It won't be opened to precisely everyone and there are a few things to go through to make sure you're even eligible for the lottery of this phase of the beta. But if you are one of the chosen few, then you'll be glad to know that from 2:00 PM (or 11:00 AM Perth time) the first phase of the DOOM beta goes live.
The Bethesda site is very stringent: it's a closed alpha phase, it's largely designed as a stress test and it most certainly won't be content complete. However, it's nice to have another DOOM to play around with prior to Christmas.
Let's go through the entry requirements, first of all. Because this isn't the beta, that means those who pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order won't necessarily get access -- because the FAQ says that people will be selected from the closed Alpha from those who redeemed the DOOM beta codes they got with The New Order.
"Closed Alpha participants will be chosen from the people who have redeemed their DOOM Beta codes included with some physical retail copies of Wolfenstein: The New Order, and to those who pre-purchased or purchased the game digitally through May 26, 2014."
It's basically a lottery among the people who pre-ordered or purchased a physical copy of The New Order before May 26 last year. If you purchased through Steam, you'll have to go to this page on the DOOM website to link your Steam account. If you purchased a retail copy of DOOM on PC, you'll need to use the this link to redeem the DOOM beta code you received -- and even then, you still might not get in.
Which is fine, after all. This is a very, very limited stress test designed to give Bethesda more information about how the servers stand up under load. These things are to be expected.
For those on consoles, you'll need to have redeemed your DOOM beta code via this page on the Wolfenstein website. On PS4, you'll be able to see "DOOM Closed Alpha" as an available download on PSN if you've been selected. Alternatively, those who signed up via the DOOM website will get an email from Bethesda with a code in it.
Yes, this is a bit convoluted. But let's carry on. Xbox One users who purchased digitally: congratulations! You have to do precisely squat; if you're selected for the closed alpha, you don't have to do a thing and Bethesda will ping you if you're chosen. Those who bought retail copies of The New Order only have to redeem the beta code they got with their game and then you're automatically in the running to play the, uh, alpha. Which you might not get to play.
Here's a picture, as a breather of sorts.
Phew, I need a drink after that
It's worth noting that people who purchased PS3 or Xbox 360 copies of The New Order are eligible too, provided you redeemed the codes that came with your game. Although, it has to be said that not everyone will receive an alpha code. You'll all get into the beta next year, though.
And if you get a closed alpha key and don't redeem it now, you can redeem it for later phases of the alpha. People who also get in now will be able to play in future alpha stages as well.
As for the recommended requirements, here's what you'll need for the 1080p experience on PC:
- 64-bit Windows 7/Windows 8.1
- Intel Core i7 @ 3.4GHz or better / AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0GHz or better
- 8 GB RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (3GB or more VRAM) / AMD Radeon R9 280 (3GB or more VRAM)
- 6GB HDD space
Not too bad. The closed alpha will have one map, Heatwave, and a 6v6 Team Deathmatch mode available. You'll have access to a single demon, six weapons, the Gauss Cannon power weapon, a frag grenade and a personal teleporter.
Most importantly of all: how long does the beta go for? Bethesda's FAQ links to a list of times that says the beta kicks off from noon today in Japan, although their list of conversions sadly doesn't include Sydney.
But Japan is only two hours ahead of Sydney, and it's only one hour ahead of Perth. So converting from the times Bethesda's posted, the DOOM alpha for those lucky few will kick off from 2:00 PM Sydney time (11:00 AM Perth time, 1:00 PM for those in Queensland) and will run until 3:59 PM Monday (12:59 PM for those in WA and 2:59 PM for Brisbane folk).
It should be noted that everyone who gets into the alpha "will be required to agree to a legally binding non-disclosure agreement" that will block anyone from sharing posts, comments or content from the closed alpha. "The Closed Alpha builds will contain watermarks that identify each participant," the FAQ warns.
Anyone who does violate those rules will be barred from participating in any further tests and "may be subject to further legal action". Just so you know.