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Battlefield 5's open beta starts tomorrow and preloading is available now

Tanks for the memories

Keep it on the down-low, but I hear that there's a new Battlefield game coming soon. Even more shocking, this 'Battlefield 5' will be running a free open beta, starting tomorrow. No, really - I heard it on the grapevine. Better yet, you can start preloading it now if your connection threatens to buckle under a 12.5 gigabyte download on the day. Don't say we never get the scoops.

In all seriousness, I'm looking forward to this one. As grim as its subject matter may be (especially Battlefield 1), the series has always been a bright and breezy multiplayer shooter, mechanically, and this one looks to add some fun bits to the mix. Below, a video giving us a peek at some of the stuff coming in the beta and final game, including the 64-player battle royale mode, Firestorm.

Probably the two biggest mechanical changes to Battlefield 5 are its new movement system and fortification construction options. You can now slide, crawl around in any direction when prone, be knocked around by explosions and generally behave a bit more like a human being with arms and legs in BF5. In reality it's probably not going to make much difference nine times out of ten, but that tenth time, where you got knocked sideways by an explosion, narrowly sliding under a rocket? You're going to want to save a clip of that.

Watch on YouTube

The other big addition is fortification building. For the past few games, the world around you in Battlefield may as well be made of paper - no landmark lasts for more than a few minutes. I'm curious just how viable building your own forts is in BF5, although I can see it being an interesting option in Firestorm mode. 16 four-man squads, one terrifying wall of flame and smoke closing in on you, last man standing, fox only, final destination. Being Battlefield, there's going to be tanks and building destruction, so it should have a different feel to most battle royales, if nothing else.

The video also goes into detail on some of the solo campaigns and events that they'll be rolling out over the coming months, although that's neither here nor there until EA send out review code. For all the controversy that has surrounded Battlefield 5, I really struggle to see it as anything but more of the same, and that's okay. I could do with a big dumb WW2 shooter right about now.

The free open beta for Battlefield 5 begins tomorrow, and you can preload via its page on Origin here. Also a reminder that once the beta ends on September 11th, Battlefield 1's Premium Pass (the season pass/DLC bundle - something that BF5 won't be doing) will be free to grab and keep forever on Origin. Battlefield 5 will be launching on November 20th after a last-minute delay.

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