Battlefield 3

Punkbuster false positives leading to Battlefield 3 bans; EA is investigating

Andy Chalk at

Punkbuster, for those just joining the eternal online fray, is software that detects cheaters—punks—and then deals with them appropriately via "busting." It's widely used, although its popularity has waned in recent years. It's also automated, which means things can occasionally go wrong. And it appears that things have gone very wrong recently for some Battlefield 3 players, who have been locked out of the game they love through no fault of their own.

Battlefield 3 and Plants vs. Zombies are "On the House" at Origin

Andy Chalk at

Today is the day you get Battlefield 3! Why, you ask? Because today is the day you can pick it up at absolutely zero cost—that is to say, free—as the second game in Origin's "On the House" program.

4K Screenshot Showcase: Battlefield 3

PC Gamer at

Every Monday, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

For all their faults and successes, you can't say DICE make ugly games. The Frostbite engine, over its many iterations, has excelled at modelling the destruction and chaos of big-budget militaristic entertainment. It eschews pure realism for a cinematic set-up, and uses lighting and post-processing to cast the player as the game's action hero - even in multiplayer, where their lives can be measured in minutes. To fully appreciate what the engine can do, here are 20 super high-res shots that beautifully show every gun-metal glint and flare of the lens.

Battlefield 4: Second Assault DLC maps officially named

Phil Savage at

If the majority of DICE's Battlefield 4 team are hurriedly trying to stamp out all of its many launch bugs, surely another squad has been holed deep in an underground bunker, thinking of ways to 'Levolve' the four returning maps of the Second Assault DLC pack. Those maps have now been officially revealed as Operation Metro, Operation Firestorm, Caspian Border and Gulf of Oman. Does this mean Metro will get a crashing train of thematically appropriate death? According to a previous teaser, no. Running over everyone in the map is probably a balance issue or something.

Battlefield 4 dogged by major launch issues: connection errors, glitches, dodgy netcode

Tom Senior at

Where to start? That must be the big question facing DICE right now as they try and wrangle Battlefield 4 into a stable state. Players have been reporting disconnection errors, freezes, crashes and a smattering of bugs. DICE have tabled a list of fixes they're working on on the Battlefield 4 forums, which includes a bug that stops server queues from working and various client instability problems.

Battlefield 4 beta impressions: campers, connection issues and collapsing skyscrapers

PC Gamer at

Clan leader John Strike charges into the Battlefield 4 beta to find out what's new, old, better and broken.

Why was I nervous? It wasn’t like I was at a job interview or even meeting my girlfriend’s favourite dog for the first time. Yet here I was sitting at the computer at 8:55 AM, my bottom chewing on my underpants in apprehension at the beta release of Battlefield 4.

I've poured 900 hours into Battlefield 3. As a clan leader, I couldn't help but fear for my ruthless band of buddies should Battlefield 4 not cut the mustard. Casting my mind back to Battlefield 3’s beta some two years ago I knew what problems to expect: connection problems, performance problems, clipping problems. I feared that the beta might collapse harder and faster than Seige of Shanghai's destructible skyscraper. At first, it did.

Dean Hall: "If DICE wanted to kill Arma, all they'd need to do is release modding tools"

Tyler Wilde at

Speaking at our PC Gaming World Congress last Friday, DayZ creator Dean Hall responded to an audience question about server-side games and what they mean for modding. Specifically, the question cited SimCity 4's modding community and what's happened with Maxis' always-online SimCity reboot, which can't support significant modding. Will the trend of developer-controlled servers mean an end to all mods?

Humble Origin Bundle earns nearly $10.5 million for charity before ending

Cory Banks at

The Humble Origin Bundle is over. The Electronic Arts-sponsored sale concluded yesterday with a grand total of $10.5 million in sales according to the Humble Bundle Twitter account.

EA's Humble Origin Bundle raises nearly $8.5 million, adds Red Alert 3: Uprising and Populous

Tom Sykes at

EA getting a Humble Bundle sounds like a thing that should raise eyebrows, but considering how much money is being raised for charity right now - and how many normally-quite-expensive games can be had for pocket money - I'm finding that my cynicism chip is just not activating. The explosion-studded bundle has raised nearly $8.5 million already, with EA's entire share going to charities the Human Rights Campaign, watsi, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In addition to the likes of Dead Space 3, Mirror's Edge and Battlefield 3, you can now get C&C: Red Alert 3 - Uprising and Populous if you pay over the average of $4.84.

Humble Origin Bundle worth more than $200, all of EA's share goes to charity

T.J. Hafer at

The Humble Origin Bundle is live, allowing you to pay what you want for Dead Space, Dead Space 3, Burnout Paradise, Crysis 2, Mirror's Edge, and Medal of Honor. Paying more than the average (roughly $5 at the time of this post) unlocks Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 with some DLC.And all of EA's share goes to charity.

Battlefield 3's rarest easter egg found over a year after it was first teased

Phil Savage at

Battlefield 3 and its map packs are littered with hidden (and often dinosaur related) easter eggs. But one secret, hinted at over a year ago by former DICE voice-over producer Tomas Danko, had, until recently, evaded the game's dedicated community.

The clues related to an audio cue that would play only if an extremely specific set of conditions were met. That included playing as the US faction, being between 110 and 350 meters from a spotter, and under 350 meters from an AA gun being spotted. Add to that a random chance element, and it becomes clear why it proved so elusive. At least, until YouTube presenter JackFrags decided to do some detective work.

The best shooters of all time

PC Gamer at

Before we knew what to name them, we called them “Doom clones.” id Software’s seminal work sparked a phenomenon when it began to circulate as shareware 20 years ago, and since then shooters have propagated through mods, experimentation, LAN parties, co-op, eSports, and big-budget masterpieces. Guns and enemies are their bread and butter, but we don’t think of our favorite shooters as outlets for simulated violence. We celebrate the way they test our minds and mouse reflexes, the personal stories they generate, the captivating worlds they’ve founded, and the social spaces they provide for lighthearted bonding or hardcore competition.

EA exec discusses the company's next-gen future

Perry Vandell at

“Going above and beyond the call” was one of Electronic Arts’ many jabs at its rival during the marketing campaign for Battlefield 3, but an EA exec now thinks focusing on its competitors was the wrong move.

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC free to download during E3

Patrick Carlson at

If you've already worked yourself into a state of frothy excitement over the latest Battlefield 4 news, why not let out some of that stress with something almost as good—free content. During E3, DICE and EA are making the Battlefield 3 DLC Close Quarters available as a free download (via PCGamesN).

Battlefield 3 double XP event begins today, runs to Monday

Ian Birnbaum at

Battlefield 3 loves a good multiplayer event, but the whopping 96-hour double XP event planed for the beginning of May had to be postponed when the game’s servers were hit by a DDOS attack. Everyone loves a good multiplayer shindig, it seems, except the hackers.

Origin beta update targets live-streamers, achievement collectors and "power gamers"

Phil Savage at

Origin's latest beta update is primarily targeting "power gamers with muscular 64-bit systems". Which is an odd phrase, and not just because no regular person has said "power gamers" without being violently sick soon after. Muscular 64-bit systems? It's 2013: my calculator is basically running a 64-bit system. Although, in fairness, my calculator is just my regular desktop - so is in fact running the same system that Origin is also using. Touche, EA.

Battlefield 3 hit by server outages, seemingly caused by DDOS attack

Tom Sykes at

How do you prevent a war? Organised protest? Stay in bed for a few days? Stage a fake alien invasion? Well, in the case of Battlefield 3, you can (temporarily) prevent its never-ending online kerfuffle with a brutal DDOS kick square in the servers. PC and console servers for both the game itself and Battlelog suffered outages earlier today, apparently due to an external attack. While the Battlefield 3 site is suggesting everything's gone back to normal, the official twitter account hasn't yet given the all clear. Lunchtime BF3 players: is everything now working as it should?

Battlefield 4 retail poster reveals release date, enhanced Battlelog, first DLC expansion

Phil Savage at

And the retail leaks continue. After Tesco's unplanned reveal of CoD: Ghosts, details of Battlefield 4 have surfaced through an EB Games pre-order poster - spotted by BF4Central. It teases an enhanced Battlelog, the title of the first DLC expansion, and an October 31st release date. This is actually the second Battlefield promo spotting - Gamespot previously let slip the return of Commander mode and the sequel's three playable factions. Maybe the affected publishers need to have a whip round to raise cash for some less hole-ridden info buckets.

Battlefield 3 server emulator accepting beta signups, enables spectator mode, modding

Tyler Wilde at

Venice Unleashed, a server emulator for Battlefield 3, is now accepting beta signups. Created by NoFaTe, Venice promises control "over a wide set of features and settings that were initially hidden," including spectator mode and other "half-implemented or disabled game features." According to the signup site, Venice also supports the creation of mods and new gamemodes "without the need of performing complicated and game-breaking file modifications."

DICE: "We've passed the point" of showing off Frostbite's tech

Omri Petitte at

Battlefield 4's shiny reveal earlier this week in a gameplay trailer that provided a 17-minute window into the visuals of a fully armed and operational Frostbite 3 engine, but DICE is discouraging players and press from focusing too much on BF4's eye candy. In an interview with Eurogamer, Executive Producer Patrick Bach states a raw display of Frostbite tech isn't enough to attract gamers anymore, with more importance lying with how the studio intends to use the engine to advance the gameplay experience.