Earth and Beyond Exclusive screens

While playing with the beta we took some more screenshots for our gallery of Westwood's space-based MMORPG, currently in beta testing. We hope to have a preview for you soon, altough our guy is addicted to it and doesn't care writing about it right now. 2 Screens are from the intro, 1 was taken on the map and 4 are in-game.
Story: "The age of the Universe has been estimated at more than 15 billion years. The oldest stars humankind has been able to chart are dim Red Dwarfs, some of them ten billion years old. When the first Ancient Gate was discovered on the fringes of Sol, the human race had no idea that it was merely one of many Gates - countless Gates - that spanned the galaxy. The Gates had linked those ancient Red Dwarfs when they were viable, younger stars, bestowing life on civilizations that flourished and declined before the formation of Earth, itself. "It was the scientist-monks of the Jenquai - those humans who had migrated to the Outer Worlds, and thrived in deep space - who first discovered an Ancient Gate. At first, the Jenquai attempted to keep their discovery a secret, fearing that the other two human races would be incapable of grasping its significance or, worse, would comprehend but misuse the technology. Terrans spies, however, dispatched from the boardrooms of star-spanning corporate empires, exposed the Jenquai's secret. "Seeking to prevent a Jenquai monopoly of the Ancient Gate - a device that would allow near instantaneous travel from one point to another across vast distances of space - the Terrans forged an alliance with the aggressive Progen, the ordered and warlike clone culture that evolved in the frozen deserts of Mars. "And so began the Gate War, a struggle of catastrophic proportions, during which humankind savaged and all but destroyed itself. "That was almost 60 years ago. Now, in the middle of the 24th Century, a tenuous state of Cold War persists among the Three Races of humankind. More Ancient Gates have been discovered, and the Progen, Jenquai, and Terrans have divided known space between them. Star systems are connected by human-made Gates, their technology derived from - though inferior to - the Ancient Gate discovered by the Jenquai. Click Thumbnail to Enlarge "The great Terran corporations - driven by the conceit that they are the only 'true' humans and fueled by their uncanny ability to locate the richest resource veins, the most verdant garden worlds, and the rarest artifacts - dominate the trade routes. "Organized into a highly-structured military society, the genetically engineered Progen breed themselves to the highest physical standards, seeking to redefine the human species and produce warriors without peer. Meanwhile, Progen warships stalk known space, conquering new worlds and hunting those who would stand against them. "The Jenquai pursue enlightenment, both scientific and spiritual. They sow their seeds on far-flung and exotic worlds, craft wondrous artifacts, and explore the universe, believing that they represent the next evolutionary stage in the development of the human species. "Peace is maintained - barely - through fragile treaties and bleak memories of the War which nearly brought the human race to extinction. "Now, another Ancient Gate has opened, deep within the borders of the Progen Republic. As old tensions rise again to the fore, strange reports of unidentified ships begin to emerge from Progen space. Distracted by their own disputes, the three governments all but ignore these reports. Only an observant few recognize the truth: absorbed in their petty, internecine squabbles, the Three Races had naively assumed themselves the uncontested masters of space. But the Universe is vast, and horrors stalk the dark places between the stars, awaiting those who would impudently traverse the spaceways to Earth, and beyond…" Features: Welcome to Earth and Beyond, an online galaxy of epic adventure and limitless opportunities. Carve your own pages in history as a noble merchant, fearless explorer, or gung-ho starfighter in a vast galaxy filled with possibilities. Visit exotic alien worlds, ally with other on-line players, mine for precious ores, and encounter merciless pirates. Your odyssey begins the moment you login to Earth and Beyond - how far you go is up to you. Choose your destiny Become a member of one of three unique human races, each with their own goals, skills and cultures. Will you be the elusive Jenquai, formidable Progen, or sophisticated Terran? Further hone your experience by choosing from one of three professions – battle-hardened Warrior, noble Tradesmen, or adventurous Explorer. Customize your starship A myriad of technologies, weapons, and abilities are at your disposal to give you the best possible edge in your adventures. Completely customize the performance and appearance of your starship – from choosing the onboard weapons and systems...to painting and decaling it! Bring a few thousand of your friends Team up with others and adventure into areas that no one would dare go alone. Face insurmountable odds and emerge victorious as you all cooperate to reach your goals. Take cooperation even further by creating your own in-game guilds. Experience the limitless possibilities of the universe Witness the birth and death of stars, watch black holes feed off of suns, unravel the mysteries of a ship graveyard, and be one of the first to set eyes on truly alien worlds as you travel across the galaxy. Or perhaps sell your services to the highest bidder and take part in the trials and tribulations of world governments, mining coalitions, and shadow corporations. If battle is more to your liking, load up and engage a host of enemies, factions, and aliens on planets and in space The universe remembers Write your name across the stars as you help or hinder the inhabitants of the galaxy. Impress the locals and perhaps you'll earn some reputation and access to better merchandise and jobs, but remember – actions speak louder than words – and those you cross tend to have very long memories.