Lazarus Is An ‘MMO Roguelike’ That Restarts Every Week

Lazarus is the famous story of the man who was raised from the dead (read more here). It is also what my dad used to call me when I crawled out of bed at 1pm on the weekends. But now it has a new meaning: a free top-down shmup where hundreds of players duke it out in a huge persistent world, only to implode and restart every week.

Lazarus [official site, the game, being made by Spilt Milk Studios, who made Tango Fiesta, and promises dogfights over scarce resources, tech upgrades and 1000 players at a time. All this spread over a spacey map that takes 37 minutes to cross from corner to corner. Every week the universe will start anew, in a “sci-fi twist on Groundhog Day.” The exact nature of death in this world isn’t clear yet, though.

We asked Andrew Smith, Design Director, if dying resulted in your elimination from the game until the next restart – effectively a week-long “permadeath”.

“You’ve hit close to the mark but not quite,” he said. “There’s a weekly rhythm too, the death-to-death is more forgiving.”

Intriguing. A closed beta begins on August 12th, which you can sign up for here.

Does anybody else think the Phoenix would be a better legend to reference? If we want to get mythical (and I insist that we do, baby), the name is ALL WRONG. Lazarus only came back from the dead that one time. Big whoop. The Phoenix comes back again and again.

Anyway, we all know the best sci-fi twist on Groundhog Day already exists. It’s called Edge of Tomorrow and it was the best videogame of 2014.


  1. fearandloathing says:

    Without compulsive grind succeeded no MMO, ever

    • Chalky says:

      These days you’ll be hard pressed to see any MMO “succeeding”. Good luck to anyone trying something different, IMO.

      • GWOP says:

        “death-to-death is more forgiving”

        Let’s see what that entails.

        Anyway, it’s free, so the devs lose less money if it fails.

        • King in Winter says:

          Microtransactions? You’d be able to buy a bunch of L[azarus]-Coins with money, then spend a few to shorten your respawn timer (defaulting to world restart) by day, or spend a lot for immediate respawn.

          • GWOP says:

            Oh, is it F2P? I thought it was good old-fashioned free.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            I seriously hope it’s not microtransactions. Could it just put you onto servers B, C, D etc? With only one true “A” server?

  2. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I really like the design of that ship.

  3. Premium User Badge

    kfix says:


    Ye gods man, cover your shame.

  4. Streamweaver says:

    Seems like they are blatantly ripping off the logo for Elite Dangerous.

    • Chalky says:

      Sorry to say but people have been making winged based logos for the last 100 years.

    • Little_Crow says:

      That was my first thought too, the logo does look very Elitey.

      As Chalky said, winged logos weren’t exactly new even in 1984. Its just that the original boxart for Elite is now so iconic it’s an obvious point of comparison especially for other space games.

    • Einsammler says:

      May I direct you to: link to

  5. LennyLeonardo says:

    It should be called Lazerus.

  6. Joibel says:

    I have always quite liked the idea of an MMO with permadeath. Makes it so much more real. Add spaceships to that, awesome. Will see how the beta pans out if I get in.

    • Harlander says:

      Chronicles of Elyria is gonna be a MMORPG with a sort of permadeath – you ‘die’ from misadventure and come back like anywhere else, but you’ll eventually die forever from old age.

      Kinda interesting, though it’s starting to look like it’ll be too much effort for me to bother with.

  7. Telkir says:

    Since Subspace / Continuum sucked up a significant amount of my early internet life, you had me at the “multiplayer top-down spaceship game”. I’ll definitely be trying this out.

  8. MajorLag says:

    When I read the title of this article, I put down my tea and whispered “brilliant” while staring in awe at my monitor. The concept is so simple, yet it potentially solves several of the biggest problems I have with MMOs as a genre: no need for wasting hours grinding, and actual consequences for death.

    Of course, it is only potential, we’ll have to see how they actually do things, but I’m intrigued.

  9. Dominic Tarason says:

    This sounds a lot like a more spacey, in-depth version of Realm of The Mad God, which has a similar concept. Fast action roguelike gameplay, with all the players in the world working towards a single goal (an almighty boss fight that every player is involved in) that resets after every finale.

    • Telkir says:

      Perhaps so. I used to play Realm of the Mad God quite a bit when it first became a thing, but the increasing reliance on “bullet hell” for its difficulty turned me away. For myself I hope Lazarus doesn’t go down that road. :P

      • Spilt Milk Studios says:

        Yeah we’ve had people point at Realm of the Mad God before. I *think* (having not played it) we’re aiming to have more fun with/focus on the persistence.

  10. Cinek says:

    Wow, MMOs are a time-wasters, but this brings it on a whole new level.