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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 open beta starts this month

Sign up for access beginning April 21

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Relic Entertainment’s Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 heads into open beta this month, and players can start signing up right now.

Today Relic and publisher Sega announced an open beta weekend beginning on April 21 and ending April 24. The game is scheduled to release on PC just a few days later, on April 27. Players will be able to try the game’s multiplayer mode only, but not it’s single-player campaign. All three factions, including the Eldar, Orks and Space Marines will be playable.

I’ve gone a few rounds with Dawn of War 3 already, once at last year’s PAX West and later with the developers remotely. Those sessions featured the single-player campaign though, which is expected to bounce back and forth among all three factions. What I don’t know right now is how the gameplay differs in multiplayer and, according to Relic, one of the beta’s goals is to find out.

“This game mode highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each faction as players put powerful heroes and devastating abilities to use,” Relic said, “while countering those of their foes [with] a selection of powerful elite heroes for each [faction], allowing them to experiment with different play styles and strategies.”

In the video above you can watch as game director Philippe Boule takes command of an Elder detachment against the Emperor’s finest Gene-Seed.