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Smite now in open beta, download and play for free

SMITE Ymir
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Hi-Rez summoned forth the open beta of its gods-vs-gods arena rumbler Smite today, throwing open the golden gates for all players to sign up for an account and download the client (opens in new tab) for free. A number of graphical updates and menu improvements have also been introduced, and character progress and unlocks won't be wiped leading into the official launch (a release date has not yet been announced).

Smite pits two teams of five mythological gods against each other in a three-lane map similar to the ones popularized by Dota and League of Legends. Like most MOBA games, teamwork and savvy ability management seal victories, and an over-the-shoulder camera angle balloons the action across your monitor with colorful effects and helpful directional arrows for area-wide spells.

Not missing a beat, Hi-Rez also announced a competitive season for Smite in the works with a $100,000 prize. Specific details on qualifications and the schedule are expected in the next few weeks. If you think a sack of money should remain the pursuit of mere mortals, then you might be up for Hi-Rez's offer of a special Ymir skin for players reaching level 30 to be awarded when the game releases in full. You'll need to bash in quite the amount of supernatural skull to reach that lofty number, so pray to your favorite Chinese/Egyptian/Greek/Coconut Monkey deity for luck.

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?