EA has revealed that this year's annualised shooter is none other than Battlefield: Hardline, a police vs criminals shooter developed by Visceral Games.
No, we're not sure why it's a 'Battlefield' game rather than a new IP either, especially considering the lingering resentment surrounding Battlefield 4's launch. And it isn't developed by DICE. And 'Hardline' would have been a much better name.
Disappointing. But regardless, here are the details.
Visceral Games chief Steve Papoutsis made Battlefield Hardline official in a briefing post on EA.com, wherein he explained that the project was formed after a meeting with DICE Manager Karl Troedsson. Apparently the two developers wanted to work together to "take action games in a new direction."
"Several years ago, I was at an internal EA meeting in Barcelona with creative leaders from across the company," Papoutsis wrote. "It was there I met Karl Magnus Troedsson, the GM of DICE, for the first time, and we immediately began talking about games – I’ve always loved Battlefield and KM was a huge fan of Dead Space, which I was working on at the time. 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."
UPDATE: A leaked internal video shows that each singleplayer level is designed to feel like a TV show episode with narration and cliffhangers. Expect plenty of police gadgets (including zip line launchers and snake cams) and a Bad Boys 2-style atmosphere. Which sounds great to us.
We're still not exactly sure how Hardline plans to "take action games in a new direction" -- they used that quote and are going to live or die by it now -- though recent leaks contain some interesting tidbits. A rewards picture spotted by Battlefield Daily shows handcuffs and other police tools, so we rather expect that we'll be able to non-lethally subdue and secure criminals. A bit like PayDay, perhaps, only... well, like PayDay. Either way, here's hoping that the netcode actually works.
We'll find out more at E3.