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Beard View BF Hardline photo
Beard View BF Hardline

Beard View: Battlefield Hardline


'Don't go in there, there's fire you stupids'
Mar 17
// Jed Whitaker
Bang bang cops and robbers,bang bang robbers and cops, bang bang, rob that bank, put 'em in jail, put 'em in jail The new cops and robbers game is out, and you have to rob them banks or catch them thieves by any means necess...

Review: Battlefield Hardline

Mar 16 // Steven Hansen
Battlefield Hardline (PC [reviewed], Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3)Developer: Visceral GamesPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: March 17, 2015MSRP: $59.99 (Standard), $69.99 (Deluxe) Hardline stars a young, honest detective named Nick Mendoza, a Cuban immigrant who grew up in a lower income area in Miami. Nick is drug police in a present day revival of '80s Miami; that is, a sudden influx of drugs, namely cheap liquid cocaine called Hot Shot, and subsequent drug violence. Nick's initial partner directly references the show Miami Vice and it feels like an excusatory retreat into nostalgia to hand wave away the shallow narrative. It feels unnecessary and irresponsible to dredge up '80s Miami so Hardline can bang on about the War on Drugs in an almost-non-present temporality, skirting contemporary issues. The structure of the game makes similar sleights of hand. Save for the first episode, which has Nick and his new partner Khai walking through colorful-character-filled projects, overhearing quaint bits of urban dialogue, there are few civilians in the game and you can't interact with the one or two you come across. That designation, "civilian" is an important one, though. When the trip through the projects turns into a stealth mission, suddenly the tutorial prompt is happy to tell you to, "toss a shell casing to separate a group of criminals." Those "criminals" are a couple of people talking in front of their house. What makes them criminals? Being in the projects while Spanish music is playing? And why are police sneaking around clubbing people in the back of the head to do silent takedowns? [embed]289147:57817:0[/embed] The characters acknowledge through dialogue that sneaking across private property isn't legal, but they're silent on the whole knocking civilians out bit. A bit later you make a rough arrest, which opens up a central mechanic: flashing your badge to freeze up to three criminals. From that point, you can go up and arrest enemies, shoving them to the ground with infinite handcuffs where they will stay with little sleeping "zzz's" overhead despite staring at you with wide open eyes. It's nice that, despite being awake, they stay completely silent after being cuffed because Hardline is easiest played as a stealth game wherein you isolate targets, flash your badge, and make arrests without being seen. Especially because playing on Visceral-recommended Veteran difficulty (the highest available at the onset), combat has a higher chance of killing you with a shotgun blast while you're reloading. Much better to wait in a corner, toss shell casings, and lure seven guards over one at a time. Of course, this renders the detailed and specific weapon and weapon modification system moot, save for painting my guns with garish orange and blue camouflages out of amusement. You're almost encouraged to make arrests rather than kill because arrests get you more points, but I also maxed out the progression tree less than halfway through. And all it yields is more gun and gun mod unlocks, which you don't need if you're not killing everyone. The whole system is a sort of confused attempt to facilitate the story, which is ripped straight from network television, the kind of one-season crime drama no one will ever remember. In fact, there's a glib, Netflix-style overlay between the game's "episodes," down to the "Next episode will start in..." countdown pane. Plus, much of the voice and directing talent is actually pulled from US network television shows, yielding quality voice work that says nothing. That's why Hardline is so good at skirting specificity and modernity. It comes from people working to make the most accessible, non-alienating kind of bombastic fiction possible. This is why an obviously telegraphed triple cross turns it from boilerplate cop drama halfway through to something you'd see on FOX: prison breaks, revenge heisting, a trip to Hollywood, a racist redneck cult compound. At one point, it is so telegraphed that you're going to be attacked by an alligator that I laughed so hard when it happened I failed the QTE. While Hardline is tone deaf at times, mostly it is just deafening. Explosions and bombast are used not to distract from a troubling narrative as much as a stale one perfunctorily paced and reminiscent of network television emptiness. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. Destructoid did not attend the two day Hardline review event. Multiplayer was tested on Xbox One servers populated with EA Access members. Unlike the last Battlefield, it appears stable, albeit on one platform, prior to full launch.]
Battlefield review photo
Standard operating procedure
Following a year characterized by increased public awareness of rampant police violence against citizens and the militarization of local law enforcement, a gun fetishist's game riding a "cops versus criminals" tagline feels s...

Deals photo
Deals

Last-minute Battlefield Hardline pre-order deals


Gift cards and discounts
Mar 16
// Dealzon
Battlefield Hardline releases tomorrow, March 17. If you're looking to get into the action on the latest installment in the FPS franchise, here are all the deals available as of writing. PC gamers have two options. Just today...

Battlefield Hardline: First hands-on impressions

Jun 09 // Dale North
The idea started as a dream when DICE and Visceral studio heads met in Barcelona a couple of years ago. Big fans of each others' games, they started talking about games they'd like to make. A crazy idea snowballed into a full-on plan. But Visceral, the team behind the Dead Space games, knew third-person shooting better than first-person. So as a way of learning the ropes, Visceral did a Battlefield expansion pack, End Game.  After that, they started on the concept work for what would eventually be Hardline. In a pre-E3 reveal, Ian Milham, Creative Director on Hardline, explained that his team at Visceral had been working on a new IP following the last Dead Space. He put his presentation together for executives after working on it for a few months, but it got a mixed reaction. The execs brought up making a Battlefield game instead. Milham says he has been a franchise fan for a long time, but he did not want to do another military shooter. Milham talked about how modern military shooters were going science fiction lately. He wanted to do something different, fun, and relatable -- no grizzle-voiced heroes or private armies. His dream was to make something that played off backyard fantasies. Robbing banks, relatable places, real weapons -- no fancy equipment or high-end squad tactics.  We had a chance to spend some time with Battlefield: Hardlline's multiplayer a few weeks back. playing a couple of short matches in two newly revealed game modes. The game does have a full single-player component, but Visceral wanted to show multiplayer first to show the direction they're going with this project. Milham noted that they've done a lot of single-player games in the past, so we know they have that side covered. The cops in Hardline are pretty militarized, so armored cars and helicopters are the norm in battle. On the criminals side, these guys are pros, so they have a bunch of handy technologies and automated gear like grappling hooks and ziplines. Cops have ballistic shields, gas masks, flash bombs and more. For vehicles, my hands-on time felt like anything goes in Hardline. Cops have fast interceptors that can zip around town while a partner hangs out the passenger side window, shooting. Criminals have muscle cars as a parallel, but they also have their own armored transports. I was suddenly dropped into just about every vehicular situation you could imagine in one match that had both factions fighting over control points in a city. I went from being on the ground, to manning a turret on top of a transport, to shooting a machine gun from an open helicopter door, all in a scramble. I played in a large group multiplayer session to try out the Heist mode. This has the criminals trying to break into a defended area,  gathering loot, and then working to escape safely. They have to get to vaults, arm charges, and defend them until the charges explode. From there, they'll take their loot to a drop-off point. Meanwhile, the cops are working to intercept these transports and halt escapes. In this mode I had fun as a cop, running down criminals with cars, or picking them off after they've worked so hard to crack a vault. Another mode, called Blood Money, has cops and robbers fighting over stolen loot. A transport was stopped mid-route, and the cops have to try to secure the transport while the criminals try to steal from it. The criminals have to take the stolen money, bag by bag, to their vault and protect it. But the cops can raid this vault and steal it back. Nothing is safe, and the line, measured in money, is constantly shifting.  This mode was even more fun than Heist. The map, a large city with plenty of damaged buildings and roadways, has plenty of hiding places and alternative paths to sneak away in as a criminal. Despite the large number of cops running, I was able to steal loads of cash for my team by keeping low and taking underground passageways. Above ground, gun fights, helicopter patrols, and crazy setpiece events, like crashing buildings, kept the tension up.  From my short time with it, Hardline feels more relaxed and approachable than the multiplayer in past Battlefield games. There's quite a bit more character and personality as well, which had these matches feeling less competitive and more enjoyable.  Battlefield is a huge franchise, but Hardline feels like a departure from the big budget, super serious games of late. Hats off to Visceral and DICE for taking the opportunity to try something different. We hope to see more of Hardline in the coming weeks.
Battlefield hands-on photo
Details on how Hardline came to be
I was pretty excited to be able to be the first to tell you about Battlefield Hardline, the new team up cops-and-robbers title from Visceral (Dead Space) and DICE. But trailer leaks, detail leaks, and even gameplay video lea...

Art of Dead Space photo
Art of Dead Space

Impressions: The Art of Dead Space Enhanced Edition


Grotesquely Beautiful
May 26
// Jason Cabral
Earlier this week I got the chance to take a closer look at one of Titan Books' recent iOS endeavors, Awakening: The Art of Halo 4 Enhanced Edition. While I enjoyed seeing the beautiful and picturesque vistas created by John ...
N7 armor in Dead Space 3 photo
N7 armor in Dead Space 3

Here's how to get Mass Effect armor in Dead Space 3


It's surprisingly easy!
Jan 21
// Jordan Devore
This isn't the first time Electronic Arts-published games have seen crossover items, and it will almost certainly not be the last. Those who have played Mass Effect 3 and still have the save file to prove it need only buy a ...
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New Dead Space 3 screenshots of cooperative mission


Isaac and Carver double-team
Nov 08
// Conrad Zimmerman
A new batch of screenshots for Dead Space 3 have been shipped out by Electronic Arts. The images show bits of a cooperative mission, Marker Containment, where Isaac is helping Carver to deal with visions of his dead family. I...

The top demony demons to have done demon stuff in games

Aug 21 // Jim Sterling
Lucifer (Ghosts n' Goblins) The classic Capcom title Ghosts n' Goblins scores points by going straight to the top of the food chain. It doesn't get more demonic than Satan himself, and this isn't your post-modern, social commentary, Al Pacino take on the character -- this is proper Satan, sitting on a proper skull throne, being a proper demon.  As is an important requisite for being a real demon, Lucifer's skin is as red as the blistering fires that will melt the endlessly regenerating flesh from our bones for all eternity. However, he places last on the list due to the lack of horns, hooves, or other defining traits that would make him a truly demony demon. With the hair, pointy nose, and generally washed-out color of his skin, he looks more like a cross between a Super Saiyan, a witch, and that woman out of Hellraiser II: Hellbound.  Nevertheless, he is still a good demon.  Lucifer (Dante's Inferno) Like Capcom, Visceral Games decided to pick the big guy himself when creating an ultimate baddie for Dante's Inferno. He's a solid example of a demon done justice. The horn-to-head ratio is tilted firmly in favor of horns, which is always great to see in any demon. Speaking of horns, this particular Lucifer has a gigantic penis that flops around when he walks. This is often a cause of humor to some, but folk like me take our demon penises incredibly seriously. It is not mandatory that a demon have a penis, but if it's going to have one, it's got to be huge and massive and capable of hammering a nail into plywood. They did a great job on all counts with this particular penis, and I'm grateful that Visceral takes a good dick as seriously as I do.  Diablos (Final Fantasy series) Diablos is a pretty damn good demon. His face is basically made out of spikes, he's got a giant pair of wings that look more suited to putting holes in things as opposed to flight, and he's sporting a classy red and black color scheme that is both demonic and fashionable.  Square Enix did a great job with Diablos, giving him a modern look to make him appealing to the youth of today while still retaining a lot of classic demoniness that will never go out of style. Fans of the satanic, young and old, can come together and celebrate their love of the blasted wasteland that shall host their lives in oblivion, united by a shared appreciation of Diablos. The Dreadful Mother whispers her knowledge where no ears are there to hear them.  Eidolon (Hexen 2) Now we're really cooking (cooking like in Hell with fire ha ha). Eidolon has got it going on, with a dark red color pattern, black claws, and even a pair of hooves. We're getting into serious demon territory with these bad boys. Extra marks are had for the goat-like nature of its horns and beard. Since the dawn of time, goats have had an affinity with the damned, due to the fact that they can eat clothes, which humans use to hide their sinful boobs and anuses. This is where we get the term "scapegoat" from, "scape" being Latin for, "chewing my pants."  The snake-like face is a bit offputting and a reason why the Eidolon didn't rank higher, but any disturbance had from that feature is offset by the brass nipple ring located on the demon's left teet. This is a nice touch, and adds flavor to the design.  Flame Demon (Castlevania series) The Flame Demon has almost got it all. Fire, teeth, horns, wings, nearly every incarnation of the Flame Demon throughout the Castlevania series has been a fantastic look at what goes into making a truly demony demon.  That said, the Flame Demon from Symphony of the Night really lets the side down, and can eat balls as far as I'm concerned. First of all, it's green. Green! Demons aren't green, they are almost ALWAYS red, and maybe sometimes grey or black with some red on them somewhere. They're not red and green like they're made out of fucking Christmas! Those pathetic little points on its head do not look like horns. They're more like a snail's eye stalks. Frankly, the whole mess resembles some sort of stupid insect and I honestly hope whoever designed it is homeless now and can never improve his social standing -- also, the bastard can never die, so he is stuck homeless forever and really hungry and thirsty but waking up every morning so he can keep being poor and homeless and generally having a bad time.  That little issue aside, great work on the Flame Demons! Samael (Darksiders series) Despite a voice that makes him sound like he should be selling suspicious car stereos at a covered market in East London, Samael is an incredibly demonesque demon who demons really nicely. This guy wears horns so well that he's managed to fashion a bunch of them into a beard. Samael has a hornbeard! That's how you know you're hitting the grade-A hardcore demon shit.  Top marks also go toward a pair of wings that look like they're made out of steak, as well as armor that's pointy enough to be badass while small enough to showcase at least one tit. Demons are at their best when they're wearing only a slight amount of clothing, so we can see how red they are. Samael is pretty damn red, which makes him really good at being a demon.  They're coming for you, you fucking worm. They're scratching the inside of your skull with their barbs and they'll break free at night to drag you, bleeding, from your rancid little cot.  Horned Reaper (Dungeon Keeper series) Did you think we'd do this article without mentioning Dungeon Keeper? What's wrong with you, you pathetic little idiot!? It doesn't get much better than the Horned Reaper, that scythe-wielding nightmare from Bullfrog's short-lived series of simulation games. Tough to unlock, and tougher to keep satisfied, these devilish bastards bleed pure demon.  They're red. They're horny. They've got hooves. They are classic demon, through and through. I prefer the original design over the sequel's overhaul, due to it having better teeth and no pupils in the eyes, but both versions are pretty ace-potatoes. Abuse.  Diablo (Diablo series) After the thirteen black sacraments have been performed, the matriarch of spiders descends from an icy haze of withering deceit and the judgement of those that have wreaked their rusted vengeance upon their deniers. She will ask you a question, and you must answer this pressing inquisition with honesty in your heart, no matter the perversity of her accusation, for your secrets collect on her entangled web like dew drops in the spring morning, and she has grown fat on your life of lies and wicked deeds. Know now that she sees all, her eight unblinking eyes possessed of the spirit sight, and her words cut like jagged glass dragged upon the flesh of your soul. With a single query she can reduce a man to a gibbering, wretched thing, and only the steeliest of resolve can shield itself from her accusatory spite.  The first of the keys to the locks to the door are yours upon your completion of this task. Only when the door is open will you free yourself of the torment you have knowingly invited. You, who began your quest in pursuit of power, will end it in pursuit of peace. I warn you, beseech you, do not tread this path. Though I am bound by my own misdoing to instruct you, whoever you may be, I am free to tell you that you must not, cannot, do this.  What have I done?
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If you're anything like me, you're a devil worshipper.  There's just something glorious about a truly demonic demon, one that embodies the spirit of the classics -- a big, red, horny, behooved, gleefully evil beast-man f...

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After my brief hands-on demo with Dead Space 3 earlier this week, I had a chance to talk with the game's Executive Producer, Steve Papoutsis, to get a better idea of Visceral's direction for the series. In addition to f...

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Here's 20 minutes of Dead Space 3 footage featuring co-op


Jun 18
// Harry Monogenis
So yeah, Dead Space 3 is sounding pretty awesome right about now with a new world to explore, bigger bosses and apparently a focus on freedom. Arguably the most interesting addition to the franchise is the dro...
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EA wants Dead Space 3 to appeal to a 'broad' audience


Jun 15
// Jim Sterling
Oh dear. It's never a good sign to me when a publisher states plans to make a game appeal to a "broad" audience, because it usually means one thing -- stripping away whatever made the game unique in the first place, and plugg...
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E3: Isaac gets chilly in Dead Space 3 trailer


Jun 04
// Jim Sterling
Here is your E3 trailer for Dead Space 3, showcasing the game's long-rumored ice planet, alongside plenty of action. The game's showing at EA's press conference was sleek and stylish, but the cover-based combat was potential...

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