Alpha test for Creative Assembly's new PvPvE shooter is live now

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Hyenas is a zero-G PvPvE shooter first teased way back in 2018, and officially unveiled (opens in new tab) this year. We had some reservations when we took a closer look (opens in new tab) at it in September, finding some interesting concepts but also a lot of, well, cringe: News writer Mollie Taylor said she couldn't tell "if this is a game that's trying too hard or not trying hard enough," and worried that Hyenas would be able to find a niche for itself in a genre that's already crowded.

This weekend—I mean, right now—you can form your own thoughts on that point, at least as far as a pre-release build will let you. Creative Assembly is holding an alpha test that's live now and scheduled to run until 4 am ET on December 4. Hyenas has already held one alpha test, and the studio said that this one will include a number of improvements since then, including tweaks to the end-of-match flow, improved UI and HUD, and controller updates.

"As 2022 closes out, we’re hyped to be expanding The Pack with our biggest Alpha Weekend yet," live product director Alex Hunnisett said. "We’ve heard your feedback and will be bringing new features and improvements that will enhance your games, along with a few extra community surprises thrown in."

Alpha testing takes place relatively early in the development process, but hopefully the feedback developers have heard includes our thoughts about Hyena's "metacringe," because the underlying game could be very decent.

"Certain areas around the map allow you to make use of zero gravity, floating to either escape your enemies or provide a good vantage point for gunning them down," Mollie wrote in her preview. "It can be used to quickly traverse from point to point too and feels like a good way to get some quick coverage across large spaces. 

"The maps are also fitted with vents that can be used to sneak your way around the ship, which Creative Assembly says should open up opportunities for how each match is tackled by teams. I like the idea of trying to quietly tackle each vault, letting other teams fight each other and the environmental hazards and slipping away before anyone can notice."

The test is closed, as alphas typically are, but Creative Assembly is looking for more players this time around—10,000 in total—which hopefully means your odds of getting in are good. To take part, head over to playhyenas.com (opens in new tab) and click the button that says "sign up to the alpha." The Hyenas alpha test is open to PC players in the US, EU, Canada, and Brazil.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.