We took the asymmetrical co-op dungeon crawler Breach for a spin last summer and it seemed quite good: "Impressively complete and refined," despite being in an alpha state, with an "audacious" diversity of mechanics and roles available to players. Developer QC Games said in November that Breach would debut on Steam Early Access sometime this month, and today it nailed that down to January 17.
Breach's story began 70,000 years ago, when a group of immortals created the Veil and split the Earth's reality into two halves, the one we know and another filled with creatures that, to us, are purely mythological. But now something has slashed the Veil, worlds are colliding, and it's up to heroes who wield "the Spark" to deal with it. It's an okay setup as action-RPGs go, but it's the flexibility of character creation and customization that's the big attraction.
"Perhaps you prefer the Elementalist, who calls down humongous meteors and earthquakes with interminably long casting times. Or the Gunslinger, who dumps clip after clip of molten lead into any unlucky fiend in their way," we said in our preview. "Or maybe you're looking for a swordsman that packs free-flowing aerial combat, Devil May Cry style, where you can keep an enemy propelled in the air through a constant juggle of physics-defying slashes." You can even be a lich, if that's your thing.
Players can also step into the role of a Veil Demon that follows players around, summoning monsters, laying traps, and generally being a pain in the ass. They're normally controlled by AI but can be taken over my players in versus modes, and since they can't be killed it sounds like you'll just have to put up with their nonsense until they get bored and go away.
Breach will be free to play when it goes into full release, which is expected to happen later this year. The Early Access version will require the purchase of a "preorder pack," however, which are available starting at $25 at playbreach.com.