Whatever to do about a game like Battlefield: Hardline [official site]? I had a lot of hope for it to begin with, slowly chipped away by a disappointing beta and unenthusiastic previews. It was a great opportunity for either some introspection on the nature of law enforcement (unlikely) or a 70s buddy cop style tale about half a city getting blown up to stop some robbers. Trailers have taken themselves too seriously and the multiplayer didn't seem to want to scale down to its new setting, instead feeling like an urban map pack for an older game. But hope(line) springs eternal: the launch trailer, embedded below, ahead of release on March 20th is bombastic, fun and almost too sweary even for me.
The barest hint of a sense of humour, then. That's healthy - I'm not convinced you can just port a po-faced Call of Duty/Band of Brothers war story to the streets of Large City, America for the same effect. Even something as fantastic and dark as The Shield (which shares equally excellent actor Benito Martinez with Hardline) gave way to the odd joke every episode. This paragraph is now about The Shield. You really, really should watch The Shield, it very quickly rose to be one of my favourite TV shows of all time. Superb storylines with brilliant actors and a real indie-comics level of grit throughout. [That final episode though... Boo - TV Ed]
Where were we? Battlefield. In his preview last month, Brendy mentioned that the travelling control point mode Hotwire might be the saving grace of Hardline's multiplayer. It does sound fantastic, all the fun of attack/defense without battles always occuring at the same point on maps. A welcome half-way point between the cyclical back stabbing of deathmatch and the camping of regular CP. I'm hoping deathmatch will be able to emulate the fantastic Bad Company 2, smaller maps with full destruction and limited vehicles.
Hardline's coming to PC on March 20th, via Origin. You can almost certainly get it for less than fifty quid somewhere.