Prepare to call in sick next week: the open beta for Battlefield: Hardline starts on the 3rd of February, and will run until the 8th.

That means everyone with an Xbox, a PlayStation and a PC is invited to download and try the new game out, for free, for those six days. You’ll be treated to your first taste of the game’s cops vs. bad guys multiplayer, and you’ll have three modes and three different maps to play on.

The mode with the most promise to my mind is called Hotwire, and it has criminals attempting to steal a list of cars while the cops try to stop them. EA says to expect high speed car chases to make their way onto the battlefield (ha ha, I see what they did there) and a lot of back-and-forth play as cars get stolen and repossessed constantly throughout the match.

The other two modes are Conquest and Bank Job; the former is the Battlefield fan-favourite mode that has teams capturing and holding strategic points while their enemies’ tickets run out, while the latter brings heists into the mix, where banks must be robbed and takes escaped with while cops do their utmost to foil it.

That last bit is good news for anyone who’s still waiting for heists to be added to GTA 5’s multiplayer.

In case you’re not already salivating at the thought of playing a rather different take on the Battlefield formula, EA has put out a video showing off some of the work that went into making the game.

In it you’ll see a lot of cool behind the scenes stuff, including bits about the new developer – Visceral Games, the studio behind the Dead Space franchise – which actively sought feedback from a bunch of professional Battlefield players to make Hardline what it is.

It’s nice to see how EA is trying really, really hard to please gamers with this beta. I say that because:

  • The beta is open to all players, everywhere, and no registration is required.
  • There is no level cap. You can play throughout the open beta’s duration and you’ll keep on levelling up. Progress isn’t carried over to the main game, though (but that’s totally understandable).
  • The files can be pre-loaded from 8pm South African time (10am PST) via Origin and the Sony/Microsoft marketplaces on February 2nd. Expect a 10-11GB download.
  • Everyone who takes part in the open beta will get a special Hardline dogtag to show off in Battlefield 4.

Are you guys keen for Hardline? Me, I can’t wait to see how, exactly, this new take on Battlefield will play, and I’ll definitely be checking it out come Tuesday.

[Source – Battlefield.com]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.