play. Unless cops are allowed to get around in humvees, tanks, fighter jets, and attack helicopters.

    Nope. I don’t like it. Change is good but this is out of the series’ element. Just do what Call of Duty is doing and embrace the future. Battlefield already has a science fiction game anyways.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      We have no confirmation it’s about Cops and Robbers, other than the class names. Could just as easily be a game about SWAT teams versus terrorists in various locations.

    • skyturnedred says:

      Unless the next CoD has laser rifles and plasma pistols, it’s not really embracing the future. Same modern weapons in every game.

      • Shodex says:

        There’s more to the future than laser rifles you know. Exoskeleton jumpsuits, robots, and mechs being a good example.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Teaching cosmology to naked plant people and wanking drunk in a tree.

  6. Bradamantium says:

    Seems like a strange game to call Battlefield, what with a different developer, wildly different direction, and how cops and robbers aren’t quite known for engaging on battlefields. Here’s to hoping I can be Det. Bert Macklin, the narco known for hopping into jets to sanitize street corners.

    • Shodex says:

      Remember that police chase a couple months ago? You know, those 32 thugs robbed a convenience store and were chased through a vast open field by 32 cops in tanks and jets? Oh, and remember how the robbers were capturing landmarks and defending them against the cops with their own military grade attack helicopters?

      A real classic cop chase.

      • Gap Gen says:

        The getaway, as I understand it, was botched when all the thieves rushed for the few available getaway choppers and then immediately crashed them, while the armoured vehicle they commandeered was driven right into the middle of a police precinct and exploded as every cop fired RPGs at it.

        • Hunchback says:

          Fine police work, right there!
          I bet they were inspired by the old time classic anime, “Tank Police” !

          • Shodex says:

            Thanks, jerk. You just made me realize how much I want a Ghost in the Shell Battlefield game. Which in turn reminded me of the doomed-to-be-horrible F2P Ghost in the Shell game being made by Nexon.

        • LionsPhil says:

          It didn’t help that the helicopters all took off the moment one person was aboard, and those left behind shot them down in spite.

          No honour amongst pubserver teammates.

  7. dufake says:

    I hope this can beat the exoskeletons, but the chance isn’t good. Frosbite is the best engine for destruction, but we never have an epic campaign.

  8. Gap Gen says:

    Couldn’t get the font right, but: http://i.imgur.com/pFeKIKd.png

  9. NecroKnight says:

    Remember Police Warfare, the game being made by Elastic Games before they cancelled their Kickstarter campaign due to lack of interest. This is basically the exact same thing.

    • The Random One says:

      Well, I was interested… just not here is some money for your game that is not done yet interested.

  10. CookPassBabtridge says:

    The pic at the top sets off pangs of Ravenshield nostalgia. I know that won’t be the case, and I’ve stopped buying EA products anyway, but damn. A classic Rainbow game in the Frostbite engine. Tasty. Veeeeery tasty.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I loved Raven Shield. Lining up behind a door, then all at once storming a room, shooting one friend and grenading the other as you run into their grenade.

  11. Cross says:

    So far, there hasn’t been a single instance of established shooter franchise going law enforcement and still being good. Expect shittiness!

  12. John Richardson says:

    Here’s a 7 minute video

    • Creeping Death says:

      After watching the videos I have 3 things on my mind.

      1- “American Urban Environments” How exciti—zzzzzzz

      2- Do you think every time you shoot someone as a cop you then need to follow it up with mountains of paperwork and a psych eval?

      3- And finally, and most importantly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IhmQAYNnAk

      MENDOZAAAAAAA!

      • Synesthesia says:

        aaah, you beat me to it.
        I want to do it anyway:

        MENDOZAAAAAA

    • Cockles says:

      A small part of my soul died after watching that video, although I did chuckle when the narrator first piped-up and was basically saying that Battlefield is the same thing OVER and OVER again but with a different lick of paint, the setting really doesn’t matter.

      At least the previous ones had some sort of rationale for a warzone, they haven’t even bothered to think/care this time (or probably any other time?) Perhaps next they’ll have Battlefield: Public Insult, where one team is the execs from a large videogame publishing company (or any large company, really) and the other team are unwashed proles who buy this crap (like me). Game modes include Capture the Wallet, Domination of Microtransactions and just good, old fashioned team deathmatch: Fuck the Consumer.

  13. Matchstick says:

    I now have a glorious vision in my head of a PROPER next-gen SWAT 5.

    I know it won’t (can’t) happen with this franchise but just for a few minutes I want to dream of what could have been.

  14. Felixader says:

    I remember when thematic reskinns of a game were either cheaper than the actuall main title or mods.

    Although i am probably getting ahead of myself with this comment.

    • strange_headache says:

      Yeah, it looks like Battlefield with a new skin-set. The annual release cycle burnt me out.

      • Shodex says:

        The thing about Battlefield is it’s large open maps and crazy gameplay keeps it fresh for a pretty long time. I played Battlefield 1924 for years and when Battlefield 2 came out I was excited as hell, then I played it for years.

        Call of Duty is much simpler, repetitive gameplay. It gets old relatively quick. This isn’t exactly bad, it’s just that games are so quick and the gameplay styles lack much room for diversity. Call of Duty is basically a subscription based game, and every year you update that subscription for the new maps and guns to bring back the fun.

        It had been a while since a real classic Battlefield (not counting Bad Company games because no planes), so when 3 came out it really got me pumped. I was excited, I bought it, I loved it. I still love it. But then trying to hit me with a sequel only a year after was ridiculous, I wasn’t done playing the last one. Now I haven’t even got to playing Battlefield 4 (I was considering buying it if it ends up really cheap) and there’s a new one on the way. Do I buy BF4 now? Or skip it and get the new one? But at E3 they hyped up Battlefield 4 a lot, won’t I be missing out?

        If a game has a lot of longevity it doesn’t need to be pumped out quickly, it overwhelms people. It’d be like if Bethesda decided to annualized The Elder Scrolls. I bought Skyim day one and I’m still not done with it, hell I bought Morrowind day one and I’m still not done with it. Annualized franchises only work if the game gets boring after a year.

  15. Smashbox says:

    Anyone else getting excited about what cool stuff you’ll be able to buy in-game, after you already bought the game!?

  16. Antlia says:

    I wonder if this’ll run on a touch of Frost.

  17. Shooop says:

    I’d love to know what U.S. police department has an APC and a chopper equipped with a rotary cannon.

    • Herkimer says:

      The chopper, maybe not. The APC…

      well, to be fair, the APCs are only maintained these days by major metropolitan police forces. Like that of Troy, Alabama: http://www.wsfa.com/story/25622927/troy-police-given-armored-personnel-carrier

      • Smion says:

        Usually they take the 20mm autocannons off first, but hey, never know when they might come in handy!

        I just hope they adjust the radio calls accordingly “Uh, Dispatch, this is Unit 342, we got a reckless driver on the corner fifth/sixteenth, requesting artillery support. By the way, what’s on the canteen menu today?”

      • Shooop says:

        A SWAT team I can see having an APC. Most already have armored vans, an APC isn’t more more of stretch for them. But the regular police department?

        • tormos says:

          I can tell you from personal experience that the Boston Police Department has one, which was nicknamed “The Hippy Smasher” during the Occupy Boston protests

  18. Smion says:

    I can’t wait for the UK map pack where neither side has any guns.

    • Philopoemen says:

      “He’s got a knife!” “Ooh! ask him politely to put it down, but remember to use ethno-non-specific instructions in case he’s offended at perceived colloquialism!”

  19. Chuckleluck says:

    I quite enjoyed Battlefield 4, bugs aside – until the DLC came out. Now I can’t play on half the servers (or more) because I don’t have $100 to spend on man-shooting. Definitely steering clear of anything EA now.

  20. Philopoemen says:

    Do it for a living, don’t want to play it on a game.

    • Shodex says:

      Pfft, I break and enter for a living but it didn’t keep me from enjoying Thief- I mean…

  21. Megakoresh says:

    Interesting. This is like Small-scale Battlefield or something? I mean Jets are unlikely to be present here. And the setting would be different if they do it properly.

    I am intrigued. If they are brave and don’t do stupid things to make the cop/criminal setting nothing more than words on the featureset, it might be refreshing change.

    I am a bit sad that Dead Space 4 isn’t coming though, if Visceral are working on this. Say what you will about Dead Space 3, but horror game or straight up shooter, it was still a mighty fine game in it’s own right. I would love a sequel.

  22. Nenjin says:

    Oh boy. Just what America needs. Yet more blurring of the lines between cops and the military.

  23. GamerDad says:

    It’s hard to get into multiplayer games that you know will be abandoned in a few years. That’s why I stopped buying the COD and BF series.

    We’ve all heard the “Valve doesn’t make games anymore” joke, but dammit their games are fun to play and they keep releasing new stuff for them. They may not get the initial 60$ for buying their game, but I’ve shoveled in tons of cash for cosmetics. If all F2P games woke up and followed their model, there would be fewer complaints about f2p.

  24. Noburu says:

    God damn it RPS you briefly got my hopes up with that headline. I was hoping for Hotline Miami 2 news and my feelings are now hurt. I DEMAND AN APOLOGY :D

  25. derbefrier says:

    I am not gonna talk shit about the setting, even though it seems out of place for the series, and just say i would have much preferred them going back to 1942. I am glad to see them attempting to change it up. I just hope it doesn’t suck.

  26. bhauck says:

    Is the police force not increasingly, terrifyingly militarized in England? Because this is the most horrifying video game news I’ve seen since that torso statue.

  27. JonnyAnomaly says:

    I’m hoping this will be the closest thing yet to playing the bank robbery scene from Heat.