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Melee battle royale Naraka: Bladepoint is doing an open beta next week

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Naraka: Bladepoint was unveiled in 2019 as a multiplayer melee action game with a "boundless movement system,"  accessible controls, and a block-and-parry system that doesn't actually use—or even have—a block button. 

"Players will feel every attack and utilize everything in their skillset and armoury to achieve victory," developer 24 Entertainment said. "Our teams have created something visually stunning and instantly appealing to fans of multiplayer online combat."

Unlike most battle royales, where guns reign supreme, Naraka: Bladepoint is built around melee combat and extreme mobility: Players can wall-run and carry a grappling hook that can be used on virtually anything, including other players. Ranged weapons are available, and 24 Entertainment told GamesRadar that players should carry at least one so they can "deal with any complex battle situations that arise." But it also acknowledged that most people in the closed beta seemed to prefer a more hands-on approach to kicking ass.

"Melee seems to be the preferred fighting style," the studio said. "The excitement you feel when you switch to melee weapons and charge towards your enemies with your teammates is one unique characteristic of Naraka: Bladepoint."

Melee combat in videogames is tough to pull off effectively, but we'll have a chance to find out whether Naraka: Bladepoint can live up to its big promises next week in an open beta that's set to run April 23-26. To get in, just pop over to the Steam page and click the button requesting access to the Naraka: Bladepoint playtest. The page currently says that applicants will be notified when developers are ready for more testers, but 24 Entertainment confirmed that the test will be open to all: Everyone who clicks the button gets in the door.

Naraka: Bladepoint is expected to go into full release this summer. To learn more, check out narakathegame.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.