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Deep Silver has opened up the beta registration for Dead Island: Epidemic. Players can now sign up for a chance to try out Dead Island's unexpected foray into the multiplayer online battle arena genre.
In Epidemic, three teams of four players battle over control points and other objectives. In addition to fighting each other, these teams will also have to fend off the undead. The zombies they encounter include the usual walkers as well as special boss characters. Some of the bosses are so powerful that the opposing teams will have to join forces in order to kill them.
In MOBA games, players typically purchase new item upgrades throughout the match using gold they earned through battle. Epidemic players, however, have to craft their equipment. Players can build weapons, trinkets and other gear and slowly upgrade them over time. There will be hundreds of items to build, each lending themselves to different playstyles. There's been no mention of character-specific or class-based abilities yet so it's possible that gear is what determines a player's role and abilities on the battlefield.
Epidemic isn't being developed by Techland, the creator of open-world games Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide. Instead, Stunlock Studios is heading up the project. The Swedish developers previously made Bloodline Champions, another free-to-play MOBA title on the PC. Techland could be planning a proper sequel to the other Dead Island games but in the meantime, they're developing Hellraid and Dying Light.
The beta application asks a lot of details of you. In addition to filling out the specs on your PC, you'll also have to provide demographic information such as your date of birth and nationality. The application also asks for details on your playing habits, including your preferred gaming times and your experience with other MOBA titles like League of Legends and Dota 2. Generally there are no "wrong" choices with beta applications, as developers want to have a diverse set of players for their tests. Just fill out all the fields without complaining about the fact that Epidemic isn't an open-world RPG and isn't coming to consoles.
There's no word on when the beta will begin. It will apparently be held through Steam though, as the application asks for your user name on that service.