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Population Zero, a story-driven sci-fi MMO, begins beta testing in September

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Population Zero is an upcoming sci-fi MMO set on an alien world called Kepler, where thousands of stranded colonists struggle to survive while they try to figure out what went wrong with their ship—and what they're doing to do next. It's been in development since late 2018, and today developer Enplex Games opened signups for a closed beta test that's coming in September.

There are two factions in Population Zero, but players can swap between them at will simply by performing quests for one or the other, which sounds a bit like an MMO take on Last Man Standing. The planet is filled with various sorts of alien species (although I suppose they're not actually "alien," since it's their planet) that can be battled or befriended, and an in-depth crafting system, tech trees, and a range of character perks will enable a range of approaches to PvE and PvP combat.

More information about Population Zero and signup links for the closed beta test are available at pzonline.com (opens in new tab), and there's also a Discord to dive into here (opens in new tab). Open beta testing is expected to kick off sometime in 2020.

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.