Star Wars: Battlefront is a series many gamers hold dear to their hearts. Memories of battling the Rebels on Hoth and Bespin stir deep emotions. Crushing the Separatists through expert maneuvers on Naboo is an experience I'll not soon forget, even after 10 years. Rumors of a sequel to the two entries in the series ran on and off for a number of years, though with reports of studios working on the game being shutdown several times, hope had soon faded. It was not until 2013's E3 that fans were inspired and their hopes revived.

EA announced a new Star Wars Battlefront game being developed by the well-known DICE. Expected for release this fall, reaction has been mixed since the initial excitement; being such a dear title to so many players, it will be tough to follow up a series tempered by time and nostalgia. The dual pressures of fans wanting the game to be the same and wanting it to be improved are often in conflict with each other.

That said, it is doubtful that many fans would refuse a chance to give the game a try for free. The official website for the game has begun to accept applications for a closed alpha test of the game.

As is common for most EA releases these days, you must create an Origin account to apply. There is little information on the size of the test (and thus the number of expected applicants) or the duration. Acceptance is random and the signups are only open until the 30th; numerous players have already received information via email. Those interested in trying this new chapter of galactic warfare in a galaxy far, far away should act quickly, lest the force pass them by.