Creative Assembly, the people who make all those Total War games and once also made our 2014 GOTY Alien: Isolation (opens in a new tab), will be releasing a pull-out shooter sometime this year. It’s called Hyenas, and despite some members of the press and early testers taking a good look at it last year, publisher Sega hasn’t shown the game publicly since its reveal.
That’s why this weekend should be particularly interesting: Creative Assembly is ramping up its playtesting between January and April, with the first of four alpha weekends starting tomorrow, January 20. You can sign up for playtests (opens in a new tab) on the official site of Hyenas. Please note that you are not guaranteed access (I have not been invited yet). Here’s the full alpha schedule:
- Weekend 1: January 20-23
- Weekend 2: February 17-20
- Weekend 3: March 10-13
- Weekend 4: March 31 to April 3
PC Gamer producer Mollie Taylor saw some potential in Hyenas when she sat down for a 20-minute preview. (opens in a new tab) at Gamescom last year, but noted that a lethal dose of “metacringe” got in the way of what looks like a pretty cool FPS hero: “Here’s what I know: It’s a PvPvE loot shooter that’s too much how quirky and self-aware it is. It’s colorful and bombastic, but also very, very eerie.”
I’m tired of listening about hyenas. I want to play it, or at least see what it looks like in motion. Is combat all about momentum and movement mechanics like Apex Legends, or more like an Overwatch deal with thick health bars and cooldown management? We know it’s an extraction shooter, so it’s perhaps more paced like Hunt: Showdown or Escape From Tarkov, where you can set your own goals and leave a match early if you’re satisfied.
The only official gameplay I can find of Hyenas is a single, comically short 13-second clip shared by the game’s official Twitter last month. It is, as advertised, a “first look” at combat in zero gravity.
Is the time. This is your first look at HYENAS Zero-G combat. #Join the pack to see more! pic.twitter.com/teZxWCJDnqDecember 1, 2022
In any case, don’t expect a full gameplay reveal this weekend. All previous game testers had to sign non-disclosure agreements that prevented them from sharing images or talking about the game and I suspect this time is no different. That said, it’s almost certain that someone somewhere will ignore these restrictions and load up a full match of Hyenas anyway, so keep an eye out.