Travel back in time to fight zombies and tyranny in this upcoming survival shooter that's looking for beta testers right now

The Front is a "survival open-world crafting shooter" that promises a little bit of everything. It sets players up as resistance fighters who travel back in time to stop the rise of a tyrannical empire that used technology taken from mysterious artifacts to conquer the world. It sounds pretty straightforward as a sci-fi shooter setup, and not immediately terrible. But there are also zombies running around for some reason, and "exiles, thugs, and rebels" to deal with, tanks to drive and planes to fly, and even bases to build and defend "with tower defense-style traps." And that's without even mentioning the weather, which is also apparently pretty bad.

Games that throw in everything and the kitchen sink often end up as directionless messes, but the trailer for The Front actually looks kind of interesting to me. The Rust and DayZ vibes are clear, but there's also a giant techno-pyramid that may or may not be under siege, squadrons of armored vehicles and helicopters, some kind of giant UFO with a cloaking device looming overhead, a flight of dirigibles, camping out with the boys, some nice-looking houses... it really is a mashup of post-apocalyptic stuff, with no obvious connectivity except for all the people running around shooting at each other.

From the Steam page:

Featuring a day/night cycle, dynamic weather, and cyclical ecosystems, the world of The Front is a realistic and immersive one. Contend with hunger and thirst, fight unique enemies, engage in deadly gun raids, and roar across the land in powerful tanks. Explore dense forests, snowy regions, and deserts found across a map of 36km² in size.

Your main objective is to survive the elements, fight beasts, and stave off enemy attacks. The Front features a plethora of tools and weapons to help you, with more than 400 technical formulas to learn. To craft tools and weapons, you will need to visit ruins, occupied territory, underground factories, and other distinct areas to collect rare resources such as core parts and blueprints.

From fixed structures to mobile platforms, you will have a variety of structures at your disposal. Water systems and power systems enable the use of sprinklers for planting, energy for sensor lights, and turrets for defense, as well as many other functions. Set traps that can explore or release poisonous gas to deal with uninvited guests. In The Front, every confrontation is a matter of life or death.

The Front is planned for an early access launch, although it doesn't have a release date just yet. What it does have, however, is an upcoming closed beta test, which you can now sign up for. If you're interested, you can fill out the application survey on Google, which asks basic questions about your hardware and your gameplay habits; once the developers have enough responses, they'll start notifying participants via email and Discord. Also note that you'll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to take part.

It's not much to go on at this point, but it is an opportunity to drive around in tanks and shoot at stuff in a weird and potentially cool game world, and sometimes that's really all you need, especially when it's free. The Front is currently available for wishlisting on Steam and the Epic Games Store, and you can also follow along with what's happening on The Front Discord.

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.