Marvel at the opening cinematic for Red 5′s neato free to play shooter, Firefall.
Firefall has an extensive backstory penned by sci fi author Orson Scott Card; on the game’s website, you can browse a series of historical documents explaining the events leading up to the Arclight’s launch.
In short: in an attempt to secure access to a substance known as crystite harvested in an Alpha Centauri colony, a faster than light launch attempt is made, but goes disastrously wrong. The resulting space time tear invokes a phenomenon known as the Melding, which renders much of the Earth’s surface uninhabitable. Only a few pockets of safe territory remain, but these can be expanded.
An interesting consequence of this is a gameplay system whereby players drive the expansion of playable territory, eventually opening the entire globe.
Firefall comes from a team composed of industry veterans, including Red 5 founder Mark Kern, who was team lead on World of Warcraft. It is in expanding closed beta.
Thanks, Evil Avatar.