Next week DICE will launch the beta test for Battlefield 4. The BF4 beta will allow a select group of players to sample the multiplayer shooter's online modes.

"In this beta, you’ll be able to play the Siege of Shanghai map – perhaps our most ambitious and "Battlefield-y” map ever," says DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson. "Never before have we combined a dense urban environment with full infantry and vehicular combat. You’ll zigzag between the skyscrapers in helicopters or engage enemies right in the center of the city in our all-new attack boats. We’re also including the entire concept of Levolution, from the epic player-triggered moment where you can bring down an entire skyscraper, to all of the little things like raising bollards to stop advancing armor, car alarms going off, and being able to lower shutter gates to fortify your position."

"In many ways, this map perfectly encapsulates the ideas we have for Battlefield 4 overall – the notion of all-out vehicle warfare with an increased focus on water-based combat and the game-changing concept of Levolution."

Siege of Shanghai will be playable in Conquest and Domination modes during the beta. Conquest is the quintessential Battlefield mode, with players battling out over large territories with air, land and sea vehicles. The objective is to reduce the enemy team's respawn count to zero. You can accomplish this by killing enemies or capturing and holding the majority of the control points on the map. The team that runs out of respawn tickets first is the loser. This mode supports 24 players on Xbox 360 and PS3 and 64 players on PC and next-gen consoles.

Domination is an infantry-only mode that made its debut in Battlefield 3: Close Quarters. Capturing and holding territories is still important. However, the map is more confined and capturing territories is much faster. The team with fewer bases loses tickets slower than they would in Conquest so more emphasis is placed on your gunfighting skills than on your team's coordination. Domination matches support 20 players on all platforms.

The beta will officially launch on October 1st. It's available on all platforms but only to gamers who either pre-ordered the Battlefield 4 PC Digital Deluxe Edition through Origin, purchased a Battlefield 3 Premium membership, or have a registered copy of Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition or Digital Deluxe Edition. If you're playing on PC, you can start pre-loading the files on September 29th at 10AM PDT. The beta will be opened up to all interested gamers starting on October 4th and run until October 15th.

The word "beta" has become synonymous with "demo" lately but Troedsson warns players that they should expect some bugs.

"The beta is not representative of the final quality of the game. The beta version of the game is actually older than the version we are currently working on at the DICE office, since the beta had to be submitted for testing and certification before it can go live."

Troedsson says that DICE will have time to implement some changes based on beta tester feedback before the game launches in late October. Other issues will be addressed with patches after release.
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