The war between the United States and Russia escalates today as EA's browser-based shooter Battlefield Play4Free enters open beta, allowing gamers everywhere to enter the fray with the default equipment or pay to play the tricked-out way.

Signing up for an EA account and a quick download is all it takes to get started in Battlefield Play4Free, the more serious cousin to EA's first free-to-play shooter, Battlefield Heroes. Choose a role, customize your appearance, and join the battle between U.S. and Russian forces.

I opened my account this morning and was dying horribly within minutes.

Players willing to shell out a little cash can rent or buy enhanced weapons, buy custom clothing pieces, or even rent their own server, allowing friends to play together without worrying about players like me showing up and ruining the balance of power.

Head to the game's official website to get started earning experience today.