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Aeria Games sent out word that the highly anticipated, hand-drawn, side-scrolling MMO arcade-action game, Metal Assault, will be heading into its first session of closed beta testing starting April 1st.

Gamers curious to give the 2D action game a test run can head on over to the Aeria Games website to sign up for the beta. As stated in the press release…
Once Closed Beta begins, players can blast full speed into Metal Assault’s non-stop, frenzied PvE / PvP action. Defeat enemy troops, eliminate waves of zombies, and team up with your friends to solve the mystery behind an underground military lab explosion in this epic Metal Slug-style shooter

I like how a lot of the smaller MMO and indie publishers such as GamersFirst, Gamigo and Aeria Games have been going outside of the box and offering up unique new online experiences for gamers. Big gaming publishers really need to start taking some hints from the smaller guys. It seems like the mainstream gaming market is flooded with a lot of the same old stuff and one uninspired sequel after another. It’s a good thing we’re getting games like Metal Assault to break up the monotony.

You can learn more about the game or sign up to participate in the North American closed-beta testing by heading on over to the Official Website.