Fallout-inspired MMO Ashfall begins closed beta testing next week

Ashfall is a Fallout-inspired MMO set in a world left devastated by—of course—nuclear war. As one of the few survivors of that war, players are forced to leave the safety of their shelter and venture out into the wasteland in search of the Core of Creation, "the key to saving what remains of the world." That's pretty much a straight lift from Fallout 2, but Ashfall branches out from its post-nuclear roots into what Netease describes as an "Eastern-inspired wasteland."

That game world looked potentially interesting when we first checked out Ashfall earlier this year, although it seemed somewhat inconsistent in spots—possibly because the game is being made for mobile devices as well as PC, but also (my own speculation here) because there's just so much going on: Giant spiders, rolling death robots, Brotherhood of Steel types, Sentinels from The Matrix, Metro monsters, and even a dinosaur for good measure. It's a lot, as the kids say.

Anyway, you'll very soon have a chance at seeing how it all comes together, as Ashfall will kick off its closed beta test on August 3. To get in, you'll need to fill out this survey, which wants to know your platform of choice, what you look for in MMOs and shooters, what kind of gamer you are, and where you heard about this beta test in the first place (You tell 'em I sent you!) After that, hold on and hope for the best: Netease unfortunately hasn't said how many people it's looking for in this beta, so it's impossible to say how likely it is you'll get in.

The good news is that there will probably be more beta tfests to follow this one. This first closed beta is slated to run for two weeks, wrapping up on August 17, while the full release is still more than a year away: Ashfall is currently expected to go live on Steam sometime in Q3 2024.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.