Beautiful Battlefield 3 Reality Mod launches next week, one month after Battlefield 2042’s middling first season

War never changes, but it can be modded.

Image via @Bf3RealityMod

It’s no secret that Battlefield 2042 has struggled since its launch last fall. Waning player numbers, missing features, and delayed updates all contributed to general dissatisfaction with the latest Battlefield outing. Sometimes, the solution for fans is to simply return to an earlier game in the series. That’s the goal with the Battlefield 3 Reality Mod.

Reality Mod is an overhaul of 2011’s Battlefield 3. According to the mod team’s FAQ, gameplay is intended to be “more similar to Squad or [Battlefield 2]: Project Reality than to [Battlefield 3].” Considering the game is more than a decade old, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Rebuilding the gameplay means mimicking the Frostbite Engine, increasing the player count to more than 100 people on a server, reworking the UI, and creating new maps and game modes.

It’ll arrive with built-in voice chat too — something that Battlefield 2042 lacked at launch. It’s not long until the massive mod releases, either. As Battlefield Bulletin declared on Twitter, Battlefield 3 Reality Mod drops on Sunday, July 17.

The hype for Reality Mod is real: there are close to 15,000 members on the project’s Discord server. Considering the mod has been in development for five years with nearly 100 modders on board, it’s no wonder that the project has gained some serious traction. “As a team, we consider it a big challenge to preserve the original PR game flow and feel,” reads the vision on the mod’s website, “and at the same time to come up with new design solutions and improvements, with the purpose to deliver an interesting and authentic game experience.”

Battlefield 3 fans only have to wait a few more days to give that experience a go. While the mod itself will be free, you will need a copy of Battlefield 3, all of its DLC, and the Venice Unleashed client installed on your PC for it to run.

This all comes roughly a month after the launch of Battlefield 2042’s first season, dubbed Zero Hour. That arrived in early June to middling reception, with praise for the new map but disappointment with a general lack of content otherwise. Battlefield 2042 has received hundreds of changes since launch, but it hasn’t been enough to salvage the sinking game. At least those craving a Battlefield experience will have a new option with Reality Mod.