Gamers in Australia and New Zealand will be first into the beta of BattleCry, which kicks off early next year.

BattleCry is a free-to-play online multiplayer action combat game that features 32-player battles and – according to publisher Bethesda – “visceral brutality”.

It’s in development at Austin-based studio BattleCry Studios, under the gaze of president and executive producer Rich Vogel (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Ultima Online).

The speil:

In BattleCry, step into a bold, expressive world envisioned by Viktor Antonov (Half-Life 2, Dishonored) where gun powder has been banned following a cataclysmic world war at the dawn of the 20th century. Traditional warfare is now a relic of the past and all conflicts are settled head-on by elite teams of chosen warriors in sanctioned WarZones. Choose your warrior – each with a meaningfully distinct suite of attacks and abilities – from one of several factions from diverse parts of the world. With strategy, brutal attacks, and unique weapons, fight for power and glory across the WarZones.

“It will be extremely exciting to see people from Australia and New Zealand jump in and play the game when beta begins in 2015,” said Vogel. “Everyone at the studio is looking forward to working with players in these two countries as we begin testing the game. They are paving the way for the rest of the world and will have a hand in helping us shape the future of BattleCry.”

Those interested can now sign up for beta here.