Warhaven is a 'full contact sword action' game you can play for free in October

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Warhaven (opens in new tab) is a "visceral medieval-fantasy sword fight experience" being developed by Nexon that will pit teams of 16 players against one another in brutal battles with blades, bows, and magic. It was revealed earlier this month with a trailer that strikes me as Chivalry mixed with a little bit of For Honor and just a hint of JRPG color, and while there's no release date yet, a beta test is coming in October and everyone's invited.

Warhaven will offer six unique characters to start, each with their own unique weapons and abilities. Groups of up to four players can form squads within their teams, with no restrictions on experience or levels: A skilled veteran can team up with newcomers "to increase the achievements of all squad members," Nexon said.

Slashing and bashing is obviously central to the Warhaven experience, but players will also have the opportunity to transform into mighty, god-like Immortals, unleashing devastating attacks that can turn the tide of battle in an instant. And even in human form, there are aspects of divinity: Players who fall in battle can be revived by teammates, or opt to respawn quickly near surviving allies.

Neither the trailer nor the announcement are what you'd call overladen with detail, but that doesn't really matter because Warhaven is holding an open beta beginning on October 12, so if you're at all interested—and personally, I think it looks good enough to be worth at least a look—you can just hop in and see for yourself. The beta will include four maps and three game modes—Onslaught, Skirmish, and Arms Race—and is completely free to join: Just pop around to the Steam page (opens in new tab) and mash the "join the Warhaven playtest" button.

Here's what you'll need to play:

Minimum

  • OS: Windows 10 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4GHz
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 950 or Radeon R9 270X
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 40 GB available space

Recommended

  • OS: Windows 10 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10700 2.90GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 3700X 3.6GHz
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2060 or AMD RX 5600XT
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 40 GB available space (SSD recommended)

The Warhaven open beta is scheduled to run until November 2. While you're waiting for it to begin, you can find out more about what's coming and maybe make some squad buddies on the official Warhaven Discord (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.