Battlefield: Bad Company 2 demo hits XBL, PC beta begins

Xbox 360 owners get early taste of EA DICE's upcoming shooter now through Feb. 25; PS3 version due Feb. 4; Windows preorders get chance for beta key.

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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 doesn't ship out until March 2, but Electronic Arts is already pulling out all the stops to promote it. The financially troubled publisher announced that starting today, a multiplayer demo for the DICE-developed military shooter is available on Xbox Live. Free to Gold-level subscribers, the 1GB demo will feature a large map based on the Alaskan oil port of Valdez (see below) in which up to 24 players must secure resources in the game's Rush mode. The demo, which lasts until February 25, will feature infantry and vehicular combat, including such vehicles as the main battle tanks, quad bikes, mobile armored antiaircraft guns, and helicopters.

PlayStation 3 owners will get access to the BF: Bad Company 2 demo on February 4 in North America and February 11 in Europe. Owners of Sony's console already had the opportunity to participate in a beta test last November. Now, a similar open beta has begun for those who preorder the PC version of the game from GameStop. They will get a chance to get a beta key from the game's official site, which has a list of mirrors to download the PC beta client from.

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