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‘Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III’ open beta set days before game’s release

Why it matters to you

Warhammer 40,000 is a big series among serious strategy gamers and the third entry looks to blend the best features from the first two.

Relic Entertainment and Sega’s upcoming strategy game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III will host an open beta from April 21 to April 24, the companies announced on Wednesday. The timing is of particular note, as the beta will end just three days before the game is set to launch on April 27.

The beta will be multiplayer only, showcasing “the strengths and weaknesses of each faction as players put powerful heroes and devastating abilities to use, while countering those of their foes,” according to a press release. All three of the game’s factions — Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks — will be available for use, plus “a selection of powerful elite heroes for each.” Lastly, the beta will also include access to the Masters of War skin pack included with pre-orders.

Those interested in joining the beta can sign up on the game’s official site at dawnofwar.com/beta.

Multiplayer betas can serve dual purposes: To allow the developers to stress test their online infrastructure and a game’s internal balance, and to escalate the hype for unreleased games. With only three days between the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III beta and its release, though, it seems this beta is likely focused on the latter, as a scant handful of days likely won’t be enough time to make major changes in between the beta’s end and the game’s launch.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III debuted in May with the CGI reveal trailer above. The press got its first hands-on with the game at the E3 conference the following June, where game director Philippe Boulle described it as “a fast, big, real-time strategy game.” Narratively, the game comes after Dawn of War II and its expansions, though features from the original, including the ability to build barracks and other military structures, make a return.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III launches April 27 on PC in three separate versions, including limited and collector’s editions.