Population Zero, an upcoming massively multiplayer game, hopes to try out time limit mechanics in an online setting.
When you imagine a time limit as a game mechanic, 2000’s Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask springs to mind. Barring a few short indie games, as well as the recently revealed 12 Minutes, most have shied away from these kinds of mechanics, the detailed content design required often being more trouble than it is worth.
Items, experience, and anything built in the game world will be erased every 168 hours.
A new trailer was released on 21 February, announcing the game’s arrival on the Steam storefront on 5 May. The game had revealed very few details since its last major trailer, a fairly barebones gameplay trailer that dropped in December 2018. Since then, the game has grown up considerably.
Population Zero is a hybrid of several genres, with the battle royale inspirations worn proudly on its sleeve. Much of the gameplay appears to be based upon survival and expansion across the fictional planet of Kepler, encouraging both cooperation and belligerence between various factions and guilds in the game.
The main concept of the game is that the world will reset entirely every seven days. You read that right. Items, experience, and anything built in the game world will be erased every 168 hours. It’s unclear as to whether any kind of perks will be left behind for long-time players of the game. It would be peculiar, if bold, to reset all players equally, regardless of their accrued time across various game sessions.
This also seems inspired by the rise of battle royale games, which inevitably drive the tension higher as the game closes in the space around the players. One can imagine madly dividing tasks between members of a group to complete another structure before the world resets.
However, an issue of longevity may arise, as players may drop off. What’s the point in even trying to be the best when all your shiny gear disappears next week? Regardless of what you think, Enplex Games are determined to continue development, and it’s likely that they have a plan to keep players interested.
Population Zero arrives on Steam early access on 5 May 2020.
Featured image credit: @zero_population (Twitter)
Last modified: 10th March 2020