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Helicopter combat sim Comanche is having a multiplayer open beta this weekend

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If you're in the mood to try something a little different this weekend, an open multiplayer beta test for THQ Nordic's upcoming helicopter shooter Comanche is now underway on Steam.

The reboot of Novalogic's 1992 helicopter combat sim Comanche: Maximum Overkill was announced last summer, 15 years after the US Army pulled the plug on the real-world Comanche program in favor of an increased focus on UAVs. The game will actually leverage that twist for its alt-history backstory, in which another real-world incident led the Army to change its mind and secretly revive the program. 

But the plan was leaked (along with some very detailed blueprints, apparently) and every ambitious middle power and decently funded gang of troublemakers ended up with their own Comanche program—and with that, "a new era of helicopter warfare had begun."

It's a thin fiction, yes, but good enough for blowing up a whole bunch of helicopters (and everything else in the sky), which is what we're really here for. Comanche is more of an arcade-style experience than a high-fidelity flight sim, with squad-based multiplayer modes, different Comanche types, loadouts, and onboard drones with "spectacular special abilities" to choose from.

The beta is strictly multiplayer, but a singleplayer mode will be added when Comanche goes into its planned Early Access launch sometime this year. The beta test is live now and runs until 9 am PT/12 pm ET on March 2.

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.