Gears of War 4 is Microsoft's big gun for the 2016 holiday season, and soon players will be able to get a taste of the carnage to come when the game's beta begins in April.

Announced today, the Gears of War 4 open beta will be available for all Xbox One gamers starting on April 25 and running through May 1. An early access open beta will begin on April 18 for those who have played Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One or PC at any time prior to the cut-off date of April 11. The cut-off date for early access was previously March 1, so it looks like Microsoft is giving players a whole extra month for the chance to grab a copy of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

So what can fans expect in the beta? It will focus on game's versus multiplayer, which is still the man vs. monsters format seen in previous entries. In the human faction, players will be able to choose from one of five human characters to play as, while the characters for the new Swarm faction have yet to be revealed.

Few details about the game in general have been revealed thus far. Gears of War 4 did recently grace the cover of Game Informer magazine, where some light has been shone on the names of the game's main characters, new knife mechanics and the terrifying Swarm enemies that players will soon face off against.

We also know that Gears of War 4's multiplayer will run at 60 frames-per-second and features dedicated servers. Multiplayer in general looks to also have been a much bigger focus for the game this time around, with the developers looking to making Gears of War into the next big shooter eSport.

Other than that, there is still a lot we don't know, and that applies to the beta as well. There is no word yet on how many maps will be included in the beta, or what kind of new weapons players will be able to get their hands on. With the beta starting in roughly a month, expect to hear those details in the coming weeks.

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