It's strictly a rumor at this point, but it's looking increasingly likely that something called Battlefield: Hardline will be the next big thing to come out of EA's hit multiplayer shooter franchise. As noted by the
, various "almost facts" suggest that it will be a cops-and-robbers game rather than opposing militaries, with Thieves and SWAT facing off in multi-mode, multi-class online action.
If the rumors are correct, players will choose from one of four different classes—Enforcer, Mechanic, Operator and Professional—although those definitely sound more apropos to the Thief team than SWAT. Two new game modes, Blood Money and Heist, are also mentioned alongside Turf Wars and Team Deathmatch. Another site,
, has posted what are purported to be a logo, a background screen, class icons, badges, awards and other images.
A "police-themed Battlefield" game was actually reported by
back in early February under the codename "Battlefield: Havana," with the unexpected twist that it was being developed by Visceral Games, the studio behind the Dead Space series, rather than Battlefield originator DICE. DICE appeared to shoot down the idea of annual Battlefield games last summer, telling
that "we can't build a game at DICE every year," but EA may not be quite so sanguine about (relatively) long waits between new titles, especially with Medal of Honor out of the picture. As for Visceral's involvement, EA's Patrick Soderlund said last year that the studio was
taking a break from Dead Space
, asking, "Is it better to put them on the fourth version of a game they've done three previous versions of before? Or is it better to put them on something new that they want to build, that they have passion for?"
This is an entirely unsubstantiated rumor at this point, so don't bet the farm on it just yet. On the other hand, E3 is just around the corner, so if something is going to be revealed, this is the time you'd expect it to happen.