Mac Version of Fallen Earth MMO Enters Open Beta

Icarus Studios on Wednesday announced the release of the Mac version of its massively multiplayer online game Fallen Earth, offering a Beta of the software to anyone who wants to download and test it. Gamers without current Fallen Earth subscriptions can sign up for a 10-day trial plan.

Fallen Earth, which is available through Steam and other digital download services, takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It’s a hybrid of the first-person shooter and role-playing genres, offering both first- and third-person views for players’ characters, who can improvise equipment and weapons from objects they find, upgrade their skills and abilities, and engage in tactical player-versus-player combat. The game takes place around the Grand Canyon and uses real-world topographical maps of the area to create 1,000 square kilometers of usable terrain.

“The Mac OS X compatibility project is something we’ve been excited to see implemented for quite a while,” Brad Lineberger, Chief Technical Officer of Icarus Studios, said in a press release. “Our goal for the project is to allow Mac users to run all of our existing and future games in their native OS.”

However, unlike Valve, which is releasing its games as native ports for Mac OS X, Icarus is relying on the open source software WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator), which means Intel-based Macs are required, along with Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard. WINE is a cousin of TransGaming’s Cider technology, which performs a similar function; both create wrappers around Windows code, translating commands to their Mac OS X equivalents while the game runs. Cider has been used to bring many games to the Mac, but some players have been unhappy with performance issues introduced by that translation layer.