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Beta registration opens for Earthrise

Bulgarian sci-fi MMO inches toward launch.

Bulgarian developer Masthead Studios has opened registration for the beta test of its science-fiction MMO, Earthrise.

Announced this time last year, Earthrise is set in a post-apocalyptic future dystopia where players choose to side either with an oppressive government regime or the resistance fighters that struggle against it.

The game blends RPG combat and character progression with the look and feel of a third-person shooter, much as the doomed Tabula Rasa did, and as Stargate Worlds promises to do.

Masthead is taking the sandbox approach to MMO design, with a player-driven economy, an open-ended factional system allowing you to switch sides, and an emphasis on player-versus-player combat.

Some of Earthrise's more intriguing features include options for offline character progression, items that decay over time, and free-form skill development with no classes or character levels.

Earthrise is one of a glut of science-fiction MMOs crawling over the horizon as developers seek to steer clear of World of Warcraft's domination of the fantasy market.

NetDevil's space-combat MMO Jumpgate Evolution is due for release early this year, with Stargate Worlds and Earthrise following, and Star Trek Online and Star Wars: the Old Republic beyond that.

You can sign up for the Earthrise beta by filling out an application form, and read more about the game at the official Earthrise site.