Dark Souls 2 won't be released until 2014 but a select group of gamers will be able to try out the game this fall. Today publisher Namco Bandai announced a closed beta that will be held exclusively on PS3.

"The depth of the DARK SOULS II Closed-Beta experience will truly test players’ skill, intestinal fortitude, and their sheer will to survive," Namco says. "The DARK SOULS II Closed-Beta will delve into one of the most treacherous areas of the DARK SOULS II world; players will not only get an opportunity to explore an entirely new area of the game, but also experience overwhelming enemy encounters, diabolical challenges, and the unrelenting difficulty that only the developers at FromSoftware can deliver."

No doubt a main objective of the beta is refining the multiplayer. Dark Souls 2 brings back many of the familiar online elements seen in the first Dark Souls and spiritual predecessor Demon's Souls. Players will be able to leave messages throughout the game world to help or trick each other. It's also possible for players to invade each other's games and attack them. Alternately, players can summon each other for help with the game's tougher fights.

In a change from series tradition, From Software will also be implementing dedicated multiplayer servers. That should result in less latency for all users. Hopefully it curbs some of the hacking seen in previous games as well. Hacks make it hard to enjoy the PvP side of the game.

Because the beta is closed, not every interested gamer is going to be able to get in. Namco didn't detail the process for signing up just yet. However, if you want the best chance at participating, watch the Dark Souls Facebook page. Namco will start providing details on the registration process starting Thursday, September 5th.

The closed beta will launch on October 5th for both North America and Europe. There's no word on when it will end. However, Dark Souls 2 won't launch until March 2014 so the test could potentially last a long while. Best of luck to everyone who registers for a beta key.

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