Battlefield Hardline creative director Ian Milham doesn’t want you to get him wrong.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he writes. “ Like all gamers, [Visceral] have enjoyed some great, linear, roller coaster style games in our day. We may have even made one or two. But these days we think gamers are looking for more tactical choice and depth in their games, not just whack-a-mole shooting galleries.”
The Battlefield Hardline beta might not have rang new – but Visceral say its single player relocation to the parking lots and precincts of Miami has allowed them to “fill [their] world with choices”.
In a post on the Battlefield Blog on Thursday, Milham described a campaign “completely different” from anything else in the Battlefield series.
He provided examples of discrete choices in which players would decide whether to fight a ground assault, or go over a group of grunts via zipwire.
Hardline’s police conceit means players have the option of intimidating a suspect into submission rather than reaching for the taser, and taking down a specific perp for the warrant money.
“We are bringing more depth and choice to our campaign,” said Milham, “and by using a TV crime drama aesthetic, delivering a different type of storytelling and a new tone that feels different from the from most of the first person shooters we’ve all played a lot of lately.”
Milham talked up Hardline’s “personal and relatable” setting.
“When we look around the landscape of gaming these days, there are a lot of gravel voiced super soldiers saving the world from domination,” he said. “But that’s not the world of cops and criminals, and that’s not something we’re interested in doing with Hardline.
“There won’t be any five-minute cut scenes where the evil general explains his super weapon in our game. Instead, we want to create the look, tone, and pace of our favorite TV crime dramas.”
On paper, it sounds a bit special. Is it possible Battlefield Hardline’s brash, cash-grabby multiplayer component conceals a campaign with class?