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(Pocket-lint) - Gears of War fans will get the chance to play the next chapter in the series in April.

An open multiplayer beta of Gears of War 4 will be available from 25 April for one week, long ahead of the games expected holiday season release date.


What's more, an early access period for the beta will give some fans the chance to play it from 18 April.

To be eligible for the early access beta, all you have to do is play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One or PC, through Windows 10, before 11 April. The open beta will be available to all Xbox Live Gold members.

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Strangely, although the early access period for the beta is open to PC players of Ultimate Edition, they cannot actually play the beta on their machines. It will only be available to play on Xbox One. But as Phil Spencer told Pocket-lint a few weeks ago at the Xbox Spring Showcase in San Francisco, many Windows 10 gamers also have a console in the living room too.

Eligible players will be sent Gears 4 beta tokens from 11 April.

Hopefully, the beta will give a great impression of the first original Gears of War title that hasn't been worked on by Epic Games. Instead, it is being developed entirely by Microsoft's in-house studio, The Coilition, after the software giant acquired the licence in 2014.

Writing by Rik Henderson.