The old-school shooter Dusk will launch on Steam Early Access in January

We took the first episode of the retro-FPS Dusk for a test drive back in August and really liked what we saw: "An ode to and evolution of the greatest era of FPS level design," as we said in our preview. The original plan to give that episode to people who preordered the game, and then hook them up with the remaining two when Dusk was complete. But just ahead of Christmas, publisher New Blood Interactive announced that it will instead go through a more conventional Early Access process on Steam. 

The Early Access release of Dusk will include the first two episodes (the second part was recently completed), two Endless Arenas, and access to the Duskworld multiplayer. If you've already preordered you won't need to do anything else, and if you haven't there's no particular need to rush because the price won't be changing once the game is in full release. 

New Blood also said that, with the benefit of hindsight, it should have gone with an Early Access release right from the start. "But back in August we naively thought we would have the game finished a few months after pre-orders went live and also that we didn't need Early Access to test the game," it wrote. "We also didn't anticipate just how many people would want and love the game." 

"There are currently about 7,500 people who have Duskand 30,000 more wishing for it. And while we've been doing a good job of testing the game internally and with our community (sup), if even 1/3 of those people jump into Dusk & DuskWorld on Day 1 and we're not prepared? It could be catastrophic." 

And aside from having to give up on a certain sentimental attachment to releasing Dusk "when it's done," there's really no downside to flipping to Early Access: The developers get "more players, more testers, more sales, more of a presence on the Steam store, and more love from you (we hope)," while supporters get their hands on episode two much sooner than they expected.   

Dusk will be available for purchase through Steam Early Access on January 11. As a thank-you to early supporters, anyone who pre-purchased the game prior to December 25 will be automatically upgraded to the collector's edition, which includes a 40-page digital comic and the Andrew Hulshult soundtrack.