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Things We Learned from the Battlefield Hardline Gamescom Demo

This week at Gamescom, the developers of Battlefield Hardline treated us to a new 12-minute demo of one of the single-player missions, and here are some of the juicy tidbits it revealed.

It's got street-smart action. As promised, the atmosphere feels like a gritty, 24 meets Breaking Bad-style drama. There’s lots of swearing and intense action, but it’s clear that this isn’t your typical first-person shooter. There’s a larger storyline involving the main character Nick Mendoza, a cop on a mission to arrest his former partners who have turned to a life of crime.

The Battlefield is alive. The environment plays a big part in your mission plan: Bullets break up walls, reducing the available cover. Vehicle gas tanks and propane canisters can be detonated with well-placed shots, causing explosions that can take out an area full of enemies. But in the thick of a firefight, you can also grab an opponent and use him as a human shield for a few shots, buying you some time to get to a better position.

Don't sink to their level. In Battlefield Hardline, you're a cop, not a soldier, so you don't have to kill everyone you see. You can be stealthy, misdirecting guards with a thrown bullet casing and then coming up behind them to choke them out. Or flash your badge and shout “Freeze!” to prevent your enemies from firing on you or escaping prior to their arrest. However, desperate criminals may still try to get the drop on you. Danger indicators alert you when someone’s reaching for their gun.

Hi-tech hardware helps. Apparently police these days have access to a bunch of cool tech. Among your new toys are a scanner that helps you plan your approach by identifying enemies, objects and high-value criminal targets from a distance; a taser that uses a jolt of electricity to incapacitate perps quietly without killing them; and a Just Cause-style grapnel that allows you to cover ground by zip line more quickly and safely than running.

Battlefield Hardline is due out next year, so there’s plenty of time to lock in your pre-order content on Origin.