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Multiplayer survival-shooter Scavengers is having an open playtest later this month

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Scavengers (opens in new tab) sounded potentially very promising when we took our first look at it in late 2018: "Part survival game, part competitive shooter, and part cooperative exploration game" that pits teams of four with and against each other in a quest to collect "shards" in a shattered world filled with creatures who would very much like to kill you. Despite being far from finished at that point, it was "in a better state and far more interesting than most Early Access releases," James wrote in his preview (opens in new tab).

A full release is still a long way off, but later this month you'll have an opportunity to see for yourself what it's all about. Developer Midwinter Entertainment is running a "technical playtest" from September 18-20, which will give players a look at new character designs and gameplay, including "large-scale PvEvP battles featuring hundreds of advanced AI enemies and creatures across an expanded nine square kilometer map."

"For more than a year we’ve been quietly testing with thousands of players from our community, whose invaluable contributions have refined, expanded, and validated our vision for Scavengers," Midwinter Entertainment CEO Josh Holmes said. "As we prepare for closed alpha and beta later this year, we’re looking to expand our community and use this pre-alpha playtest window to provide us with critical learnings leading into our launch."

It may be my imagination, or the fact that I'm surrounded by them every day, but to my eye the new trailer makes Scavengers look more overtly battle royale-like than it has previously. The studio said that the game does feature some elements of the genre, but that it's essentially the same game it was when we checked it out a couple years ago.

"We've made a number of additions and refinements during the last couple of years of development and testing, including scaling up players numbers, AI and expanding the map," Holmes explained. "However, there's still that core survival gameplay (maintaining hunger levels or avoiding freezing to death) and PvE that exists alongside the competitive gameplay. You don't need PvP to win."

You can learn more about Scavengers, and sign up for the playtest—everyone who signs up gets in, by the way—at playscavengers.com (opens in new tab).

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.