Open to all Empire: Total War (PC) owners, the beta will enable two players to "go head to head or cooperative against the AI on the full campaign map of Empire: Total War, including all 3 theaters of war." Released in March 2009, the historical strategy game suffered a one month delay so developer Creative Assembly could prepare the mode.
"After over 6 months of internal testing, we're happy to finally give all players of Empire: Total War a taste of the future of Total War," explained creative director Mike Simpson. "Information and user feedback gathered from this Open Beta should help us getting the Campaign Multiplayer mode ready to be a regular feature in upcoming titles in the Total War series."
The open beta will be distributed through Steam, with Sega noting that owners of the game can "sign up for the Beta Program on www.totalwar.com," though sign ups don't appear to be active at this time.
Also due Monday is another batch of downloadable content for the game, "Elite Units of the America," which will bring 15 new elite units to the American, British and French factions for $3.25. Creative Assembly is readying a standalone story-driven off-shoot of the strategy series, Napoleon: Total War, for release in February 2010.