EA makes Battlefield Hardline official

UPDATE: internal gameplay video leaks online, is then pulled, but we have all the details.

UPDATE 3: EA is working to have the leaked Battlefield Hardline gameplay video removed from the internet (good luck with that), so we thought it useful to round up all the information it divulges in text form.

Battlefield Hardline, or Omaha, as it is codenamed in the video, focuses on the war on crime, with the tagline: “Fight to serve and protect, or serve yourself.”

In the game you can organise a hostage rescue as a SWAT or stage an elaborate bank heist. Either way, Battlefield's trademark teamwork is required, as cops need backup and criminals need a crew.

Now for the multiplayer modes:

Heist mode is all about the big score. Robbers try to blow up the vault and make off with the loot, whereas the cops try to block their escape.

In Rescue mode SWAT masterminds move in to save hostages captured during a robbery gone wrong.

Hotwire mode sees cops chasing car thieves across huge open environments. Players have to think fast and drive even faster, according to the video.

And Bloodmoney mode is described as a fast-paced battle over a huge pile of money where cops and criminals fight to secure the cash and take it back to their safehouse.

There's a single-player campaign, as you'd expect, and it comes with a twist. The video says Hardline is designed to “revitalise” the Battlefield campaign, which most players agree is, traditionally, the weakest part of the game.

The campaign focuses on Nick Mendoza, a young Miami detective caught up in his own personal struggle between right and wrong, cop and criminal. He seeks revenge against his once trusted partners on the force.

There's a rogues gallery of crooked cops and colourful criminals, the video claims, “from chatterbox coke dealers to deranged billionaires”. The campaign draws influence from popular TV cop dramas, with each level structured like an episode, cliffhangers and all. Expect to hear “Previously, on Hardline,” when you revisit the campaign. There's an “all-star cast”, too, with actors from TV shows Justified, The Americans and House of Cards.

The campaign environments are wider and more open than ever before, and the enemy AI has been redesigned from the ground up so episodes can be played multiple times in multiple ways.

And the trademark Battlefield destruction is also included, this time in American urban settings. You can smash up a subterranean grow lab, blow up a gleaming bank vault or blast apart a Los Angeles car dealership. The video describes Hardline's environments as “modern, sexy, and highly destructible”. Each will have Levolution events affecting maps and gameplay.

As for weapons, the video showcases a huge number of them, and mentions sawed-off shotguns and tasers.

Gadgets are highlighted. In single-player, Nick's police scanner enables an investigation mechanic that packs the world with clues and reveals a second layer to the story. Nick also scan suspects for outstanding warrants, using the money he earns for unlocks. The idea is you'll use the scanner to set up your play style.

In multiplayer you can use zip lines and grappling hooks on any map, anywhere. “Hunting down campers has never been this much fun,” proclaims the narrator.

And finally, vehicles. Vehicles mentioned include muscle cars, police cruisers, counter attack trucks, boats, planes and armed choppers. We also see motorcycles. Vehicle gameplay is “fresh, fast and intense”, and yes, you can still shoot a chopper out of the sky.

UPDATE 2: As expected, the video has been removed from YouTube.

UPDATE 1: What looks like an internal EA video for Battlefield Hardline has been released on YouTube.

The video, below, references Omaha, one of the codenames associated with Hardline. It discusses the game's cops and robbers style multiplayer modes and single-player characters and story.

Each single-player level is designed to act like an episode of a TV show, the narrator reveals, with cliffhangers. The enemy AI has been redesigned, too.

Levels are described as more open, and there is an emphasis on gadgets for use in both single-player and multiplayer.

But the series' trademark destruction, vehicle gameplay and first-person shooting are retained.

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ORIGINAL STORY: After yesterday's leak, EA has made Battlefield Hardline, described as "a brand new series in the Battlefield franchise", official.

Hardline is developed by Dead Space maker Visceral Games, and launches this autumn. It revolves around the war on crime and the battle between cops and criminals.

In a post on EA.com, Visceral chief Steve Papoutsis said Battlefield Hardline was born after a meeting with the boss of principal Battlefield maker DICE, Karl Magnus Troedsson, several years ago.

"I've always loved Battlefield and KM was a huge fan of Dead Space, which I was working on at the time," Papoutsis said.

"We started talking about different ways we could work together, different ways we could take Battlefield and action games in a new direction. It was then that this project that became Battlefield Hardline was born."

Yesterday's Battlefield Hardline leak revealed a raft of information about the game, including mention of four soldier classes (Enforcer, Mechanic, Operator, Professional), reference to a map ("MP_Downtown") and parts of a welcome message for those signing up to the game's beta.

There was also a set of "BFH" icons for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, suggesting the game will launch on those platforms.

Named modes include Blood Money, Bomb Squad and Carrier Assault.

Papoutsis referenced the leak, pointing those interested to EA's E3 press conference, set for 9th June at 8pm BST.

"We've been reading all of your comments and we're excited to be going into more detail soon on the ways we're adding new twists and turns to the foundation of Battlefield multiplayer and more about how we're bringing our strengths at Visceral to single-player," he said.

The official Battlefield Hardline website is now live.

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