After refreshing the open world genre with multiple Just Cause games and the Mad Max tie-in title, developer Avalanche Studios will return with Contraband. Word surrounding the Xbox co-op game remains light following its announcement in 2021, but as we approach the Xbox Developer Direct, new rumors are emerging. And it seems that Contraband could actually be similar, surprisingly, to Battlefield Hardline.
In a new episode of The Infinite Podcast, Xbox reporter ‘Middleagegamegy’ claims that “I haven’t heard, I’ve seen Contraband with my own eyes […] think Dukes of Hazzard, think Battlefield Hardline, maybe a little bit of Driver.” Battlefield Hardline saw players on either side of the law, with a ‘cops and robbers’ approach underpinning the game’s plot and multiplayer action.
Furthermore, Driver is all about high-speed car chases, stunts, and a dash of undercover police work. Dukes of Hazzard – the beloved late 1970s TV show – saw the titular Duke cousins get into all sorts of trouble as they evade their probation officer, Boss Hogg. It all sounds like the kind of B-Movie action that the Just Cause franchise delivers so well, and we’re keen to see this new Xbox game evolve.
“It is set in the 70s […] there is 8-player co-op in the game,” he also claims. This aspect of the game is “in-between” the alpha and beta phases of testing, and it is possible that co-op will be retooled given how well it pans out behind the scenes.
The initial trailer for Contraband is accompanied by a simple synopsis, that reads as follows: “A co-op smuggler’s paradise set in the fictional world of 1970s Bayan.” Going off the glimpses of the world seen in polaroids, heist plans, and the overall atmosphere of the trailer, Bayan could be just as colorful as Just Cause locales like San Esperito and Panau. Such locations hinted at in the trailer include ‘Pirate Town’, ‘Coastline’, and ‘River Valley’. We don’t want to get stuck without help in the first location, but it does sound ripe for looting valuables.
The comparison to Battlefield Hardline specifically has us intrigued, too. Hardline, which was released back in 2015, was the last game ever made from Visceral Games. Battlefield Hardline was a necessary shift for the franchise, retaining its bombastic action, but experimenting with the game’s setting and format. It might not be one of the best FPS games ever made, but it is worth revisiting, as a loyal community continues to keep it afloat.