It's been a couple of years since we took a look at the Early Access release of Gloomhaven, the digital version of the 2017 tabletop tactical RPG. It was promising but incomplete, with no multiplayer support and a limited number of enemies, classes, and tiles compared to the boardgame. "But the pieces are in place to eventually create a worthy adaptation," we wrote.
A multitude of updates have followed since then, and we'll find out how close developer Flaming Fowl Studios has come to putting those pieces together on October 10, when Gloomhaven leaves Early Access and goes into full release.
The videogame version of Gloomhaven is not an exact duplicate of the tabletop version, but the differences are "very minor" and overall it is "a very faithful adaptation of the original gameplay and design," according to the developers. Differences in the digital version were implemented in close consultation with original tabletop author Isaac Childres, Flaming Fowl said, "to ensure we stayed true to Gloomhaven's core design."
Importantly, the scope of the game has grown considerably since our preview. The version we saw in 2019 had only a roguelike Adventure mode, but the 1.0 release will include the full campaign from the tabletop game and a co-op "Guildmaster" mode for up to four players, with more than 250 missions shared between them. Guildmaster mode saves from the Early Access release will be compatible with the full game, but saves from the Campaign mode beta test may not be—it's possible, depending on how things shake out, but the developers recommend starting a fresh run anyway.
The end of Early Access will not signal the end of development, as patches will be released and DLC is "a possibility." For now, though, Flaming Fowl is focused on "supporting the base game and making sure it matches the players' expectations." The 1.0 launch will bring about a price increase, however.
"Since the launch of Gloomhaven's Early Access, we have clearly communicated about the price increase planned for the full release," Flaming Fowl wrote. "With all the content added throughout the Early Access, including the digital exclusive Guildmaster mode, online co-op mode and eventually the acclaimed original board game campaign, Gloomhaven digital's value has substantially increased. This is why we will be increasing the price of the base game from $25/€25 to $35/€35 upon release."
It also clarified that if you own the Early Access release of Gloomhaven at launch, you'll be automatically upgraded to the full version at no extra cost when it goes live.
Gloomhaven is available in Early Access on Steam and will also be coming to GOG, although it's not listed there yet. You can find out more at asmodee-digital.com.