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Lego Minifigures Online open beta: bricks without substance

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Lego Minifigures Online open beta: bricks without substance

Lego Minifigures Online has just hit open beta. Those of you without wee ‘uns can probably stop reading right about now. It’s not that Lego can’t be enjoyed by adults, but that Minifigures Online only has one demographic in mind, and none of them can buy cigarettes or whisky. 

I didn’t take my own advice, however, and dived in for a couple of hours. I’ve enjoyed endless hours of entertainment with TT's Lego series and hoped that Minifigures Online would strike the same balance between simplicity and fun. 

It doesn’t.

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Ziplines for all: Get instant access to the Battlefield Hardline beta right now

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Ziplines for all: Get instant access to the Battlefield Hardline beta right now

Are you uncontrollably jealous of all the folk playing cops and robbers, ziplining across skyscrapers, speeding around on motorcycles and shooting people in their silly faces? Don’t fret - you can get instant access to the Battlefield: Hardline beta right now. 

The whole thing is quick and painless, unless you are averse to Origin. 

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Massacre folk across six new maps and two new modes in Hazard Ops' beta update

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Massacre folk across six new maps and two new modes in Hazard Ops' beta update

Downright bonkers multiplayer shooter, Hazard Ops, has been in closed beta for a fortnight, and has just received its first major content update. Charmingly, it’s been named “Massacre". 

Six new maps have been added to the list, along with two new PvP modes. If you’re not in the beta, and that’s keeping you up at night as you soak your pillow in tears, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Infernum is sending out more keys. You can still sign up here, too. 

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Apocalypse Now: Survarium will be open to everyone this week, but only for one day

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Apocalypse Now: Survarium will be open to everyone this week, but only for one day

Vostok’s not-quite-STALKER F2P shooter is in closed beta right now, but for one day this month, it won’t be. Survarium opens its rusty doors on Friday, April 25th for 24 hours, letting anyone into the post-apocalyptic wasteland. 

After that, the beta will become closed again, and survivors will have to shuffle out the door. 

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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Planet Hulk: Planetary Annihilation enters Gamma phase tomorrow, adding multi-planet spawns

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Planet Hulk: Planetary Annihilation enters Gamma phase tomorrow, adding multi-planet spawns

Planetary Annihilation is entering Gamma phase tomorrow, which sounds very serious. It won’t be Hulking out and smashing buildings in a blind range, but Uber is planning some big additions to the growing Early Access RTS.

It’s been a while since I last took a long look at the game, and the plans for Gamma phase, which includes multi-planet spawns, is making me eager to jump back in. 

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Titanfall open beta is "possible" according to Respawn Community Manager

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Titanfall open beta is "possible" according to Respawn Community Manager

Titanfall has landed; here's our Titanfall review.

Would you like to smash through windows, run around like a gun-toting maniac and punch mechs in their silly faces? You probably do, and you probably don't want to have to wait until March 11th to do it, which is the launch date for Respawn's mech shooter Titanfall. 

A limited alpha has been available for invitees on Xbox One, but the rest of us haven't had a shot outside of big events. According to Community Manager Abbie Heppe, you might be able to get your grubby mitts on Titanfall a bit early via open beta, however. 

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Waste not want not: Improving Wasteland 2

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Waste not want not: Improving Wasteland 2

With Wasteland 2's beta a month in - a beta that kicked up all manner of nostalgia for me - the hive at inXile has had a lot on its plate, revealed Brian Fargo in an update on Kickstarter, and the work is only going to continue.

8000 suggestions, bugs and comments have been made, 500 new discussion threads have been posted, and 1800 tasks have been generated for the development team, so there's a lot that Fargo and co. want to address, fix and add to Wasteland 2 before it's ready to launch.

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Wasteland 2 moves into beta, Steam Early Access version on its way

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Wasteland 2 moves into beta, Steam Early Access version on its way

inXile's Wasteland 2 moved into beta yesterday, opening its doors to everyone who pledged for that tier. If you're one of those lucky buggers, you can hop onto the Ranger Center and get your Steam beta key. While backers are getting first crack at the post-apocalyptic wastes, the rest of us won't be far behind. 

After getting numerous requests from ravenous Wasteland fans, inXile's decided to put the game on Steam Early Access once backers have had time with it, so keep an eye out for that.

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls beta impressions: in-depth analysis

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls beta impressions: in-depth analysis

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls has been in closed beta for just over a week, and I’ve been playing it. Playing it a lot. Copying my characters over from my live account, I’ve chosen to focus solely on the Demon Hunter class: a personal favourite of mine that never really shined in the current metagame. 

With the combination of the all new Rifts and Bounties, Diablo III has never been more subtle about its repetitive nature. Nestled inside is the new Loot 2.0 system that hands you positive reinforcement on a silver platter, awarding you with loot that can change the way you play in an instant.

Beta or not, there is still plenty of criticism to be had. Things such as the returning crushing blow stat, elite affix changes and item/class balances take away more than they give. However with no release date in sight, Blizzard have all the time they need to iron out the kinks and give us the Diablo experience we so sorely desire.

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Worlds of Magic beta launches in January

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Worlds of Magic beta launches in January

The wonderful thing about having a terrible memory is that I'll get all excited about a game, completely forget about it and then be reminded about its existence months later and get excited all over again. I'm not saying amnesia is a good thing, but there's a silver lining. 

This was the case with Worlds of Magic, a spiritual successor to Master of Magic. Early this year, WoM had a very successfull Kickstarter campaign, but developer Wastelands Interactive decided to start a second campaign to improve the game's visuals and allow people who missed the first campaign to become part of the process.

They only asked for a further £5000, but by the time the campaign finished last month, WoM managed to net almost £35,000. With the extra funding, Wastelands Interactive is adding new spells, more units and a unit editor. WoM was also greenlit on Steam with a beta on its way soon.

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Survarium gets more flesh on its bones, beta coming soon

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Survarium gets more flesh on its bones, beta coming soon

With gloomy survival romp Survarium gearing up for closed beta, developer Vostok has been chucking in a bunch of extra content in the form of two new areas, Tarakanovsky Fort and Mamayev Kurgan. The former is an overgrown, verdant ruin based on its real world counterpart, while the latter is a stark, grey mass of cracked stone with an imposing statue looking down on it.

Work is also being done on game balance and tweaks to the existing locations as well as pesky random anomalies, artifacts, the game's economy and a proper quest system. Currently optimisation is a priority, as the team attempts to get Survarium to play nice with integrated graphics cards and notebooks. Position your eyeballs over the dev diary below.

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Project Spark beta kicks off today

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Project Spark beta kicks off today

The beta for Project Spark launches today for Windows 8.1 users - so not me, then. Yes, I'll just be sitting here writing the news, while anyone with Windows 8.1 can saunter over to the Windows Store, pick it up and then request a beta key from Microsoft. Then I guess you can make some games?

That's certainly the point. Choosing the setting, characters and objectives, you can faff around perfecting your own game, or just jump into it and start playing. Craft a side scrolling shooter, a Zelda-style action adventure where you play as the villain, a tough of nails 2D platformer or just some weird abomination - it sounds like a hoot. 

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Sign up for the Heroes of the Storm beta and start worshiping your murloc god

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Sign up for the Heroes of the Storm beta and start worshiping your murloc god

Heroes of the Storm, described as "Blizzard: The Game" earlier today, has just opened its doors to the unwashed masses, flicking the giant switch that says "BETA SIGNUPS" in huge, bright-red letters. While you're there, begging for access, don't forget to take a gander at the heroes you'll be able to command, from cigar smoking leader of Ratchet, Gazlow, to the big bad Lord of Terror himself, Diablo. 

Of course, everything pales in comparison to a giant, demonic murloc. 

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Project Spark Beta Begins November, Requires Windows 8.1

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Project Spark Beta Begins November, Requires Windows 8.1

Team Dakota want you to sign up for the Project Spark Windows 8 Beta. Right now. Project Spark is Microsoft’s answer to Little Big Planet; it’s a game in which you make games. It works with both Kinect and Microsoft’s Smartglass app to help players build environments, create objects and people, and share these worlds with the larger community. Think Minecraft, but friendlier, and  with more attention to detail.

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We're giving away 100 closed beta keys for Gunz 2: The Second Duel - would you like one? UPDATE: Aaaaand they're gone

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We're giving away 100 closed beta keys for Gunz 2: The Second Duel - would you like one? UPDATE: Aaaaand they're gone

What do you get if you mash together a hack-n-slash, shoot-em-up, wall-jumping deathmatch? Well according to MAIET Entertainment and ProSiebenSat.1 Games, the sequel to 2004’s GunZ: GunZ 2: The Second Duel. GunZ is famous for coining the term “K-Style": which involves “pressing about 16 keys a second, taking advantage of glitches in the attack and switch animations, and has your character jumping all around the place with a sword slashing every second.", according to the urban dictionary. While impressive, it effectively culled the entire player base for those who couldn’t replicate this amazing feat.

GunZ 2: The Second Duel aims to change all that by “ditching the K-Style" and offering an “improved and more balanced gameplay experience". Want to check it out for yourself? Well we’ve got 100 closed beta keys to giveaway.

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Blimey: The Elder Scrolls Online has had over 3 million beta sign-ups

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Blimey: The Elder Scrolls Online has had over 3 million beta sign-ups

The Elder Scrolls Online is out now; here's our Elder Scrolls Online review.

Earlier today Bethesda revealed that The Elder Scrolls Online would be a subscription MMO. The reaction has been mixed, but Bethesda’s Matt Firor has been eager to justify the decision. Now we also have a number on the current beta sign ups: over three million and counting. It’s a huge number. To put it in perspective, Guild Wars 2 has just sold three million copies as it approaches its first year, and The Elder Scrolls Online isn’t even out yet.

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Beta access for DC's Infinite Crisis MOBA available through Founder's Program

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Beta access for DC's Infinite Crisis MOBA available through Founder's Program

For the people not lucky enough to get an invite to the beta for Warner's DC-lisenced MOBA Infinite Crisis through the beta registration, there's now another way to get access although it's the kind of way that involves laying down cold hard cash. You can purchase the Founder's Program, available in three different flavours, each of which brings different champions and costumes as perks. The flipside of all this is that you get immediate access to the beta. 

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot rethinks microtransactions after gamer pressure

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot rethinks microtransactions after gamer pressure

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is out now; check out our Mighty Quest for Epic Loot review.

Ubisoft's currently in-beta Free to Play dungeon crawler/builder The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot has had a change of heart in the way that it's going to handle its monetisation. Instead of allowing players to trick out their dungeon with paid items and monsters, they're going to shift their attention towards making cosmetic enhancements the order of the day, to avoid players just paying their way to the end-game.

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