The Descent-like first person space blaster Miner Wars 2081 is now in closed beta. It's only available to pre-order customers at the moment, but it's a sure sign that it's nearing a full release. It's taken developers, Keen Software House, three years to reach this feature-complete build, which currently contains 31 missions and a multiplayer mode that supports 16 player co-op. "We're disclosing much of the game content in this update. It's no longer a technological demo; it's got those things you've been waiting to sink your teeth into," they say on the Miner Wars site . Catch a sneaky snifter of some four-player co-op carnage in the beta trailer below.
Miner Wars 2081 is due out towards the end of the year, and is a prelude to a Miner Wars MMO. That's due to warp in late next year, and promises an open universe of asteroids to mine and carve bases into. It's an ambitious project, but the developer have already built from scratch an engine that can render destructible a destructible universe to blow up, so they're well on the way.
If you're not keen to buy into the beta, you might want to check out the demo, available from the downloads section of the Miner Wars site .