Maybe you missed out on the recent Battlefield 3 alpha test and want to ensure you play the game as soon as possible. Maybe you didn’t pick up a Limited Edition copy of Medal of Honor last year. Either way, looking past the recent alpha— which was “a highly tech focused test period” anyway — there is a new way to get yourself early access into the upcoming beta, giving you a chance to play it before the vast majority of people
pre-order on Origin.Origin, the name of the rebranded EA Store, has a listingfor Battlefield 3 outlining the pre-order perks for buying it from there. Early access to the open beta is the first of the bunch; it says that Origin pre-orderers “will be granted early access to the Open Beta for Battlefield 3 when it goes live in September 2011.”
We’ve previously heard that September 11 is when the open, multiplayer beta will be kicking off. We don’t know exactly what kind of head start that early access members will get, but there are other perks for placing a pre-order at Origin. You’ll also get to pre-load so you can play right away on launch day, October 25; the Physical Warfare pack (grants access to a few in-game items); the Back to Karkand expansion pack (also given to Limited Edition buyers, it includes several classic Battlefield 2 maps, weapons, and vehicles); and a pair of exclusive Battlefield Play4Freeitems.
Both the Physical Warfare pack and Back to Karkand expansion are alternatively available by pre-ordering at GameStop, but the beta and Play4Free goodies are exclusive to Origin. Physical Warfare will eventually be made available to everyone for free, although the expansion will be something that’s sold to non-LE buyers at a later time.
As far as PC players go, if, like me, you normally scoff at the idea of buying games from anywhere other than Steam, you may have to rethink your approach for Battlefield 3. EA and Valve have had a dispute as of late due to certain Valve-imposed restrictions for what can be sold on Steam. That’s led to Dragon Age II and Crysis 2 getting pulled; meanwhile, Battlefield 3 has never been availablefor pre-order on Steam, possibly indicating it won’t be available from there, at least at launch.
Thankfully, it’s also available from other digital retailers with Back to Karkand — including GamersGate, Direct2Drive, and Impulse — if you really don’t want to buy it straight from EA.