|Developer(s)||Visceral Games |
|Date released||March 13, 2014 (EA Access on Xbox One)|
March 17, 2015 (NA)
March 19, 2015 (EU) 
|Platform(s)||Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3|
Battlefield Hardline (also known as BFH or BFHL) is an upcoming installment in the Battlefield series, developed by Visceral Games in collaboration with DICE and published by EA. Battlefield Hardline is unique in the fact that it is police themed, focusing on the continual war on crime, rather than military conflicts depicted in all previous Battlefield installments.
They game was originally set to release on October 21, 2014 but was delayed to early 2015 to allow the developers more time to work on the game.. It is now set to release on March 17, 2015 in North America and March 19, 2015 in Europe.
The singleplayer campaign features many elements from past installments, taking place in numerous locations across the world such as Los Angeles, California and its surrounding deserts. Similar to Battlefield 4, levels are built in sandbox-style environments but on a much larger scale, allowing players more freedom to complete objectives. Players have the option to either approach situations either through typical firefights or by stealth. While it may be easier to complete objectives through weaponry, players receive bonus points for taking the nonlethal approach. Despite this, however, once the player has become detected, there is no way for them to return from the state of alert. Levels are inspired by crime shows on television, with each ending on a cliffhanger to lead into the next mission.
Ranks and Awards
Battlefield Hardline features a ranking system that is progressed through based on earned experience though gameplay. The game utilizes french playing cards as rank insignias with up to 150 total ranks confirmed to be featured upon release. The game also features ribbons that are awarded by completing specific actions. Earning a certain ribbon a specific number of times awards players a Medal. Service Stars are awarded after earning enough experience progression for that object.
The game features four classes that function in similar manners to the classes of Battlefield 4 but with notable differences.
- Operator - Functions as the Medic of Police and Criminal forces. Operators are equipped with assault rifles as well as medical supplies to heal or revive teammates.
- Mechanic - Functions as the anti-vehicle and repairman personnel of Police and Criminal forces. Mechanics are equipped with submachine guns as well as grenade launchers and a repair torch.
- Enforcer - Functions as the Support personnel of Police and Criminal forces. Enforcers are equipped with heavy rifles and shotguns as well as ammunition boxes and explosive charges.
- Professional - Functions as the reconnaissance of Police and Criminal forces. Professionals are specialized to engage targets at long ranges and are equipped with sniper rifles as well as surveillance and anti-personnel equipment.
Maps and Gamemodes
Battlefield Hardline will feature nine maps set across the United States as well as seven game modes upon its release.
Weapons and Gadgets
The game features fifty-one weapons and twenty-eight gadgets, many of which are used by both Law Enforcement and Criminals alike as well as faction specific weapons, each with their own sets of accessories and attachments offering thousands of different combinations for players. Unlike past installments, weapons, gadgets, as well as attachments must be purchased to be unlocked for permanent use and can be done so in any order. Money is obtained through game play and there is no limit on how much may be accumulated.
Following feedback from the beta, certain weapons such as the RPG-7 have become Battle Pickups that become available to the team that controls the weapon's cache, depending on the game mode. Also, instead of allowing players to equip these weapons to their inventory loadout, they can now equip the weapon to a specific vehicle, placing the weapon in the trunk of that vehicle. To obtain it, players must take control of that vehicle and proceed to open its trunk.
The game features twenty-seven vehicles that are used by police forces as well as civilians, such as motorcycles, various automobiles, armored trucks, and helicopters. Since tanks, attack helicopters, and jets are restricted for military use only, they will not be featured within the game.
- Levolution - Increased destruction that is based on a level radically changing in gameplay through the player's actions.
- Battlelog - Allows players to track statistics, join platoons, engage in missions, receive the latest news and more.
The idea for Battlefield Hardline was first conceived in 2011 at an internal EA meeting in Barcelona between Steve Papoutsis and Karl Magnus Troedsson, the vice presidents and general managers of Visceral Games and DICE, respectively. They two were fans of the Dead Space and Battlefield series and were devising ways they two studios could work on a project together and how to take the Battlefield series to a new direction. Loving the "cops and robbers" theme from the cancelled DICE game Urban Combat, the two believed the studios could now pull it off. However, Visceral had primarly made games in the vein of their Dead Space series at this point, and as a "test" as well as a lesson in what a Battlefield game should be, DICE instructed Visceral to develop the Battlefield 3: End Game expansion to show what they could do with the series.
Following the original June beta, Visceral requested that players send in as much feedback as possible regarding the game through any channel they could. Several members of the development team, including GM Steve Papoutsis and Lead Multiplayer Designer Thaddeus Sasser, actively answered feedback through their personal Twitter accounts as well as on the Battlelog Forums. Development of the game was also influenced based on feedback from the Community Test Environment in Battlefield 4, adding several features that had undergone testing there. Some features that were adjusted based on player feedback were how the Heist mode played, changes to progression, tweaks to the UI, and addressing weapon issues like visual recoil. Based off the sustantial feedback recieved after the beta, Hardline's original release date of October 21, 2014 was pushed back to March 17, 2015 to allow Visceral to properly address the fan response and improve the game based on feedback.
On June 2, 2014, gameplay footage of the beta was leaked to the internet, showing off the game's weapons and vehicles. However, the video has since been taken down. It was later revealed by SONY that there would be a beta for the game on the PlayStation 4 and that those who attended SONY's E3 screenings at cinemas would receive beta keys. The beta would feature two game modes on a single map, High Tension.
At the end of the EA Press Conference for E3 2014, EA officially announced the closed beta and stated it was live on PlayStation 4 and PC from that moment on. They also revealed the beta was playable at the Conference on PlayStation 4. PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players could also register for a beta which would be available at a later date and were awarded a special dog tag for Battlefield 4 as well as specialized camouflage and attachments in Battlefield Hardline.
EA eventually made the closed beta open to all PC players on June 18, 2014 and made the beta available in the Battlelog App on the same day. The closed beta ended on June 26, 2014. The open beta was stated to become available in Fall 2014. With the game's delay, however, the open beta was rescheduled to be available in early 2015.
On January 15, 2014 Visceral announced that the open beta would be available to all platforms and would feature the Conquest and Hotwire gamemodes on the maps Dust Bowl and Downtown, respectively. As well, the map Bank Job would also be playable in Heist for the beta if players who own Battlefield 4 on any platform were able to complete a community mission to accumulate 2 billion points in the Rush gamemode between January 21 and January 24. On January 23, the goal was reached, and the map and mode became playable for the beta at release. It was also announced that there was no cap on multiplayer progression, making it technically possible to rank up to the max level of 150 and unlock all items. The release date of the beta was not given, however, as Visceral wanted to make sure everything was in working condition before releasing the beta and did not want to make a release date that they could not meet. Visceral went on to say that the beta would release very soon and that when it does, it was vital people play it as much as possible to help with the final release of the game. Following numerous leaks, the open beta was officially announced on January 29, 2015 to be available from February 3 to February 8, 2015.
On May 27, 2014, Battlefield Hardline was first revealed through an accidental leak on an update on Battlelog. Later the same day, EA officially announced the game though the creation of the game's official website and stated that the game would be formally unveiled on June 9, 2014 at the EA Press Conference at E3 2014. On May 28, however, a confidential gameplay video of the game was leaked online, detailing both the game's singleplayer and multiplayer modes. Visceral responded to the video leak by stating that the footage was already six months old at the time of the leak, and that fans would be able to see the real thing at E3 2014 in the coming weeks.On June 5, however, the games first teaser trailer was leaked and subsequently officially revealed hours later.
Several trailers were released in the months following the June beta, some showing off the game's multiplayer, particularly the new gamemodes Rescue and Hotwire, as well as a 12 minute gameplay trailer of the singleplayer. On January 7, 2015, Visceral began an 11 week long blog series called This Season On Battlefield Hardline, detailing what the team had been working on with the game and what had changed with it following its delay. Entries in the series covered the impact player feedback had on the game's development as well as the announcement of the Open Beta and its features.
Digital Deluxe Edition
- Battlefield Hardline was long rumored to be in development by Visceral Games.
- The game had numerous code names during development, such as "Havana" and "Omaha".
- A Digital Deluxe Edition was announced on Origin.
- Those who at least registered for the closed beta were awarded a special CAC or Common Access Card, also known as a military ID, for use as a Dog-Tag in Battlefield 4.
- For the first time in the series, the campaign's playable character speaks during gameplay (bar Recker's very brief cursing in the Battlefield 4 mission "Baku").
- Soon after the announcement of the open-beta, a rumor began circulating that the first person to reach the maximum rank in the beta would be given the full game for free at launch. Creative Director Ian Milhan and Lead Multiplayer Designer Thaddeus Sasser debunked this in a video released on Youtube. Instead, Thad offered to personally buy a "big" cookie for the first person to legitimately reach the highest rank in the beta.