Microsoft and The Coalition finally nailed down the dates for the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta Tuesday. The Xbox One third-person shooter is going to enjoy a lengthy two-week beta period, at least for those who get in via early access. If you somehow missed out on that opportunity, worry not. Microsoft has extended the entry period.
Early access for the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta will kick off Monday, April 18, and run through Sunday, April 24. Meanwhile, the open beta will run from Monday, April 25, through Sunday, May 1, for all Xbox LIVE members.
Entry into the early access period for the Gears 4 multiplayer beta simply requires you to play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on the Xbox One or PC. The deadline for this was previously March 1. That has now been extended to 11 p.m. PT on April 11. Download codes for the beta will be sent in waves starting on April 18, according to the Microsoft. So, there may be no guarantee you’ll get in as soon as the beta starts.
The important thing to remember is you don’t need to own Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. You just need to have played it with your Xbox LIVE gamertag. That means you can borrow a friend’s disk, use the game sharing trick, or play it on another console, as long as it is under your gamertag.
Details on the Gears of War 4 campaign were finally revealed last week, but not much has been mentioned of multiplayer thus far outside of confirmation it will run at 1080p and 60 frames per second. You can also expect matches to run on dedicated servers. Some additional details did come out of Game Informer‘s spread of the Xbox One exclusive yesterday, however.
It is confirmed the multiplayer will remain humans vs monsters. In this case, the monsters are represented by the Swarm while humans will consist of COG soldiers and human Outsiders. The three main playable heroes will be available during the beta – JD, Kait, and Del. They will be joined by Kait’s mother and leader of the Outsiders, Reyna. Kait’s uncle Oscar, an ex-Gear soldier will also be available to play.
Gears of War 4 is getting a renewed emphasis on melee combat. The Coalition has added faction specific knives that can be used as part of a new takedown system. This sounds similar to Halo 5‘s assassinations, with one exception. Players will have an opportunity to counter the melee attack.
The competitive eSports scene will also receive a major focus with Gears of War 4. Season 2 of the Gears eSports ESL Pro League will kick off at the end of April as well featuring the Ultimate Edition. This competitive push will continue, according to The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson.
“When I was at Epic, we didn’t really value pro players,” he said. “We were always focused on accessibility and how to get more recreational players. We let pro players do whatever they wanted and tried not to overdevelop for them. Now we’re trying to find that balance. We recognize that there’s this professional player, and have you sort of build a funnel toward them but also make sure your game is highly accessible.”
Meanwhile, expect more details about Gears of War 4 to hit PAX East at the same time the early access multiplayer is going on. The developer is hosting a panel on Sunday, April 24, titled Out of the Shadows: Inside Gears of War Multiplayer with The Coalition. Those that can’t attend can also watch it via the Gears of WarTwitch channel.
[Image via Gears of War]