The studio behind Total War is making an FPS, and you can sign up to play it this weekend

Hyenas screenshot
(Image credit: Creative Assembly)

Creative Assembly, the folks that make all those Total War games and once upon a time also made our 2014 GOTY Alien: Isolation, is releasing an extraction shooter sometime this year. It's called Hyenas, and despite some members of the press and early playtesters getting a good look at it last year, publisher Sega has not publicly shown off the game since its reveal.

That's why this weekend should be particularly interesting—Creative Assembly is ramping up its playtests between January and April, with the first of four alpha weekends beginning tomorrow, January 20. You can sign up for the playtests on the official Hyenas site. Be aware that you're not guaranteed access (I've yet to be invited myself). Here's the full alpha schedule:

  • Weekend 1: January 20-23
  • Weekend 2: February 17-20
  • Weekend 3: March 10-13
  • Weekend 4: March 31-April 3

PC Gamer features producer Mollie Taylor saw some potential in Hyenas when she sat in on a 20-minute preview at last year's Gamescom, but noted that a lethal dose of "metacringe" got in the way of what seems like a pretty cool hero FPS: "Here's what I do know: it's a PvPvE looter shooter that's a little too desperate for you to know how quirky and self-aware it is. It's colourful and bombastic but also so deeply, deeply cringe."

I'm tired of hearing about Hyenas. I want to play it, or at least see what it actually looks like in motion. Is combat all about momentum and movement mechanics like Apex Legends, or more of an Overwatch dealio with chunky health bars and cooldown management? We do know it's an extraction shooter, so maybe it'll be paced more like Hunt: Showdown or Escape From Tarkov, where you can establish your own goals and leave a match early if you're satisfied.

The only official gameplay I can find of Hyenas is a single, comically short 13-second clip shared by the game's official Twitter last month. It is, as advertised, a "first glimpse" at zero-g combat.

In any case, don't expect a full gameplay reveal this weekend. Earlier playtesters all had to sign NDAs restricting them from sharing footage or talking about the game and I suspect this time is no different. That said, someone somewhere will almost certainly ignore these restrictions and upload a full match of Hyenas anyway, so keep an eye out.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.