Battlefield 3 realistic overhaul mod launches this week

Battlefield 3: Reality Mod completely reinvents the FPS classic’s multiplayer mode, with increased focus on teamwork, tactics, and high-stakes combat

Battlefield 3, arguably the best-ever entry in DICE’s flagship FPS series, is getting a complete overhaul this week, thanks to a huge realism mod that introduces dynamic visuals, reworked gameplay, and multiplayer servers supporting over 100 players.

Yes, you read that right. The result of more than seven years’ work, Battlefield 3: Reality Mod feels more like a fan-made remake than a mere modification, as it improves and builds on virtually every aspect of the 2011 original. Developed by an enormous team of contributors, funded via Patreon and led by one Stefan Roos, the project was initially inspired by the famous Project Reality mod that launched for Battlefield 2 back in 2006.

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The intention is to “increase the value of a single life” in Battlefield’s multiplayer, and “encourage players to cooperate and plan their actions, as well as to put effort into a tactical and strategic analysis of the battlefield”. To that end, an entire roadmap of game-changing features is planned for the Reality Mod after its stable, 0.1 version launches on July 17. Some of these are vague, like changes to movement speed and weapon handling, but others directly address the vision of increasing tactical and thoughtful play, like removing the ability to spawn on squadmates, and introducing larger maps, a minimalistic HUD, and proximity-based VoIP channels.

Not all of these features will be available at launch, but the 0.1 version will include adjustments to gun mechanics and movement, a new spawn system, and bigger maps with a dynamic day-and-night weather cycle.

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The mod itself is free, but in order to use it you will need to have a legitimate, purchased copy of Battlefield 3, since the installation client, Venice Unleashed, only works if it is able to check that you own the game through EA Origin. Full installation instructions are available on the Reality Mod website, with download links set to be added on July 17.