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Battlefield Play4Free open beta in April

Early access for Battlefield fans.

Free-to-play Battlefield game Battlefield Play4Free will launch an open beta on 4th April, EA has announced.

If you've played either Bad Company 1 or 2 or Battlefield 1943 and signed in with your EA ID, however, access will be granted on 31st March.

On 2nd April the beta will launch for Twitter and Facebook followers.

600,000 people have signed up for the closed beta, Easy Studios boss Ben Cousens announced at the Game Developers Conference yesterday.

An official launch is planned for later this year.

Play4Free is EA's realistic first-person free-to-play PC Battlefield game set in the modern theatre of war and designed to appeal to hardcore shooter fans.

It employs the fourth generation of the PC engine that was used to create BF2, Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield Heroes.

Unlike the cartooney Battlefield Heroes, Play4Free is a gritty military FPS. It's created by the team behind Heroes at EA's free-to-play division at DICE, Easy Studios.

There's vehicular warfare, sandbox gameplay and 32-player battles. It combines popular maps from Battlefield 2 with familiar classes and weapons from Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It's got 16 vehicles, including the F-35 jet fighter and the Russian T-90 tank.

It also simulates the career progression of a professional soldier. Players can learn skills, buy new equipment and weapons to craft a unique soldier.

The clue's in the name.