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Easter egg photo
Easter egg

Battlefield Hardline's cops go nuts for donuts

Don't we all?
Feb 06
// Brett Makedonski
I'm not hip on police vernacular. Like, "donuts spotted!" for instance. That probably either means they found donuts, or "spotted" is a cheeky word for sprinkles. Whatever the case, these Battlefield Hardline cops are stoked that there are some frosted confectioneries around. Typical.

Battlefield Hardline goes all in with final beta release

Feb 02 // Alessandro Fillari
Battlefield Hardline (PC [previewed], PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Visceral GamesPublisher: EARelease date: March 17, 2015MSRP: $59.99 "It's challenging in the sense that with making videogames you kinda open yourselves up to a lot of feedback," said Executive Producer Steve Papoutsis while recalling the reaction from fans after the release of the previous beta. "Some of it warranted, others just hypothisizing about what you're doing, but our approach was from day one was to give the players the game and let them try it -- and with their help, build a better game." Coming off of their official reveal back at E3 2014, the developers at Visceral Games unveiled the release of a playable beta for all to play. While a lot of people were excited to see a different and pretty unique take on Battlefield, there were definitely concerns with seeing another title so soon after its predecessor. And with the reaction to their beta being a bit mixed to say the least, the information and affirmations they acquired from fans proved to be highly beneficial for them. The following month, they decided to delay launch for several months to fine-tune the game, and get it to where it needed to be. In light of what happened to the launch of Battlefield 4 back in 2013, which a lot of people still remember and hold a grudge for, it's certainly respectable, if bold, for the massive giant that is EA to hold off on releasing its next tent-pole title. But Papoutsis cites current leadership at the publisher and the developer's desire to go beyond what was expected as a major source for their decision to hold off on releasing. [embed]286881:57095:0[/embed] "When we announced at E3, we did something pretty different and we were pretty adamant about showing and letting people play it," said the executive producer. "Instead of just announcing it, we wanted to put it in people's hands, because we knew there were just a ton of Battlefield players and there were would be a lot of questions and skepticism. [....] And honestly, I kinda look at the feedback with a lens of these are passionate people about what the team is doing -- and that's really special to have people out there who are really invested in what the team is doing." "We got a ton of great feedback  [from the first beta], and we got so much feedback that when we sat down as a team and look at it all, we quickly realized that we wouldn't be able to action upon it at all with our original ship date (back in October)," said Papoutsis. "And when we realized that, we had a great conversation with Andrew Wilson (CEO of EA), and part of his vision for EA right now is to really put our players first. So once he understood that we as a team didn't have time to action on that feedback, he and the company were very supportive in giving us more time." A number of these changes are both sweeping and subtle. For instance, movement is much faster, vehicles are a bit more vunerable, weapons have more weight to them and damage output has been tweaked, class and perk abilities have been tweaked for balancing, and entire gameplay modes (such as Heist) have been given revisions to find an even stronger element of fun. And now on the eve of their final beta release, Visceral Game certainly feels confident that its title has gotten 'there'. 'There' being the place that all Battlefield players want the game to be. During our time with the new beta, we got the opportunity to play through several 32 player matches set across three modes, Hotwire, Heist, and Conquest.  In the four hours I had with Hardline, I found Heist and the tried and true Conquest modes to be my favorite. Like past BF games, Conquest pits players against each other on large maps as they battle for control of territories. This mode feels great with 32 players (and even better with 64), and the new style and personality that Hardline goes for really shines. Set on the Dustbowl map, which is a large desert community that occasionally gets hit with sandstorms, police were raiding the criminal's meth operation and had to secure the territory. There's a stronger narrative context to missions, which is something I really dug. With the Heist mode, you can finally recreate the same thrill of Heat's bank heist scene. Set on the Bank Job map, the crooks obviously have to plan out their attack and raid a bank, while making it to drop off points and securing them for helicopter pickup. Of course, the cops have to make sure they don't succeed. Heist was a real blast to play. I got a serious rush from blasting open the vault doors, while covering my exits from the police. And the other side is an entirely different experience. With police having the outside of the bank to mostly themselves, they can organize and keep an eye on the drop off points to take out wandering crooks. It definitely felt like the most complex mode in the beta, and it'll be interesting to see how heists turn out for different players. Unfortunately, I didn't find myself enjoying Hotwire too much. In this mode, you have to secure vehicles, which serve as mobile capture points that give teams respawn tickets. In theory it seemed cool, and I was excited to get into chases, but in my experiences I often found myself making laps around the map in the stolen vehicle without anyone on the enemy team coming after me. The dynamic seemed to focus around the hot spots and choke points on the map, and if you stay away from the action, then they'll likely ignore you for closer targets (and there are plenty of cars to go for). Don't get me wrong, there were definitely fun moments and I certainly had a rush t-boning an enemy controlled vehicle and having my teammates pump it full of lead, but the 'down time' during Hotwire felt really weird and a bit awkward. One aspect of Hardline that feels especially unique is that there is a stronger difference between the two factions. Stylistically, cops are far more by the book and stoic in the line of duty. While the criminals use harsh language and exude more attitude while on the job. Moreover, the type of weaponry and gear they use differs from the other side. The cops use high-tech weaponry and military-esque gear, while the criminals use makeshift gadgets and black market gear to get the job done. Of course, one side isn't at any particular advantage over the other, the differences here show of a greater level of personality not found in previous Battlefield that featured generic soldiers. "The idea of cops and robbers is something that a lot of people play, so we had a goal when developing this game was to make it feel very different.," said the executive producer. "A traditional military game takes place in military engagements, and they often put players at very far distances from each other, and there's no communications between opposing sides. But a lot of the interesting cop movies and TV crime dramas, a lot of what makes them interesting is the dynamic between the two factions [Police/Criminals]. It creates interesting dialog, sometimes humorous, sometimes really tense, but that shows an inherent difference between the settings." Customization is a staple of Battlefield, and Hardline definitely keeps with the tradition of allowing players to model and define their own character loadout. One of the criticisms from the previous beta was that factions could use weapons from opposing sides, as in a police officer could bring an AK or molotov cocktails to a fight. Which doesn't make too much sense considering the type of firepower they have. To remedy this, the developers introduced the Weapon License feature. As you rank up and gain proficiency with gear, you'll be able to unlock the right to use weapons from opposing sides and other rare guns for your character. You want your criminal to be decked out in SWAT weaponry? You can do it, but you gotta earn it. Another returning feature from previous games is the Commander mode. Now called Hacker mode, players can take position as an overseer within the battles, helping their team with boosting scores, hacking control points, spying on the enemy from security cameras, and even hindering the opposition with jamming skills. Playing Hacker wasn't really my thing, nor was it in the previous games, but anyone who's comfortable with Commander will feel right at home here, as the challenge of balancing skills and keeping an eye on your team is still there. Just make sure you know what you're doing. There's nothing worse than having a newbie on overwatch. With the beta period lasting only six days, this week is your last chance at giving Hardline a shot before its release in March. The folks at Visceral Games have certainly put in the work, and with the amount pressure on them now, especially considering it's coming after the ill-fated BF4, they certainly feel the need to deliver. I had a blast with the beta, and I definitely would've put in more hours if I could. Hardline feels much faster, and far more tighter than previous titles, while still retaining the scope and 'epicness' that the series is known for. And no, this doesn't feel like a mod or re-skin. Perhaps its first beta did, but now it certainly feels like a title that can stand on its own. While I wished I would've liked Hotwire more, since its one of the original features that's coming with Battlefield Hardline, the remaining modes certainly live up to the series' pedigree. Playing Hardline's conquest mode with 64 players was an incredible rush, and experiencing the map specific changes was incredibly fun. If you were one of the many who just couldn't get down with the original beta, then this new and improved take might just win you over. The changes were like night and day compared to the original, and it's very reassuring to see the game in pretty polished state. And that's a lot more than could be said about Battlefield 4's launch state.
BF Hardline preview photo
Here comes the fuzz
It's not too often we see a major publisher humbled. With the announcement of Battlefield Hardline last year, EA and Visceral Games were ready to release another entry in the epic and grandiose Battlefield series. But soon af...

Battlefield Hardline photo
Battlefield Hardline

Get hard with Battlefield Hardline open beta

Starts Feb. 3, ends Feb. 8
Jan 29
// Robert Summa
Today, EA announced that the Battlefield Hardline open beta will begin February 3 and end on February 8. If you haven't had a chance to play EA's version of cops and robbers, now is this time. Well, technically February is t...
EA Xbox One sale photo
EA Xbox One sale

Xbox One sale: $10 Titanfall and Garden Warfare, $36 Dragon Age: Inquisition

I'm tempted
Jan 26
// Jordan Devore
It's much easier to stomach Electronic Arts when you're only paying a fraction of the original price, as is the case with these Xbox One deals via Live. Come on, latecomers. This one's for you: Battlefield 4 - $13.20 Battlef...
Battlefield Hardline photo
Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline will be part of EA Access' early trial program

Jan 22
// Chris Carter
Battlefield Hardline has had some mixed reception due to its beta, but it was put on the backburner for a March 2015 release, and apparently the feedback given was taken under consideration. While you wait for the game to act...
Battlefield open beta photo
Battlefield open beta

Up for another Battlefield Hardline beta? This one's open to all platforms

Two maps, two modes, and no cap on your progression level
Jan 14
// Jordan Devore
It's unclear when the next Battlefield Hardline beta will go live, but when it does, it'll be open to all players on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Cops and criminals will vie for control in the fam...
Battlefield Easter egg photo
Battlefield Easter egg

It sounds like there's another monster hiding in Battlefield 4

The mystery of Paracel Storm
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
YouTube user JackFrags might just be on the trail of another hidden beast in Battlefield 4, and whatever it is, it sounds far scarier than a giant monster shark. Listen for yourself at 0:20. "I did a little snooping around i...
Origin deals photo
Origin deals

99-cent Battlefield 3 and Inquisition for 33% off in Origin's year-end sale

99 cents more than free
Dec 23
// Dealzon
Origin finally started its "real" winter sale, and deals are fairly decent, especially if you've been eying a PC copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition. The PC download's price finally matches the console versions' Black Friday week...
More Battlefield 4 DLC photo
More Battlefield 4 DLC

Not-so-final stand: There's more Battlefield 4 DLC on the way

DICE wants to know which classic maps you want to see again
Dec 09
// Jordan Devore
It looked like Battlefield 4 was going to go out on a relative high note with the Final Stand DLC, but when it comes to naming in this industry, "final" doesn't have to mean the end. "With [Final Stand] released, we hope and ...
Karma photo

Is this Battlefield Hardline live performance Frog Fractions 2?

Dec 05
// Steven Hansen
Do you remember Frog Fractions? The more-than-meets-the-eye treat announced a potential sequel on Kickstarter that just raised more questions than answers. Example: what the hell was this? Or the Kickstarter video? Anything c...
Bows are the best photo
Bows are the best

The Phantom Bow makes me want to get back into Battlefield 4

This video is so dumb (but I love it)
Nov 20
// Jordan Devore
Battlefield 4 Premium players have dug into this week's Final Stand DLC and found a number of secrets, including a cool-looking compound bow gated behind a force field in Hanger 21. Last I checked, the community at large was...
Battlefield DLC photo
Battlefield DLC

Battlefield 4's Final Stand DLC channels Battlefield 2142

Out tomorrow for Premium members
Nov 17
// Jordan Devore
This trailer for Battlefield 4's Final Stand DLC, like many Battlefield videos before it, makes me want to play the series. They're packed full of cool moment after cool moment that you could, in theory, encounter yourself i...
Battlefield 4 lawsuit photo
Battlefield 4 lawsuit

Court rules for EA in lawsuit over Battlefield 4 launch

Judge says publisher's optimism did not mislead investors
Oct 23
// Kyle MacGregor
The lawsuit over Battlefield 4's disastrous launch was dealt a serious blow this week. On Monday, a federal judge ruled against shareholders who claim Electronic Arts mislead investors with regards to the readiness of the fir...
Battleflub photo

DICE: Battlefield 4's bad launch 'absolutely' damaged trust

But, you know, promises not to do that again
Oct 08
// Steven Hansen
I think it's nice that we've finally managed to hold EA accountable to something. Can its ripoff sports game releases be next? Well, I guess it's been DICE falling on the sword and profusely apologizing more than EA.&nbs...
Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

Friendly reminder: Go get yo' free games on Xbox Live!

Well, Gold subscribers that is
Oct 01
// Brett Makedonski
With the beginning of a new month, it's time that we all flip our calendars from that picture of an adorable kitten rolling around in the leaves to that picture of an adorable kitten sitting in a pumpkin. It's also time that ...
Battlefield Hardline photo
Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline will have 150 ranks, and another beta round

The beta will be on all platforms
Sep 08
// Chris Carter
Taking to Twitter, executive producer Steve Papoutsis shared some recent developments for Battlefield Hardline. Be prepared to grind -- Hardline will reportedly arrive with 150 ranks in tow, allowing multi...
Battlefield photo

Battlefield Hardline's single-player campaign reminds me of Far Cry 3

A 12-minute slice of gameplay
Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
Up until now, Visceral Games has concentrated on showing the multiplayer side of Battlefield Hardline. That's been fine, but unlike most other Battlefield titles, I'm actually somewhat interested in hearing about the single-...
Free Battlefield 4 photo
Free Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 is free to play for a week on PC

Add the game to your library before August 14 to partake
Aug 07
// Jordan Devore
EA is back with another Origin Game Time promotion following that one for Titanfall. Those of you on PC can claim a week of free access to Battlefield 4 -- just add the game to your Origin library before August 14. The clock ...
Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

EA improves revenue in first quarter of 2014, delays Dragon Age and Battlefield

KOTOR 3 still not in development
Jul 23
// Brittany Vincent
As Electronic Arts' first fiscal quarter came to a close on June 30, the publisher found that it had beaten expectations for profits and revenue. EA credits much of this success to the runaway success of Titanfall. CEO Andrew...
Battlefield 4 photo
Battlefield 4

Battlefest is a battlelove letter to Battlefield battlefans

Battle battle battle battle
Jul 09
// Brittany Vincent
Hyped for Battlefield 4? Electronic Arts sure wants you to be, an that's why they're introducing a festival for Battlefield fans known as -- what else? -- Battlefest. It's a celebration that will run this summer with weekly r...
Battlefield 4 photo
Battlefield 4

EA dates Battlefield 4 DLC, then pulls the listing

Well, it's probably coming this month
Jul 04
// Chris Carter
As everyone knows Battlefield 4 Premium members get access to DLC two weeks early, and in their attempt to promote a 20% off sale of the service, they seemingly jumped the gun by announcing the Dragon's Teeth add-on date of J...
Battlefield photo

Battlefield Hardline beta feedback led to these changes

Faster movement? Good
Jul 02
// Jordan Devore
Folks who tried out the Battlefield Hardline beta last month provided Visceral with feedback and the studio has taken that to make 10 fixes/improvements to the game. Notably, player movement speed is now 10 percent faster and...
Hardline beta photo
Hardline beta

Surprise: There's going to be a second Battlefield Hardline beta

Coming this fall
Jun 27
// Brett Makedonski
EA's beta for Battlefield Hardline may have ended, but anyone that missed out has another chance to get in on some early cops and robbers action. In a post on Battlefield's website thanking players for participating...
They're pretty bad at feigning humility
EA has garnered quite a reputation for being jerks over the past couple of years, with the rough launch of Battlefield 4 being one of the many reasons people are upset with them. CEO Andrew Wilson offered his apologies, sort of.

Bad Company photo
Bad Company

DICE isn't sure why fans like Battlefield: Bad Company so much

'No one can really put their finger on what it is people love'
Jun 24
// Jordan Devore
DICE knows there's a demand for another Battlefield: Bad Company -- but it doesn't know why that demand exists, exactly. Maybe we can help break it down for the studio. "Some people say they found the multiplayer controls fas...
Battlefield 3 bans photo
Battlefield 3 bans

EA says that it accidentally banned some Battlefield 3 players

Jun 24
// Chris Carter
EA has admitted that recently, a lot of people were banned in Battlefield 3 on PC in error. So if you were one of those unlucky people, listen up. As per the message on EA's Help site, "We are investigating an issue of P...
Battlefield 4 photo
Battlefield 4

EA is sorry for Battlefield 4, but it has another paid DLC to deliver to you

'Dragon's Teeth'
Jun 23
// Chris Carter
Just recently we got our apology for the broken mess of a game DICE called Battlefield 4. According to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, because the game was too large, the failure at launch was "unacceptable." Of course, this is months ...
Battlefield 4 photo
Battlefield 4

EA: Battlefield 4 was a victim of its own ambition

'The situation we had was unacceptable'
Jun 20
// Brett Makedonski
To put it bluntly, Battlefield 4 was broken when it came out. Everyone's accepted that fact, including EA itself. EA CEO Andrew Wilson recently chimed in to candidly say that Battlefield 4's shortcomings had to do with i...
Battlefield photo

Battlefield Hardline beta weapons and gadgets unlocked

Plus netcode improvements on PC
Jun 20
// Jordan Devore
Are you playing the Battlefield Hardline beta? I did, briefly, but I should give it another chance. Especially now that all of the currently implemented weapons and gadgets have been unlocked. (The full game will of course ha...
Battlefield photo

Battlefield Hardline beta now open to all PC players

Instant access is here
Jun 18
// Jordan Devore
EA and Visceral Games have opened up beta access for Battlefield Hardline on PC. If you aren't already participating, you can now get in immediately by signing up here. Having only played a tiny bit of Hardline so far, I get ...

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