Early Access games give us an insight into titles that are effectively unfinished. That doesn’t seem to deter users on Steam, as the Early Access section of their massive online catalog is hugely popular with gamer’s. People clearly aren’t afraid of the odd glitch or teething problem, for the chance to have an early sample of everything from MOBA’s to pixel puzzlers.
There are new titles coming to Early Access all the time, it is generally the next step for developers after a kickstarter campaign. Although many of the titles in the catalog will come to very little, some do catch the eye of the community and become huge hits before they have even hit the shelves. These 5 titles have the makings of becoming just that, and we certainly feel they are worth taking the plunge with.
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS- The Survival genre is a wide ranging and popular style among gamer’s lately. The battle of player vs environment is compelling and often frustrating, and has been given a brutal twist in BATTLEGROUNDS. This is a massively-multiplayer battle royale where players must loot, craft, and kill there way around a huge map in a Hunger Games style. Following closely in the footsteps of the promising title “The Culling,” PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS sees 100 people thrown together in a last man (or woman) standing fight to the death. It has seen a “Mostly Positive” review rating from users who appear to have moved away from The Culling, after updates seemed to kill the games enjoyment. Problems with lag have been reported, but that is a risk worth taking if you want to feel your heart pumping in your chest as you hide motionless in the undergrowth, avoiding detection from a player who has a submachine gun, while you only have a frying pan.
Dead Cells- With a very impressive “Overwhelmingly Positive” rating from Steam users, Dead Cells is a beautiful side scrolling action-platformer which includes magic, a massive array of weaponry, parkour skills and amazing boss fights. Described as a Rogue-lite Metroidvania Action Platformer by its indie developers Motion Twin, you must roll, slash, and jump your way through the varying and beautiful levels, earning permanent upgrades and some impressive skills along the way. Motion Twin plan to release 45-50 more weapons by the end of Early Access, with a new content patch every 2 months. If you enjoy the idea of Super Mario Brothers-meets-Prince of Persia-meets Final Fantasy, then Dead Cells will certainly fulfill your hopes.
Blackwake- Pirate games are making a comeback in 2017. The highly anticipated Sea of Thieves arrives later this year, but if you can’t wait to become a scurvy sea dog, then Blackwake may be what you are looking for. The multiplayer Naval FPS sees players working together on the high seas, in an attempt to sink ships, plunder booty, and swash-buckle their way into riches. Crews of 16 players can choose their own role on board, as either part of the gunnery crew, repairing damage to keep your ship afloat, or even boarding the enemy vessel and take them down in hand to hand combat. The game modes of 1v1 death match up to 3v3 combat offer different challenges, with the captain (who is chosen from the crew during matchmaking) having overall control of the direction the battle will take. With new ships and customization options upcoming, Blackwake is shaping up very nicely indeed.
Paladins- This award winning game already has a massive following, despite its Early Access status. The Team-based shooter offers huge character customization set against the backdrop of a fantasy world with ancient technology. One of the biggest draws for Paladins is its free-to-play status. The developers Hi-Rez Studios boast that any content that changes the way the game works can be earned for free, with only cosmetic details being part of premium content. The MOBA genre is always a popular one among PC gamer’s, and Paladins seems to fill all the requirements of a FPS and battle arena title. As it is available for free, there is little stopping you from checking this one out for yourself.
Scrap Mechanic- Creativity is key in the multiplayer sandbox construction game Scrap Mechanic. After crash-landing on an automated farming planet, you find the machinery based there has gone crazy. Using your ingenuity, and a vast array of building materials, you must craft your way to survive and flourish. The graphics are nicely done, the building elements are superb, and the possibilities in your creations are nearly limitless. From making a house on wheels, to a monorail that doubles up as a jumpship, you can create crazy contraptions to help you in your time on the world. There is Creative mode with unlimited resources, you can connect to your friends and work together, and there are some nice physics based touches that add depth and challenge to the action. Lots more is in store for Scrap Mechanic, such as spooky warehouses, pistons and their associated uses, and new outfits to name but a few. Getting in on this game in its early access form may give you the head start on future players, allowing you to traverse this virtual world with an air of superiority upon full release.
It is hard to know what titles are worth taking the risk for. The unfinished nature of these titles can lead to situations such as hard fought progress being wiped, updates ruining a perfectly good formula, or maybe even the game having its plug pulled altogether. With that in mind, these five of the best titles available right now via the Steam catalog are games we feel are worth diving into.