Upcoming extraction shooter game Shrapnel will soon be playable in early access on the Epic Games Store. But it’ll only be available on certain dates, so you’ll have to be quick if you want to give it a go.
Shrapnel Training Exercises One (STX1) is the first in a series playable game builds that will be available to players in the run-up to Shrapnel’s full release, which is currently planned for 2025. While that might be a while away, the shooter is inviting players to get involved now so that their feedback can shape its development.
This first build will be playable on February 8, 9, and 10 between 1pm and 9pm PT (4pm to 12am ET / 9pm to 5am GMT, which is the equivalent of 8am to 4pm AEDT on February 9, 10 and 11). It will allow players to try out one of the game’s characters at their maximum progression level, test out three different guns, a grenade, as well as a special ‘Sigma ability’ called Sigma Wave.
Although Shrapnel will be free-to-play when it launches, in order to play these early-access builds, players need to purchase an ‘Extraction Pack.’ Currently, there are three of these available, costing either $19.99, $49.99 or $99.99 (around £15.96, £39.91 or £79.82, respectively) depending on which you pick. All three grant access to the STX builds when they’re available - the pricier packs just give access to more item drops, consumable packs and skins (the most expensive one also comes with a giftable Extraction Pack for a friend).
It’s worth noting that, as pointed out by the Epic Games Store, Shrapnel utilizes blockchain technology, something which is often met with negative reception due to its heavy environmental impact. According to Shrapnel’s website, players will eventually be able to create in-game content (such as skins and maps) which can then be minted as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and listed on the marketplace. The in-game economy uses ‘SHRAP tokens,’ which the website describes as “ERC-20 tokens created on the Avalanche C-chain, brought to the Shrapnel subnet for use.” Shrapnel’s website also states that the technology has been included in order to create a game that “players could mod and make their own.”
Speaking to TechRadar Gaming, Mark Yeend, co-founder and head of marcomm and community at Shrapnel, tells us that players won’t be forced to engage with this technology if they don't want to do so.
“We understand why players have been hesitant to engage with games that use blockchain up until this point as most of the games have not been fun or have just been a vessel for microtransactions,” Yeend says. “We don’t want players to have to think about learning how to use a new tech. We’re focused on delivering a high adrenaline, extraction shooter that any AAA player would love. You don’t have to engage with blockchain at all if you don’t want to.”
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Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.