Battlefield Hardline closed beta starts today, sign-ups open now

Tyler Wilde at

Alert: During EA's reveal of Visceral's crime-themed Battlefield Hardline, it also made the surprise announcement that the beta starts today. Right now.

Battlefield Hardline E3 gameplay video: we've played the cops-and-robbers multiplayer

PC Gamer at

Shortly before E3, both Evan and Tyler played Battlefield Hardline, Visceral's new law enforcement vs. criminals take on the traditionally war-themed Battlefield series. As Evan expresses in his preview, we're concerned that Hardline multiplayer (EA isn't showing single-player yet) feels too Battlefield-ey to really express the asymmetrical nature of heists. It's certainly fun in the way Battlefield 4 is fun: see it for yourself as Evan and Tyler discuss their thoughts over gameplay footage Tyler captured during his play session.

Star Wars: Battlefront gameplay teased in E3 2014 behind-the-scenes video

Tyler Wilde at

Last year at E3 2013, EA announced that Star Wars: Battlefront will return. This year, we see that DICE has indeed been developing Star Wars: Battlefront with a behind-the-scenes trailer to kick off EA's 2014 press conference. Excellent.

Battlefield Hardline release date revealed in first trailer

Tyler Wilde at

With under a week to go before its E3 announcement, and after a few leaks (including this trailer earlier today), EA has officially released the first trailer for Battlefield Hardline. Instead of Battlefield's usual war theme, Hardline is about "the battle between cops and criminals," and Dead Space developer Visceral Games is on the job. According to the trailer, it'll be out October 21st.

New Battlefield 4 update goes live today, short downtime expected

Andy Chalk at

DICE has announced that a new update for the PC version of Battlefield 4 has begun rolling out, which will bring with it a brief pause in the action while everything gets squared away.

Battlefield 4 work will continue alongside Hardline, DICE promises

Andy Chalk at

Electronic Arts is moving full steam ahead with the recently-revealed Battlefield Hardline, but that doesn't mean it's giving up on Battlefield 4. In fact, DICE VP Karl Magnus Troedsson took to the Battlefield Blog today to assure fans that the game still has lots of life left.

Battlefield 4 Battlepack upgrades now available for real moneydollars

Omri Petitte at

Gearing up your soldier in Battlefield 4 is typically a measure of time invested. Play enough maps and accomplish enough objectives, and your armory gradually expands with new weapons, attachments, and cosmetic camouflage paints. Battlepacks, the loot-crate system introduced in BF4, shortcuts accessibility to various scopes and camos after climbing to certain ranks or gun expertise. If you'd like to skip all of that playing and just pay for the accessories, EA is offering buyable Battlepacks for as much as $3/£2.

Project Reality: BF2 update ensures life after Battlefield 2's GameSpy shutdown

Phil Savage at

Armed forces are closing in on the notorious multiplayer sympathiser, GameSpy. The matchmaking system is due to be terminated with extreme prejudice this coming Saturday, plunging the games it uses into an offline darkness. EA have said that many of their GameSpy-enabled games won't be updated with a new matchmaking solution. For Battlefield 2, that's meant the battle for online battles must now be fought by fans. It's not just the main game struggling to stay connected; its mods are also at risk. Thankfully, the most popular of those mods—Project Reality: BF2—has received a new update that will keep its multiplayer running.

On The Level: The City, Mirror's Edge

Andy Kelly at

Every week Andy celebrates a great map, level, or location from a classic PC game in On The Level. This week it’s the unnamed dystopian city from DICE’s Mirror’s Edge.

Faith might be the protagonist of Mirror’s Edge, but the city is the star. While most dystopian science fiction uses the Blade Runner model—grime, neon, perpetual rain—the artists at DICE went in the opposite direction. Their futuristic city is every bit as sinister as Ridley Scott’s Los Angeles, but also serenely beautiful. Glance at a screenshot for a fraction of a second and you’ll know it’s Mirror’s Edge, which is a testament to its stylish, vivid art design. The gleaming skyscrapers, contrails streaking across the sky, and use of bold primary colours are instantly recognisable.

Battlefield 4 adds Community Test Environment to help with netcode fixes

Emanuel Maiberg at

It’s been six months since Battlefield 4 launched, and while DICE has made numerous improvements, it’s still suffering from a variety of issues. Most relate to its “netcode,” meaning damage registration and other player-to-player interactions. Last week, DICE launched another initiative it hopes will improve the game performance, and it’s asking for your help.

Star Wars: Battlefront to be shown in more detail at E3, says EA's CEO

Phil Savage at

I can't keep up with what is and isn't Star Wars canon these days. Is EA's new Star Wars: Battlefront part of the Expanded Universe? Will it instead be relegated to the new "Legends" branch? More importantly, how does Evan's Droid Jedi diary fit into any of this? Rather than consult my panel of bearded lore-men, I'll instead console myself with knowing that we'll be seeing more of the game at E3.

Battlefield 4 fan-made video shows the cinematic side of war

Phil Savage at

"Through my eyes, I will show you war," claims this first video in a fan-made series of Battlefield 4 shorts. What it should really say is, "through a position just behind and above my right shoulder, I will show you war," the action of the piece taking place entirely in third person. And while it may not have Kevin Spacey delivering a bitter polemic, it's still a nice reminder that DICE's shooter can be a dramatic and beautiful thing. When it works.

Battlefield 4 server update fixes "Death Shield" bug

Phil Savage at

I've got it! The only explanation for Battlefield 4's ongoing campaign of unfortunate bugs, glitches and miscellaneous issues: the game was cursed by a wizard. I've arrived at this conclusion because—as part of the blog post announcing the end of the "Death Shield" bug—DICE also revealed a console based Rent-a-Server program. Then, soon after, they updated to say it wasn't working properly. Seriously, who has that luck?

The important thing is that one of the game's stranger quirks is now fixed. As discovered only a few weeks ago, but potentially present much longer, the Death Shield would block projectiles from passing over the bodies of incapacitated soldiers.

Battlefield 4 "death shield" bug discovered, causes projectiles to bounce off invisible walls

Phil Savage at

A previously undiscovered bug has been exposed in Battlefield 4, and it could be responsible for some of the game's more frustrating moments. The "death shield" is an invisible wall that extends from downed (but not dead) players. As they lie there, waiting for a revive, the 'shield' blocks all incoming projectiles—even bouncing them back to damage your soldier. It's another blow for a game that's already had more than its share of problems. On the plus side, I can now pretend like my own incompetence is really the result of a bug.

Battlefield 4 update adds loadout presets to Battlelog

Omri Petitte at

Up until today, swapping out weapons and equipment in the thick of a Battlefield 4 match wasn't easy. Sifting through piles of unlocks lengthened spawn times and hampered momentum for players on a roll (well, that and occasional teleporting soldiers), but a fresh Battlelog update hopes to simplify inventory management with the addition of preset loadouts for the game's four kits.

4K Screenshot Showcase: Mirror's Edge

PC Gamer at

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

Mirror's Edge was the game that proved dystopia didn't have to be dirty. The crisp, elegant, angular city was in beautiful contrast to the corruption and double-dealings happening inside it. Throughout, the game drew the player's eye with a restrained use of colour across the clean white and glass backdrop. It was in parts muted and vivid, as Faith travelled over, around and inside the distinct architecture. To celebrate the gorgeous setting, here's a selection of the best Mirror's Edge locations, captured in a gloriously detailed 4K resolution.

Battlefield 4 experiencing "rubber-banding" issues, DICE say reducing lag is top priority

Phil Savage at

Battlefield 4's post-launch issues are, I think, just a few months from being officially recognised as a "saga". Soon, bards will write songs about DICE's efforts to squash bugs and tighten performance.

The most recent issue—affecting "certain platforms"—is 'rubber-banding'. It's a problem that results in players warping back and forth, as high latency causes the server to lose sync with the client. DICE have now issued a statement, saying that fixing this issue is their new top priority.

Battlefield 4's delayed Naval Strike DLC fights them on the beaches today

Ian Birnbaum at

After what turned out to be a pretty short delay, the new Naval Strike DLC is landing today for Battlefield 4 Premium members, along with an extensive update full of balances, tweaks, and squished bugs. The new DLC adds four new maps with a distinct ocean-y flavor and the new Carrier Assault mode, based off of the classic Titan Mode from Battlefield 2142.

Battlefield 4: Naval Strike DLC delayed on PC; "quality is our number one priority," say DICE

Phil Savage at

As Naval Strike sets sail on consoles today, the PC version of Battlefield 4's latest DLC is being held back in the dock. DICE have announced that the expansion's launch is being delayed for an indeterminate amount of time, while they work to fix "an issue" that "needs to be solved".

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.