Hi-Rez Studios revealed today that they'll be launching the closed beta for Tribes: Ascend in the coming weeks. Gamers are encouraged to apply at the game's website.

Tribes: Ascend is a multiplayer-only shooter based on the long-running Tribes series. Players duke it out on expansive, outdoor maps in modes like Capture the Flag and Rabbit (kill the carrier). They quickly move across these maps by using jetpacks and vehicles. Players are given a wide selection of armor, weapons, and items to choose from. You can be, for example, an agile scout in light armor or a heavily-armored juggernaut armed to the teeth.

The beta will allow testers to experience 32-player online battles. Four maps from the full game will be playable in two different modes. There will be three vehicles and 12 character classes to choose from.

Hi-Rez plans to send out invites in waves. The pool of beta testers will continue to grow until the game's ultimate release in the first quarter of 2012.

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