As the less forgetful among you will recall, the guns'n'demons MMO is being resurrected despite a broadly unhappy reception and an early demise, with Korean dev T3 transplanting a free to play heart into it. While a select few have been allowed in previously, the unwashed masses (hullo!) will also get to peer suspiciously at it in just six days' time, when the open beta lands. It brings with it brand new modes for Hellgate's below-London adventuring. One of them, you may be unsurprised to hear, involves zombies.
Anyway, this open beta sounds a bit like one of those betas that's actually a launch. Damn you Google, you ruined the word 'beta' forever.
The open beta will be open to folk in Europe and North America initially. By which they may just mean 'the game will launch in Europe and North America on June 30.' Either way, you can play it then and see what's changed and what hasn't.
Here's the breakdown of the new modes, by the way:
Duel Area allows players to participate in a player-vs.-player mode. Players may opt to modify game settings and other battle rules while choosing from four possible areas: Abandoned Passage, Black Wall Way, Forgotten Grave, and Passage of Hallucination. In the Duel Area, players enter Death Match mode and must kill members of the opposing team. To aid combatants in the frenzy, Recovery Crystals are available near each team’s base, allowing players to recover HP, MP and shields. The winning team will get PvP points, which may be used to purchase accessories, pets and other items in-game. PvP updates will be posted on Hellgate’s website, where weekly top ten players will be rewarded.
Despite its name, the Cow Room won’t involve our milk-making friends. Instead, it will be crawling with a team of zombies - normal zombies and mummified. While the zombies may appear weak, players must remain vigilant and slay the Cow Room boss and his zombie cronies, all while avoiding a vision-reducing Sandstorm. But in order to enter the Cow Room, players first need to complete a special recipe to create a key. Players that can handle the madness have a chance to gain the newest and rarest Hellgate item drops.
Hmm. Is that the real reason Zombie Cow changed their name?
There'll also be some manner of virtual currency-winning competition for those who want to get a head start on levelling/buying their way to better loot. To sign up for the open beta, and download the client in readiness, head over here.