E3 logoFading video game titan Electronic Arts used its pre-E3 media briefing today to launch Battlefield: Hardline, a cops vs. criminals spinoff of its big Battlefield military franchise that’s sure to court controversy every bit as much as Grand Theft Auto ever did. Wrapping up the hour-long presentation to media and analysts after mostly updating iterations to its many licensed sports franchises, EA executives showed off the Hardline title, which uses the Frostbite 3 graphics engine and other conventions from the namesake military franchise to set up an explosive face-off between cops and robbers.

Karl-Magnus Troedsson of DICE“It’s much more like a great TV crime drama” than a typical first-person shooter, said Karl-Magnus Troedsson, general manager of DICE, the Swedish game designers behind the billion-dollar Battlefield franchise.

While the initial video game-play excerpts make the game look like a ton of fun, sort of like Michael Mann’s Heat in heat, even to the massive heist in downtown Los Angeles where seemingly every car commercial ever made is shot, it’s not hard to predict controversy ahead. That usually comesEA Hardline 1 when you arm batches of wanna-be virtual bad guys with automatic weapons, rockets, grenades and helicopters, and charge them with figuring out how to get away with, say, an armored car heist in a more-or-less even, and wildly murderous, gun battle with … Read More »