Perhaps still reeling from the calamitous release of Battlefield 4, Electronic Arts has pushed the release of Battlefield Hardline from its intended October launch window right into early 2015. Why? That’s a good question. And thanks to an investment call between EA’s Patrick Soderlund and a lot of people keen to not see their investment’s value plummet we now have a reasonable, though rather obvious, answer. Evidently the game’s beta didn’t just help developer Visceral Games identify small issues in need of addressing, it helped underline one that’s fundamental to the shooter’s attempt to gain its own identity as well as its overall success. “We allowed people to play for a little bit longer, maybe, than we planned, because we found a lot of feedback from players in there, providing us with valid information and feedback around features of the game and how the game felt, etc,” Soderlund explained.

“And things like the cops and robbers fiction maybe wasn’t shining through properly, you know? It is playing like a military game, but it should be a cops and robbers game.” Yes it should. Blatantly.

So there you have it. Battlefield Hardline as behaving too much as a standard urban Battlefield outing when its entire reason to exist is meant to concern it actually playing like something more nuanced, asymmetrical and, well, like a game of cops and robbers rather than Chinese and Russians versus Americans, but with extra balaclavas and suitcases filled with loot.

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