Underworld Ascendant developer video promises that fixes are coming

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The first-person dungeon crawler Underworld Ascendant was probably the game I was most looking forward to this year. So it really breaks my heart to see that its release has been pretty much a catastrophe: Underworld is currently rated "mostly negative" on Steam, and a lowly 2.0 user score on Metacritic—where there are currently no critic reviews at all (we have one in the works). The situation is bad enough that game director Joe Fielder posted a brief, ever-so-slightly desperate-looking development update video promising that the studio is still working on it. 

"We have work to do. We've made two hotfixes so far and we have another hotfix that is coming soon, for next week," Fielder says in the video. "It addresses crashes, slowdowns, gameplay improvements, things like making it easier to get out of water. We're also working on speccing and scoping a larger update, we're looking at the save game system, player movement, visual improvements, AI, and performance." 

It's not unusual for a crowdfunded indie game to have issues, especially one as ambitious as Underworld Ascendant, but even in that context, that's a lot of ground to cover. But what might be an even greater challenge to overcome is what appears to be widespread indifference to the game and its troubles: 14,000 people backed the Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter, yet the peak concurrent player count on Steam was just 322, according to Steamcharts. It's not currently available on GOG. 

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.