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Battlefield 4 charges forth with multiplayer trailer, beta in October

Don't miss these hot updates from the Gamescom expo in Germany -- details on Premium membership service and expansions await.

Will you return to the battlefield? DICE/Electronic Arts

We're on the precipice of a huge war -- well, at least in the virtual world. The highly anticipated Battlefield 4 was a hot topic Tuesday at the Gamescom expo in Cologne, Germany, as developer DICE detailed a closed (and open) beta, a new multiplayer trailer, and information about the Premium service, as well as the names of the expansions.

An explosive Battlefield 4 multiplayer trailer shows gamers a hectic, watery landscape called "Paracel Storm" that will test the skills of any rabid first-person shooter fan. The explosive trailer reveals how chaotic 64-player (32 vs. 32 on all platforms) online combat can play out, especially in this montage that showcases nonstop explosions, collapsing buildings, and fierce air- and naval-based warfare.

Obliteration, a new game mode seen in the trailer, intensifies combat by placing only one bomb on the map that either team must use to destroy the enemy's objective. It'll be a race to get the bomb before the enemy does, and it will surely lead to some intense confrontations.

Starting in early October, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 gamers with either a Battlefield 3 premium account, a Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe Edition pre-order, or a copy of a limited edition Medal of Honor Warfighter get access to an exclusive three-day Battlefield 4 beta. After that period, the beta opens up to all gamers so everyone can get a feel for next-generation battle before the game hits the masses.

DICE provided information about Battlefield 4's $50 Premium service, which largely mirrors the same system that more than 4 million Battlefield 3 players bought into. Similar to its predecessor, Premium includes full copies and two-week early access to upcoming expansions, exclusive equipment packs, priority server queuing, and more. A Battlefield 4 Premium membership can transfer between current- and next-generation gaming devices.

Lastly, there's some information regarding the five upcoming expansions for Battlefield 4: Second Assault includes four classic maps redesigned with Frostbite 3 tech; China Rising, a pack of maps and modes based in the Chinese mainland, comes in December; Naval Strike, an ocean combat theme, sails in the spring of 2014; Dragon's Teeth offers urban warfare sometime next summer; and Final Stand concludes the series next summer.

Battlefield 4 debuts for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on October 29, while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions arrive when those consoles launch.