'Battleborn' beta launches April 8th on PlayStation 4

The test will include two episodes from the game's campaign as well as adversarial modes.

Gearbox Software / 2K Games

If you haven't noticed, episodic gaming is all the rage these days. The developers at Gearbox have taken notice and are structuring Battleborn's story mode in such a fashion. A press release says that the game's prologue and eight episodes work as a season that tell a collectively bigger narrative, while each episode will focus on a self-contained story about the game's 25 characters.

The dialogue will change depending on who you're playing both as and with in terms of those 25 characters, too. So, it sounds like there will be more of a reason to replay the episodes aside from getting new loot. More than that, Gearbox says it's planning to release more characters and story episodes after initial release with a quintet of additional episodes for $5 each.

And that open beta launching first on PlayStation 4? It starts April 8th, with PC and Xbox One coming online five days later on the 13th. The test period includes two episodes from the campaign (playable in split-screen co-op for two players on a couch, and up to five total players online) and Gearbox says each will offer a sense of the game's progression system for unlocking new characters, skins, gear and other bits.

Adversarial multiplayer will be on offer in the beta as well, featuring two distinct game modes: Incursion and Meltdown. The former has you working to destroy a pair of the enemy's sentry drones while defending your own, while the latter tasks players with sending AI-controlled minions to throw themselves into an incinerator; the team with the most destroyed minions wins.

Sounds pretty cool, yeah? Maybe best of all, this isn't tied to a pre-order of any sort and you don't need a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription to play these; it truly is an open beta. That the game isn't afraid to use color -- unlike another multiplayer shooter -- is pretty welcome, too.