Visceral Interview: Battlefield, Star Wars Battlefront and more
Battlefield Hardline had a successful beta – did it make you feel confident for launch?
The beta was really fun for us because it allowed us to do a couple of things – putting it in our players hands gave us a chance to get early feedback, and it gave us an opportunity to see what it would take to launch a game like this in terms of stability. Those are two very important things – and we’re glad to see the game was very stable.
The single-player is exciting. Has that been a specific focus for you?
When [Visceral] first started talking to [EA] about making this game, it was mainly the single-player that we were pitching, and its what got [EA] interested. Battlefield has always had a strong foundation in multiplayer, so we were thinking if we could do something different with the single player – get it up to the quality and fun of the multiplayer – then we could make a really awesome game.
So has this single-player element of the game changed a lot since Battlefield 4?
We dedicated a lot of attention to making sure that we weren’t just giving you the same experience – that rollercoaster, A-to-B deal you got in past Battlefield games. We wanted to do something that had more player choice and agency, making a storyline that had more of a focus on the characters rather than the plot. I’m really excited about what the [designers] have been doing from a features perspective and from a gameplay perspective in the campaign.
What’s it been like working with famous TV and Hollywood actors in Hardline?
We’ve been working with actors for a long time – through the Dead Space series, particularly – and you find that actors act, and what you need to do is give the best direction. Actors tend to be subtle with their gestures, and that doesn’t come across in mo-cap, so you need to make them more exaggerated. With the right amount of direction, actors get excited about working in games – a lot of their friends play games, and it’s an exciting project for them.
So is Hardline going to be Visceral’s main focus going forward?
Right now it certainly is. After this game, we’ve got another game early in development – the Star Wars stuff – and we’re really excited about that. We’ve got a small group of talent on the Star Wars, but the rest of the team is on Hardline. If people like that, and the reaction is good and they want more, we’ll see where we can go from there…