If you've been waiting for a chance to try your hand at Hyenas, Creative Assembly's upcoming team-based zero-G extraction shooter, here it is: A closed beta is coming at the end of August, and you can sign up to take part now on Steam.
Hyenas pits five teams of three players each against each other in a quest to pick the bones of the dead Earth for the benefit of the wealthy who have retreated to Mars. Not for the essentials of survival, though, but rather the soothing embrace of nostalgia found in "piles of pop culture tat." Food, water, and shelter are great, but what these ultra-rich folks really want is merch: Sonic the Hedgehog toys, Mega Drive cartridges, and other such reminders of a time when life didn't suck quite so much.
In general, Hyenas hasn't made a super-strong impression so far. We said in September 2022 that it "could have real potential if it wasn't knee-deep in meta-cringe," embodied in characters and a game world that tries a little too hard to be a little too cool. Sega has also acknowledged that the game may be having some trouble getting traction: During a Sega investors call earlier this week, the company described it as a "challenging title," and said it is "striving to improve its quality" ahead of release.
Interestingly, Sega also hinted at possibly reconsidering Hyenas' monetization plan. When it was announced, Creative Assembly said Hyenas would not be a free-to-play game, but Sega said during its investors call that it is "making final adjustments to its business model."
One big issue with Hyenas at this point is that we haven't really had a proper look at it since it was announced. As staff writer and shooter aficionado Morgan Park wrote back in January, "I'm tired of hearing about Hyenas. I want to play it, or at least see what it actually looks like in motion."
Well, here's the chance for everyone: Just head around to the Steam page, click the request access button, and then cross your fingers. Publisher Sega didn't say how many players it wants for the closed beta, but "all PC players are invited to join," so it sounds like it's not looking to be too picky.
The Hyenas closed beta test is set to begin on August 31 and run until September 11—and if you happen to be at Gamescom, it'll be playable there too, from August 23-27. Hyenas doesn't have a release date yet, but it's currently expected to be out later this year.