‘Battlefield Hardline’: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know (Interview with Creative Director Ian Milham)

Battlefield Hardline Launch TrailerEnjoy2015-03-09T16:23:23.000Z

The Battlefield series is making a big change for 2015. It’s going to move away from the explosive army conflicts of series past for once and head into the territory of cops vs. robbers. Developer Visceral Games and EA Digital Illusions CE are partnering together to craft this 1st-person shooter full of the familiar Battlefield gameplay fans have come to appreciate.

Along with its new focus on the eternal struggle between Los Angeles’ police force and ruthless bank robbers, Battlefield Hardline is arriving with new weapons, multiplayer modes, levels based on real-life locations and plenty of fresh content for the series. We sat down with one of the main members on the development team for the game and we got a ton of info on what went into creating this game’s scenery and more.

Here’s everything you need to know about Battlefield: Hardline, straight from the creative director of the game Ian Milham.


1. What caused the development team to place the game’s setting within Los Angeles, as opposed to other cities such as New York or Detroit?

Battlefield Hardline

LA is the cinematic town where real stuff goes down. It has the perfect mix of glamour and grit. It also has a ton of variety where we can get different looks and feelings, but keep them thematically related. The only other American city with the same contrast is Miami, where we also set some of our action.


2. What were the 1st steps taken towards replicating LA?

Battlefield Hardline

First was doing some virtual scouting for locations that gave us the variety and mood we were going for. Once we identified those (comfortably from our studio here in the Bay Area), we made trips down to thoroughly measure and document the areas. We would look at the big picture, and get right down into the gutters to scan details to incorporate into the game.


3. What are some familiar LA locales that have been placed within the game’s many maps?

Battlefield Hardline

Our “Downtown” area features Downtown LA, all around 4th St and Flower, from the bottom of the parking garages to the top of the skyscrapers. We also center around the LA River east of Downtown and the bridges over it east of Downtown. There’s also the neighborhoods east of Dodger Stadium and some fancier areas based on Mt. Olympus. We also take a desperate detour out to the high desert areas of the Mojave.


4. How has the Frostbite 3 engine aided the development team in the process of creating LA?

Battlefield Hardline

I don’t know if it would’ve been possible otherwise. Frostbite gives us the scope we need to capture maps that are kilometers wide. Lots of engines are good at detail, but are stuck basically in hallways. Frostbite can use real geographic data and rendering to represent fully scaled real spaces. Everyone around the world knows what LA looks like, so their realism detectors are accurate. We needed to get it right to do it justice.


5. The Levolution mechanic played a huge part in the mayhem present in Battlefield 4. How will this feature play a role in Battlefield: Hardline?

Battlefield Hardline

Daydreaming what chaos we can unleash is part of the fun of this game and this setting. We’ve got giant construction cranes coming down and tearing giant gashes in skyscrapers downtown. We’ve got overpasses collapsing and train cars exploding on LA river bridges bringing the whole thing down. We’ve got apartments in the hood players can level to the ground and Hollywood Hills mansions that players can tear the entire facade off of. That one was particularly fun.