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The First Descendant is running one final public beta before launch

Open-world multiplayer looter shooter The First Descendant is preparing to run one final beta test before launch, and you can join on Steam.

The First Descendant final beta is scheduled for May - Freyna, a young woman with black hair and a wry smile.

With Borderlands 4 a distant speck on the horizon, there’s plenty of space for exciting co-op looter shooters, and The First Descendant beta in 2023 made me eager to see more of the open-world multiplayer game from Nexon, part of the publishing giant that’s given us Dave the Diver and The Finals, along with iconic MMO MapleStory. With a number of big improvements made to the Destiny 2 rival since those tests, one final public beta is taking place prior to the game’s launch, giving you a chance to see how the game is shaping up before it arrives.

The First Descendant release date is loosely scheduled for summer 2024, but Nexon Games says it wants to run a final technical test before launch. The fast-paced co-op RPG game incorporates hero-style classes with distinct skill sets, a whole wealth of loot, and a rather satisfying grappling hook, and there’s just a small part of me that hopes The First Descendant can finally deliver on filling that Anthem-shaped hole in my heart left by the BioWare and EA exosuit-filled shooter that never quite was.

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Nexon Games has previously shown off its overhaul to the game’s open world, reorganizing its larger battlefields into small zones focused on tighter gameplay with up to four-player co-op. A range of new field activities should ensure there are more ways to spend time, while a new hard difficulty unlocked during the endgame gives players ways to farm specific gear and hone your build to perfection.

In its latest blog, the team also showcases its new Instance Dungeons – another addition to the endgame, designed to work in both single-player and co-op with scaling difficulty. You’ll have to tackle traps and other “hidden mechanics” alongside the enemy hordes as you work your way through the dungeons, and can also bump up to the aforementioned harder difficulty setting for a chance to claim specific, powerful rewards.

Improvements to the game’s matchmaking will allow you to match up in a private party and continue playing while the game is seeking out teammates to join you rather than being stuck in a menu. New support droids have been added to offer an alternative way to replenish your ammo while still preserving “the sense of excitement and tension from having to manage the rounds resourcefully,” and a testing lab and loadouts will let you experiment with and save a range of builds to suit each occasion.

The First Descendant - A player in an instance dungeon faces a corridor filled with lasers.

The First Descendant final beta will run Saturday May 25 to Sunday May 26 on Steam. It’s open to everyone, although developer Nexon Games notes that the test will be limited to PC only. If you want to join, you’ll be able to do so by heading to the game’s Steam store page to request access to the playtest.

If you and your friends are looking for something new to jump into, be sure to browse the best co-op games for plenty of worthwhile choices. We’ve also got all the best open-world games to play in 2024 if you’re in the mood to explore a sprawling map.

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