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Batalj beta extended to the end of January, keys are now available to everyone

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Batalj is a 1v1 action-strategy game that looks like Overwatch and plays like XCOM currently in development at Swedish studio Fall Damage, whose members include DICE co-founder Markus Nyström. A closed beta began in early December and was expected to run until the end of 2018, but today the developers announced that it has been extended to the end of January, and effectively opened to everyone. 

“Shutting down the Closed Beta at New Year’s Eve didn’t feel like the right thing to do considering our active dialogue with our community that keeps getting better and better," Fall Damage CEO Dan Vaderlind said. "Instead, extending the Closed Beta to the end of the month with a huge update coming in the second week of January including a new map, new units and new heroes. We’re excited to see how the meta changes." 

Batalj (it means "combat" in Swedish) features head-to-head combat between squads assembled from nine unique heroes and 54 "distinctly different" units. Battles are turn-based but turns are resolved simultaneously, a twist on the genre that promises to put a premium on thinking ahead and predicting what your opponent will do. 

The beta is still technically closed, but keys are now available to anyone who wants to give it a shot: Just head to playbatalj.com, sign up for the Batalj newsletter, and follow the game on Twitter. Do that and a Steam key will magically appear on your screen. The full game is expected to be out later this year. 

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.