Rat season has officially begun. Following directly on from Vermintide 1's bombastic finale-as-free-DLC earlier this week, the sequel - due for launch early next month - is letting players in for their first taste of next-gen first-person Skaven-squishing starting today and continuing over the course of the weekend.
Closed beta access is primarily for those who pre-ordered Warhammer: Vermintide 2, but those who picked up the Humble Jingle Jam charity bundle are being granted access as well, plus folks who snag beta keys at PAX South recently.
To be fair, it's not just everyone's favourite horde of skittering rat-men you'll be brawling with this time round. After falling through a teleport trap at the end of the first game, the merry band of mismatched heroes have found themselves further north, or at least I'm assuming that's the case given the presence of Norscan Chaos warriors, a viking-esque horde beholden to the same dark forces as the Skaven, although not exactly on friendly terms. No matter - it just means you've got twice the heads to cave in this time round, and plenty more heroes to do it, as the dev-diary below will clue you in on.
All NDA restrictions have been lifted for this beta, so even if you can't enjoy it first-hand, you can at least find an affable Twitch streamer to lurk behind and vicariously revel in the violence. Players are being encouraged to share footage, screenshots, thoughts and more on the game, and (of course) submit any bug reports to the developers before the full force of the playerbase crashes headlong into the game.
This closed beta should be entirely self-contained, so expect a character wipe (and a fresh download) required once the final version launches. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 will be available for all on March 8th, and is priced at £23/$30 on Steam, minus a 10% pre-order discount.