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Tom Bissell Doubts And Then Loves Battlefield Hardline

Posted September 16, 2014 by Bunneh3000 in News

In the beginning, Visceral Games had a dream. Unfortunately, it was one that most people, even at Electronic Arts, were not too excited about exploring: Another Battleflield Game. Tom Bissell, acclaimed author of books like Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, recently spoke on the Battlefield Blog about how he was initially approached by creative director Ian Milham about such a venture. At first, Tom thought the discussion was going to be about another Dead Space game (which he loved and reviewed for Grantland). Once Ian dropped the bomb on him, he almost quickly dismissed the conversation…until Ian told him the REAL purpose.

As he continued, he spun a long tale about how he wanted the Battlefield engine to be the basis behind an epic and almost epsiodic crime drama. He spoke of how he wanted the story to unfold in a way that highlighted the characters you played as and with rather than the events that they blasted through. In this way, Ian proceeded to intrigue the accomplished writer by giving examples like Jackie Brown and Get Shorty where the characters had enough personality to pull you along any sequence regardless of how often the situation has been seen before. Substance over source.

Then, there was the question, “Why Battlefield?” While that question, or answer for that matter, wasn’t directly addressed, Tom did reveal that the material that he has provided for Battlefield Hardline’s story mode is enhanced by the FPS genre.

 “Shooters are not stately; shooters are narrative rosaries strung with beads of pure chaos.

For those of us who don’t get it, that basically means that shooters aren’t meant to be pretty. They’re meant to be a grand epic of chaos built around a diverse story or narrative. Finally, someone else other than Ken Levine, sees the power of using shooters to tell a unique story!

Go and check out the Battlefield blog for more about the cast and crew that continue to work on Battlefield Hardline.

About the Author


A gamer since the days of Texas Instruments PCs with cartidges, I embody the 'casual' gamer moniker. RPGs, turn based strategy, hack n slashers, NBA sims, shooters, Space flight combat sims, and mech combat sims are my forte. If you need a Battlefield commander, I'm your Cylon... I mean... um... man.

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