Trion's tactical combat game Atlas Reactor has entered open beta, meaning that anyone who wants to can now try out every character—Freelancer, in the game's parlance—skin, and mod loadout it has to offer. There's only one catch: The beta will come to a close on September 25, just ten days from now. It will return shortly thereafter, though, when it goes into full launch on October 4.
Atlas Reactor is not free-to-play, but it does have a “free mode,” the distinction being that the free mode will impose limits on things like the Freelancers and game modes you can access, and the number of loot caches you can unlock. If you dig it, you can unlock everything by purchasing one of three game packs, which include all of the game's characters and various other bits of content. During the beta period, however, you'll have unlimited access to all of it.
At the conclusion of the beta, the Atlas Reactor servers will be taken offline so Trion can “reset the accounts, verify the build, add some bells and whistles, light the fireworks, and cuddle some puppies for stress relief.” The servers will be returned to action on September 30 for a “headstart” period for players who have purchased the game, which will run until October 3; on October 4, the doors will open to everyone.
Trion also warned that the currently-available Founder packs will be retired at launch, and replaced with new, less-loaded (and, in the case of the “All Freelancers Edition,” higher-priced) Launch packs. A breakdown of the differences is available on the Atlas Reactor forums.