If a beta test is a game's boot camp, then you're about to get the chance to become Company of Heroes 2's drill instructor - gurning your way through spittle-flecked insults about bugs and lag in the hope of scaring it into being a finely honed entertainment machine. That's because Relic's RTS sequel is set to enter its first closed beta on April 2nd.
According to Relic's new owners SEGA, "The closed beta playtest features the game's critically acclaimed competitive multiplayer and skirmish gameplay, giving players access to six maps, 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 competitive gameplay, as well as the ability to play alone or with teammates against the AI. Players also get access to the first 40 levels of progression, and the ability to customize their loadouts to suit their play style using the all new Army Customizer."
This first beta phase is only open to pre-order customers, although a second, more open, test is planned "in the coming weeks". To tide you over until that unspecified date, you can read about Tom Senior's time with the game here .
Company of Heroes 2 is due out June 25th.