Surprise Dead Nation beta launched

Sony has busted out a surprise beta for Housemarque’s upcoming downloadable twin-stick zombie shooter, Dead Nation. Codes to download the beta have hit inboxes (including my own), presumably to select folks who have signed up for the free PlayStation Network.

The beta begins now and will run through September 3. The email mentions two “free play” “scheduled events” — August 24, starting at 12PM US PT and August 26, starting at 2PM US PT. It’s unclear as to what these “free play” events are for; I downloaded the 1 GB beta this morning, booted it up, and was able to play just fine outside of these scheduled times.

While the game features cooperative play, the beta only appears to feature solo play, allowing you to choose between two characters — the grizzled Jack McReady and P.Y.T. Scarlett Blake — to shoot up mobs of undead. Global leaderboards are active, so this is a great chance to hone your skills (and report some bugs to Sony) before the game’s fall launch.

I had a chance to play Dead Nation awhile back, so check out my preview for more details. Or check your email for a beta invite — the level I played this morning in the beta was the same I saw at a PlayStation event last month.

Nick Chester