Steam Early Access

Shadowrun Online infiltrates Steam Early Access March 31

Patrick Carlson at

Shadowrun Online is set to appear on Steam Early Access Monday with a prototype build of the upcoming cyberpunk strategy game. The result of a successful $500,000 Kickstarter from Cliffhanger Productions, the early access version of the MMO will preview the game's campaign and give players a taste of combat and PvP, according to a recent announcement from the studio.

Galactic Civilizations 3 alpha costs $100, how much is too much for early access?

Tom Senior at

Editor's note: We've received additional comment from Stardock regarding early access pricing for GalCiv3. Read its statement below our original story.

I like galactic conquest, devastating AI and overbearing tech trees, so I'm very excited about Galactic Civilizations 3. Not excited enough to pay the £76 / $100 asking price for the Founder's Elite version, however, which has been placed on Steam and the GalCiv site with some pretty major caveats from the developers. They warn that "major systems are unfinished and content is severely limited" and, remarkably, say "please be aware that the game isn't actually, well, fun yet."

Betrayer leaves Steam Early Access today, marks the occasion with a launch trailer

Phil Savage at

As previously announced, Betrayer, Blackpowder Games' stealth exploration FPS, will today sets sail from the land of Steam Early Access. Created by a team founded by ex-Monolith devs, including key people from NOLF and FEAR, the game strands its players on an island filled with mystery, suspense and demonic Spaniards. A new launch trailer gives a sense of Betrayer's style, and of its menu colour options.

Next Car Game made over $1 million after one week in Early Access

Emanuel Maiberg at

Despite having one of the most generic game titles in history, Next Car Game has already racked up $1 million in sales, just one week after it launched in Steam Early Access. This isn't quite the one million copies that DayZ sold in just four weeks, but it's another example of how shockingly profitable Early Access can be for some developers.

Next Car Game's vehicular destruction in 11 GIFs

Wes Fenlon at

Things we're bad at: driving cars in Next Car Game, staying on the track for more than five seconds. Things we're great at: Flipping, barrel rolling, and straight-up wrecking cars in Next Car Game. Is it a skill, or an astonishing lack of skill? Either way, it turns out annihilating automobiles in Next Car Game, which is currently on Steam Early Access, is more fun than racing them. The cars crunch and shred and break into so many wonderful pieces, we had to record their destruction in animated GIF form.

Thanks to the physics processing prowess of the Large Pixel Collider, we could record at 1080p and 60fps while barrels and tires and bumpers bounced across the screen. We've compiled our 11 favorite crashes below, but don't worry about them taking forever to load. They're embedded in HTML5 video form, which can compress a chunky 14MB GIF into a digestible two megs. Give 'em a click for a larger version and a link to the original GIF.

Divinity: Original Sin blesses Steam Early Access

Tom Sykes at

The Divinity games, if not exactly classics, are pretty lovable in a scrappy, lighthearted sort of way. With Divinity: Original Sin we can add 'ambitious' to that list. Also 'co-op', 'highly interactive' and, for the first time, 'turn-based' - Sin is a little different to the Diablo-esque clicky clicky nature of the first two games. If you're itching to get your hands on the isometric RPG, you'll be pleased to hear that it's now materialised on Steam Early Access. £30/$40 is the price of early admission, the current (alpha) build comprising 15 hours of co-op fantasy adventure.

Wasteland 2 combat improvements on the horizon

Patrick Carlson at

Now well into its early beta-testing phase, post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland 2 is all about roadmaps. While developer inXile Entertainment is—quite logically—intently focused on the nastiest game-breaking bugs, the Kickstarter project will also be seeing some "significant" tweaks to combat, according to the latest report from CEO Brian Fargo.

Starbound sells over one million copies

Patrick Carlson at

Available in a playable beta version since early December, Starbound’s take on procedurally-generated exploration has at least one galactic-sized milestone to celebrate in 2014. The indie adventure game has sold over 1 million copies, according to a tweet today by developer Chucklefish Games.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation video is full of suspension, if not suspense

Phil Savage at

Rampages require a level of planning and detail that most people just don't consider. If, like in the Carmegeddon series, you're entering into vicious vehicular combat amongst the crumpled metal of your adversaries and the soft squelch of passing onlookers, you're going to need some pretty good suspension. Lucky then that this video glimpse of Carmageddon: Reincarnation is solely focused on that subject.

DayZ players propose a Christmas ceasefire

Patrick Carlson at

Echoing the Christmas truces that took place along the 1914 Western Front during World War I, some DayZ players on Reddit want to spend the day with their baseball bats shouldered and their guns tucked away. Since the game often acts as a sort of laboratory for human behavior, any proposed ceasefire in the DayZ Mod or Standalone alpha will take place as a simple—but maybe revealing—experiment.

Wasteland 2 irradiates Steam Early Access

Tom Sykes at

Eagle-eyed readers (and, indeed, human-eyed eagles) may have noticed that Wasteland 2's beta version was released to Kickstarter backers yesterday. There was much rejoicing among those who stumped up to fund the game, because Wasteland 2. But what about the rest of us? When do we get to click and talk and shoot our way across inXile's scorpion-infested post-apocalyptic wasteland? Right now, in fact - the game is now on Steam Early Access for your consideration.

Maia lands its colonies on Steam Early Access

Patrick Carlson at

By billing itself as a hard sci-fi experience, indie space-colony sim Maia has posed a fascinating set of questions for itself. Available since Tuesday through Steam's Early Access alpha testing program, the strategy game's reference to a classic sci-fi genre points toward the gritty, dangerous, and sometimes darkly-futile nature of exploration.

War of the Vikings shows off newest update with free Steam weekend

Ian Birnbaum at

If you’ve had a rough week, or it’s just been ages since you last slammed an axe into someone, I’ve got some good news for you. War of the Vikings, the follow-up to this year’s War of the Roses, is hosting a free-to-play weekend for all Steam users. The free weekend, starting today, shows off the Atgeirr update, which adds improved sound and game mechanics, the Conquest game mode and two new maps.

Take On Mars update takes on Deimos, new weather, and dynamic missions

Phil Savage at

The problem with writing about Take On Mars is that, at some point, I will get that song stuck in my head. This is the curse of being born in the '80s. It's particularly annoying in this instance, because the update doesn't take place on the red planet, but its moon, Deimos, as well as some surrounding asteroids. We'll never know if "Take On Deimos" would prove less ear-worm inducing, but hopefully its trailer's electro-beeps can dispel the New Wave spectre.

Project Zomboid interview: on Steam early access, survival clothing and top modders

PC Gamer at

Article by Edward Lewis.

Project Zomboid is a 2D isometric zombie survival RPG set in the town of Muldraugh, Kentucky. Players have to fend off hordes of zombies, while seeking out robust shelter, crafting items for survival, scavenging for food and (importantly, given the horrible apocalypse) keeping your character in high spirits. The zombie apocalypse survival game is currently one of the highest rated games on Steam Greenlight, and fans take to the forums in their thousands to offer strategies for survival and promote new mods (some of which have made it in to the official build). So why is co-designer Andy Hodgetts still concerned about this Friday's Steam Early Access release?

"I don’t like to get excited by things because I don’t want disappointment," he says. "All you can do is the best you can possibly do and hope that it works out, but we have no expectations on this. We are working on a niche game for a niche set of people, but we think it’s pretty cool."

State of Decay will shamble out of Early Access next week

Phil Savage at

It's expected that Early Access games will start out missing a few limbs, unnaturally shuffling forward in a slow daze. If they go well, though, they're more analogous to Frankenstein's monster: new features woven onto the main body to create something that the public will set upon with vigour. Hopefully that'll be the case with State of Decay, the open world zombie survival game. It's due to leave the safety of Steam's Early Access program on the 5th November.

Kerbal Space Program .22 out today, adds career mode

Ian Birnbaum at

Kerbal Space Program continues to pump out the regular updates, and this one’s a doozy: version .22 adds a full career mode. Career mode starts players with only the most basic rocket parts for very limited missions. In order to unlock bigger, more complicated machinery, players perform scientific experiments while in flight and safely recover ships afterward. Gathering science points unlocks new rocket parts to make more daring missions possible.

Magicka: Wizard Wars enters early access; founders rewards include Crusader Kings II

T.J. Hafer at

Magicka Wizard Wars, the free-to-play game I once described as a game of Dota 2 in which everyone on both teams is playing Invoker, is now available on Steam Early Access. You can claim your spot as a founder in this arcane altercation with three different tiers, starting at $13. Jumping in at the $20 tier gets you a free copy of Crusader Kings II, which is half of that game's current Steam price.

Audiosurf 2 to hit Steam Early Access later today

Phil Savage at

It's been over five years since the release of the first Audiosurf, and in that time, I have managed to retain my throne as Elite Champion of Half Man Half Biscuit's Took Problem Chimp To Ideal Home Show. Sure, I appear to be the only one to have played it on the game's highest difficulty mode, but that hardly matters. With the release of Audiosurf 2, I feel we should spiritually declare a lockdown of the original's leaderboards, thus crowning me undefeated.

That release is due later today when the game will appear on Steam Early Access, as confirmed by creator Dylan Fitterer.

Prison Architect alpha 14 released, adds fast dogs and faster frame rates

Phil Savage at

I'm starting to think you could go back through the history of Introversion's alpha release videos, and map out the increasing eccentricities of Mark Morris and Chris Delay as they continue to work on the game. This time: philosophical musings on toilet queues lead into an exploration of the latest update's features, which include dogs, extensive optimisation, and the sale of prisons.