Overland's "First Access" opens to the public tomorrow

Overland is “a squad-based survival strategy game with procedurally generated levels set in post-apocalyptic North America.” Hit the road, make the tough calls, try to stay alive, and probably fail: It's “as mean as it is beautiful,” Tim said in his March preview, in which he let the people die but saved the dogs—the right call, in my opinion. Access to the game has so far been restricted to people who purchased alpha keys in one of three limited rounds of “First Access," but tomorrow the doors will be opened to everyone.

Interestingly, Overland's public First Access release will not be on Steam Early Access, but will instead run through Itch.io's Refinery program. Adam Saltsman, the co-founder of developer Finji, discussed his reasons for avoiding Steam in a column he wrote for us in June, but the short version is that Itch.io gives him greater control and a variable revenue share than Steam, and doesn't saddle the game with a slew of ugly-looking red-thumbs-down user reviews before it's even ready for release. 

The opening of First Access will also coincide with a new update to Overland which will incorporate the Twitch Chat API so streamers can name new survivors after people in the chat, add backpacks for dogs, enable item trading with teammates, and see a “total refresh” to the user interface. And to be clear about it, Overland will come to Steam at release—in fact, it's listed there already. The Itch.io exclusivity is strictly for the First Release alpha rollout. 

More information about Overland is up at overland-game.com, as is a timer which is counting down to the First Access public kickoff. Based on my calculations (which have some history of being incorrect, so take this as a best guess), the switch will flick at 10 am ET on August 30.

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.