The full version of Battlefield 3 isn't due out until October 25, but there's a way to get an early taste of the game before that. As Rock, Paper, Shotgun reports, EA has set dates for the start of the open multiplayer beta. If you pre-ordered Battlefield 3 on Origin or purchased the Limited Edition of the new Medal of Honor, you'll apparently get access to the beta on September 27. Everybody else will have to wait a couple more days, until September 29.
According to the Battlefield 3 beta page on EA's website, the multiplayer beta will be "open to all on all platforms," including the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. As you might expect, the PC version will require EA's Origin distribution service to play. Once you get in, the beta will let you hone your skills in one game mode, Rush, and one map, Operation Métro. That map already got a fair amount of publicity and was shown on video earlier this year:
As Rock, Paper, Shotgun points out, EA DICE's "recommended" specs for the game include a quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 graphics card. If those recs sounds steep, keep in mind the game is being designed for the PC first and foremost, with graphical fidelity to match.
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