Battlefield Hardline Premium takes a new approach to season passes for add-ons

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Battlefield Hardline is taking a very different approach to pre-selling its post-release downloadable content. The series’ now-standard Premium membership returns, but it’s now tied to an unexpected set of extras, some of which are standard features in other games.

Premium subscribers gain privileged access to cosmetic customization for their masks and guns, along with expanded stats, the ability to compete in Premium-only tournaments, and a “Legendary” system that allows players to reset their maxed out level progression in exchange for an in-game badge of honor, similar to Call of Duty’s “Prestige” system. Benefits also include 12 Gold Battlepacks (which bestow in-game customization items), bonus customization items, priority position in server queues for online matches, and access to “double XP, in-game missions, and more Battlefield Hardline Premium exclusive events.”

All of that is on top of the four expansion packs, each of which will also be sold separately to non-Premium subscribers. The packs add “new multiplayer maps, modes, vehicles, in-game content and a story themed throughout all four.”

Here’s the official rundown of DLC descriptions and release timeframes:

  • Battlefield Hardline: Criminal Activity – Players have to make a name for themselves in fast-paced, highly-destructible new maps littered with small-time crime jobs. Available summer 2015.
  • Battlefield Hardline: Robbery – Take down the opposition head on and progress through key locations with major cinematic action. Available summer 2015.
  • Battlefield Hardline: Getaway – This is frantic, high-speed chases that immerse players deeper in the heist. Available fall 2015.
  • Battlefield Hardline: Betrayal – There is a rat in every operation and players will have to find out who to trust. Available winter early 2016.

Most of what’s on offer isn’t new for Battlefield, or for DLC season passes of this sort. The Battlepacks, special access to in-game events, and server queue priority are all standard. The Prestige system and the use of masks as customization items are new, but weapon camouflage was a regular feature in past games. It’s a surprise to see that locked behind a paywall now.