It's a sad and strange state of affairs when a developer not releasing an Early Access version of their game feels like the exception rather than the norm - but here we are. Despite Legend of Grimrock 2 being in "strong alpha" - i.e. the game is playable from start to end in some form - Almost Human Games are not going to plonk this early version on Steam, and charge people to play it before it's done. You will be able to put down a pre-order at some point, however, giving the devs your money without getting anything immediate in return. Wait, what? (I imagine pre-orders will begin when the game is a little closer to being done, and there's almost no risk of development being halted by a sudden meteor or a desire for a shiny speedboat or anything like that.) Almost Human explained their reasoning to RPS , and because this opening paragraph is already lengthier than some novels, I've stashed it after the break.
“We are kind of old-fashioned," Almost Human (that's the development company, not the sadly cancelled FOX TV show) explained to RPS, "and want to release the game in a polished condition, so Steam Early Access is not planned. We are going to have preorders though.”
Call me old-fashioned - I am riding a Penny Farthing and inhaling snuff as I type this - but I'd rather wait for a game like Grimrock to be all glossy and finished before I embark upon the long and presumably arduous journey through its grid-based fantasy world. Forgoing Steam Early Access feels like the right decision to me.
If you're wondering how Grimrock 2 differs from its predecessor, think outdoor bits, improved monster AI, a more flexible skill system and more . The game's still on track for a 2014 release.