We're days away from narrowing the window until the release of Electronic Arts' Battlefield 3 to less than a month. The game is out on October 25, and while the coming sequel brings a newfound focus on delivering a story-driven campaign, the multiplayer is what's going to move product off of store shelves. To ensure that the online play is up to snuff at launch, EA will be hosting an open beta that the publisher now confirms will kick off next week.
A press release reveals the news that the Battlefield 3 open beta starts on September 29, a date also known as next Thursday. This applies to all platforms; Xbox 360 and PS3 owners need only browse to their console's online marketplace on the appropriate day while PC users will have to snatch the beta from Origin. Those who have a code from Medal of Honor pre-orders will get an early jump on the beta, with access starting on September 27.
The beta test includes access for all participants to Battlefield 3's web-based Battlelog, the social network-styled stat tracker connected with the game. EA also wants players to sign up for the EA Gun Club, which offers "the latest shooter news" as well as (more importantly) in-game access to the M1911 pistol and several exclusive badges. The M1911 will also be available to "registered Battlefield veterans."
The beta will feature just one map -- Operation Metro -- and one mode -- Rush -- as revealed on EA's Battlefield 3 beta website. There's also an FAQ there addressing some basic, common queries about the beta, so be sure to check it out if you want any additional detail.
Source: Electronic Arts