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A free Chivalry 2 open beta starts next week

Medieval combat game Chivalry 2 will open its doors to all next week in a free open beta test that's set to begin on May 27. The test will support full crossplay between PC and consoles, with new maps, modes, customization options, and—exclusively on PC—the option to join special 1v1 "Duel Servers" where players can hone their skills or settle their beefs.

Like the closed beta, the open beta will support battles of up to 64 players at a time, although 40-player servers for the Team Objective mode will also be available for players who prefer a more "strategic" experience. Crossplay means players can stab, slash, and brain each other regardless of the platform they're on, but it will also be possible to form parties based on platform, enabling a sort of factional meta-game where you can fight for the glory of your platform of choice. (Tyler has played it quite a bit, and his opinion is that mouse and keyboard is the better control scheme. If he's right we'll be in good shape.)

Chivalry 2's full customization system will also be unlocked for the beta, enabling extensive control over the look of your armor, weapons, and facial features—including an impression selection of scars and defects.

We took Chivalry 2 for a spin in April and found that it could occasionally be infuriating, but in a (mostly) good way. Developer Torn Banner Studios also said that the game as it was then (and will be for the beta) could be very different from what it will be a year after release. "We know that players are going to find things that we didn't realize, so we built the system to build the game in a way that we can tweak all those things," president Steve Piggott told us. "We have a million different knobs and dials."

The Chivalry 2 open beta will begin at 8 am PT/11 am ET on May 27 and come to an end at the same time on June 1, with preloading set to begin on all platforms one day earlier. The beta itself will be free, but Xbox owners will need to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to take part. Chivalry 2 is scheduled to launch in full on June 8 on the Epic Games Store.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.