Deathgarden coming to Steam Early Access on August 14, free for the first week

Deathgarden is a digital game show about a big, armored goon with a gun, who's out to murder five smaller, quicker, gunless people trapped inside a procedurally generated virtual garden—the Deathgarden! Developer Behaviour Interactive announced today that it will be turned loose on Steam Early Access on August 14, and for the first week of release it will be free for everyone. 

The general concept sounds a lot like The Running Man, minus the magnificent Richard Dawson, but there's more to it than simply killing or evading. As we said in our April preview, the solo Hunter—that's the gun guy—can only knock down the Runners with his weapon; to actually finish them off, the Hunter must drag them of them to a "death post" and wait for a timer to complete their execution.   

For their part, downed Runners can be revived by their teammates, or they can crawl to a med station to get back in the game. And they're not entirely unarmed: Runners carry crossbows that can destroy Hunter gadgets, like turrets, and apply status effects to the Hunter himself. Their ultimate goal is to capture control points to escape the garden in one piece.

The Early Access release will feature a new Gather and Deliver mode, nighttime gameplay, character progression and customization, and new weapons, powers, and perks. It will also be free for everyone from the August 14 launch until August 21, at which point it will go on sale for its regular $30. A $50 Deluxe Edition, with bonus cosmetics, the soundtrack, and a digital art book, is also available; preorders placed at prior to August 14 will be automatically upgraded to the Deluxe Edition at no extra cost. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.