2008 seems like it will be a pretty good year for postapocalyptic tragedy. Games already announced to be running with the theme include Bethesda Softworks' Fallout 3, Take-Two's Borderlands, and THQ's S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and Darksiders, among several others. Cataclysmic events will now apparently extend into 2009 as well, as Masthead Studios has announced Earthrise, a postapocalyptic massively multiplayer online role-playing game slated to go hot in 2009.
The first project from Sofia, Bulgaria-based Masthead, Earthrise posits a world in the wake of civilization-leveling World War III, which nearly eradicated Earth's human population. Now, a tyrannical corporate government has assumed control of the remainder of humanity, pumping out human clones in an effort to create the perfect society. Players can choose to align themselves as an agent of the totalitarian regime or join the resistance movement known as the Noir.
Rather than licensing technology, Masthead has developed its own game engine for Earthrise. The developer plans to emphasize a customizable play experience, where players will be afforded dynamic fighting mechanics, as well as influence over the game's market-driven economy. In addition to player-versus-environment elements, the game will include player-versus-player combat that will let players employ "customizable power armor, huge mechanized exoskeletons, and an arsenal of weapons to control contested lands and their resources."
In a divergence from traditional MMOG play, Earthrise will also feature offline play. However, Masthead has not yet elaborated on what those elements will entail. More information on Earthrise can be found at the developer's Web site, which went live today.