Overwatch and XCOM combine in Atlas Reactor's open alpha

Atlas Reactor

Welcome to your April 1 coverage, where nothing is true and I'm wondering why I showed up to work. That said, I feel safe sharing news of Atlas Reactor's open alpha with you—because it started yesterday.

Atlas reactor is a tough one to explain, but exciting in concept. It's Overwatch meets XCOM, but definitely neither of those things. Imagine a selection of characters ('freelancers') with strong identities and skillsets, operating on a turn-based, XCOM-like grid but without any RNG. Now make it multiplayer. Each player and their chosen freelancer queues up an action and a movement, to be executed in that order at the same time as everyone else's. The aim is to be the last man standing—if an enemy is in the path of your attack, they'll take damage, but they might have used a special ability to get out of dodge. It's a game of psychology and forward-planning. Tyler extracted more detail from his hands-on in September.

A demo speaks far more than words when it comes to selling new ideas, however, so Atlas Reactor is yours to try in its alpha form now. There's no definite end date to the alpha, but closed beta, incorporating a mass of new features, begins April 14, so you've got less than two weeks.