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SWAT-themed tactics game Hot Brass begins open beta testing next week

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Hot Brass is a SWAT-themed "action-stealth-strategy" game, which immediately brought to mind memories of Sierra's old tactical shooter series. It is not like that, though: Instead, it's a top-down tactics game featuring a variety of maps and scenarios that puts a priority on thinking rather than shooting—although going by the title, there will be a good bit of shooting going on too.

Different scenarios bring different situations that complicate the job. Maps have multiple points of entry, some areas have low (or no) light, and most objects and walls are destructible so you can blast your way to where you need to be—but you can also be blasted out from behind cover. It supports up to four players in local and online co-op, which I think might be fun—nothing says "good times ahead" like handing out automatic weapons to a group of gamers and asking them to act responsibly—and despite all the smash-and-crash, the acme of excellence is not in the gunfight: A perfect mission is one executed with no infractions and no casualties.

Hot Brass doesn't have a release date yet, but you'll be able to get a sense for whether or not it's your kind of thing courtesy of the open beta that's set to kick off next week. The beta will include two training missions and a kidnapping scenario, all of which are taken from the full release. If you're interested in giving it a rip, you can sign up for the beta (or just poke around to see what you think) at hotbrassgame.com.

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.