Grimrock Tidings: Legend Of Grimrock 2 In Alpha

I think I am just going to stay over here, thankyouverymuch

Some games make massive developmental strides loudly. STOMP STOMP STOMP WEEKLY TWITCH BROADCAST CLANG WOMP WOOZLE WE ADDED PARTICLE RENDERING. Others, however, do so in relative silence, announcing progress only once all systems are (mostly) go. Case in point: Legend of Grimrock 2. The first-person dungeon/island crawler sequel looks more and more marvelous every time we see it, and now it’s quite deep in the dungeons of alpha. The next step? Beta. And apparently that one’s not too far off.

Developer Almost Human fully explained in a progress update:

“We sneakily went past a very important milestone just a while ago. Legend of Grimrock 2 is now in alpha! The definition of milestones of course varies from one company to the next but I think our alpha is, relatively speaking, a ‘strong alpha.’ Alpha in our case means that the game can be completely played from beginning to the very end and that all the planned features exist. The last missing piece from the alpha we had was the ending of the game but now that we got that done, the deal is sealed. Of course at alpha, there are still features and content that lack polish and refinement, and balance and progression of the game is not complete, but in a sense the game is now ‘whole’!”

Beta is up next, and to get there the team is making passes on each individual area in the game and isolating what work still needs to be done. I am imagining a chalkboard that simply reads, “MORE SNAILS MORE SNAILS MORE SNAILS.” We can only hope.

Legend of Grimrock 2 still doesn’t have a release date, but it sounds like it’s progressing very nicely. I’ve mailed Almost Human to ask about the possibility of early access and all that good stuff, so hopefully we’ll know more soon. In the meantime, I am preparing my salt-covered flail.


  1. amateurviking says:

    I *really* need to get my finger out and actually play through the first one.

    • Lemming says:

      You should, it’s a great ride. Definitely whets the appetite for a sequel.

    • Polifemo says:

      Its very much worth your time.
      I never got the custom player-made dungeons to work but the selection wasnt that impressive anyway and the main game was worth the price by itself.

      Also I wish more companies had this definition for Alpha as I’d rather wait months in ignorance to find an almost-finished game than sit through months of devlogs about maybes and half-finished features.
      I want the magic back.

  2. DanMan says:

    Erm… feature lock pretty much means beta, not alpha.

    Anyway, didn’t play the 1st one because I hate dungeon crawling. This better have more visually appealing scenery.

    • Lemming says:

      Alpha has always meant feature complete. Also stop. There’s no point discussing what alpha and beta mean any more as it clearly means different things to developers vs marketeers. Seriously, enough of these comments on any article that mentions the A or B word. It’s boring.

      • KicktheCAN says:

        link to The second sentence is key here: “[Beta] generally begins when the software is feature complete.”

        • Lemming says:

          Yes when it begins, look what it says about Alpha phase on the same page. Although, I suspect you knew that already.

    • Boggot says:

      Or what? you wont buy the game like you didn’t the first?

      I’d much rather they stuck to the roots of the original, its what made the game great.

      • DanMan says:

        Oi, did I step on any toes? I played Fallout 3 and hated it for similar reasons (dull, depressing visuals). I thought I could look past that. Turns out I couldn’t, so I didn’t even try LoGl despite the good ratings.

        Anyway, if you make the same game twice, what’s the point? Refined gameplay? OK then, have your cake and eat it, too.

        • Arren says:

          I’d say “quit while you’re ahead,” but it’s too late for that, DanMan.

        • Mechanaut says:

          I played FO3 and hated it because it was unrecognizable compared to the rest of the series. The colors and visuals were spectacular ~but moot… the gameplay was crap comparatively. If I’d wanted to play that style of game, I’d have played Oblivion instead.

  3. slerbal says:

    I loved the first Legend of Grimrock so much – it scratched my Dungeon Master / Bloodwych / Stone Keep itch very well – so I will definitely be buying this. I loved everything in the original game including the combat which I know some folks were not so keen on, so personally I am hoping for more of the same.

    As folks said above I have given up placing any weight on alphas or betas on games as there really is no consistent use any more. Ultimately I don’t care too much as I’m not developing it and only want to get into playing it.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Was very disappointed with the final boss at first, the intelligence of it has grown on me a little since then. It’s just that I thought those tentacles from the sewer grates were attached to something deep at the bottom of the mountain, and the Illithid-like cultists only reinforced the idea of what it could be. There was a sense of dread in the air as I questioned whether it was better to move down towards it for a chance of freedom or die early, never knowing the horror that awaited me.

      Yes I expected an Old One.

      • slerbal says:

        That is a very fair point, and I felt pretty much the same. Like you thought I forgave the end boss because I’d loved everything up until that point. Though the disconnect between the tentacles and the end boss was rather strong :(

  4. qribba says:

    Grimrock 1 was great, really looking forward to these outdoor environments

  5. Neurotic says:

    I still need to finish the first one – not sure how far I got, but I made it through some horrendous teleport puzzle and had to stop for a breather, and that was aaages ago.

  6. SanguineAngel says:

    Must finish Grimrock 1 – was loving it and only put it down briefly to take a break when I was stuck and now it’s many months later.

  7. Distec says:

    +1 on I must finish the first game. I didn’t have any prior experience with older dungeon crawlers, and I was a little wary of the gameplay I saw in the trailers. But I picked it up on a Steam sale and got more value than I arguably should have. The spellcasting system kind of sucked though.

    Not sure if this is heresy, but I would love a change to more open scenery.

  8. Michael Fogg says:

    I hope this adds some nice features like trading, NPC interactions, dialogue etc. Dungeon crawling is fine in itself but…

  9. Nenjin says:

    Hoping Grimrock 2 has better character development and magic. Those were the two weak points of the first game for me. Character development options were boring and you knew exactly what to look forward too from the beginning of the game (more stats, 1 or 2 abilities) and magic was a 1-note Fire/Ice/Lightning paradigm, which they didn’t even really do that interestingly either. (You basically had do damage, do more damage, make elemental arrows and a handful of utility spells.)

    So if those things are improved, I’ll be a happy crawler, as LoG basically got everything else right (from the perspective of a fan of Dungeon Master.)

    • Nenjin says:

      Doing some reading on my own, I’m liking what I’m hearing about skills. Perks vs. practically unlimited ranks in generic stuff. That was a big problem of LoG, was that to make good characters you just dumped most of your points into the same thing every time.

      Magic is sounding a little better, but other than “gesture-based spell casting”, they just say they have more spells, so time will tell.

  10. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    Very excited about this one.

    On another note, I feel like I’ve been conditioned at reading a game is in alpha it automatically means it’s available for early access play. For this game in particular, I’m disappointed that isn’t the case — simply meaning, I want to play it now.

  11. slerbal says:

    Wow they have made some really excellent blog posts on link to I am enjoying reading about the process of optimising the code. Reminds me of my old life int he games industry only without the personal pain :)

    Well worth a read.

  12. jrodman says:

    Expecting this will be twitchy and too fast like grimrock 1. It’s a shame.

  13. faun78 says:

    Legend of Grimrock is one of the few games I regret ever buying, so overhyped and overrated.

  14. JamesTheNumberless says:

    Grid based realtime is the only way to do a dungeon game.

    Most of the fun of a game like Dungeon Master came from cracking the dungeon itself, not defeating the monsters and certainly not collecting loot (although that was a rare treat when it happened). What the CRPG genre lost when it moved away from first person realtime, was the ability to use the dungeon as an antagonist. If you lose the 1st person and start giving the player maps, you lose the fear of getting lost and all the subtle tricks of perception you can play on the player. If you lose realtime, you lose all urgency and the ability to do time based puzzles. If you lose the grid based mechanic you sacrifice the ability to make tightly constructed puzzles at all, including those involving the danger of being cornered by monsters.

    Dungeons in games like Dragon Age, Baldur’s gate, etc, are little more than locations, or scenic backdrops in which the tactical combat simulation takes place. Sure you still have to use your wits, but much less in the sense that Indiana Jones has to use his wits, much more in the sense that you have to use your wits when filing your tax return.

    The first Grimrock got it right. Anyone who would rather play a turn based game really doesn’t like role playing at all, they like balance sheets and stamp collecting. This applies equally to Diablo and MMORPGs

    However, Another way in which things have gone wrong in the past was when games like DM2 and Eye of the Beholder 3 took the grid based mechanic outdoors. The trouble with outdoors is that there are no natural grids. Ok, it works well when you have a dense forest but most of the time you end up with one of two problems. Vast, boring sparse areas, or soulless mazes of trees/hedges/rocks.

    So I’m a little bit nervous about this one. If it’s anywhere near as good as the first, they’ll have pulled off what none of the classic realtime grid based games of the past managed to do with the possible exception of the Ishar games (although they actually sucked when it came to the dungeon bits!)

    • Harlander says:

      The first Grimrock got it right. Anyone who would rather play a turn based game really doesn’t like role playing at all, they like balance sheets and stamp collecting.

      Do you have an ideosyncratic definition of ‘role playing’ here? I mean, more ideosyncratic than the usual definition of roleplaying in talking about computer games?

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        I did deliberately say “role playing” there and not RPG, because I know the definition of a CRPG is an extremely broad thing. I do feel that the majority of what falls within that definition actually isn’t doing a lot of “role playing”. I actually think it’s a shame that that games fixated on stats, combat tactics, loot and grinding are seen to be closer to the “hardcore” end of the RPG spectrum than games that focus on exploration, adventure and survival. To the extent that real-time games, and especially 1st person realtime games, are very often dismissed as “action RPG” or not really RPGs at all, somehow lighter on the “role playing”. My motivation is that I want to see that realtime grid based 1st person genre of RPGs explored more, and some new things done with it, because I think DM and EotB just scratched the surface – Grimrock was a fantastic return to what we’d been missing out on but Grimrock 2 needs to take it further and innovate.

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          Oh and I also really like to wind up people who take their hardcore RPGness too seriously. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with stamp collecting, or trainspotting, or top trumps – I just think we’ve gone wrong somewhere when the computer role playing experience du jour involves caring more about how many damage points per second you can inflict, than about what new things might by waiting for you around that corner, or over than hill.

      • jrodman says:

        I’ve been playing role playing games since 1979. I’m running a campaign right now.

        The idea that role playing cannot involve turns is truly bizarre.

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          Of course it is, roleplaying can involve anything. Pen & paper roleplaying pretty much has to be turn based or it gets hard to follow and becomes less fun, but computer roleplaying doesn’t. Neither does computer roleplaying have to involve a single visible statistic or dice roll. Except possibly if you’re playing dice in the game.

          It’s the argument that turn based and/or non grid-based games are somehow a more genuine roleplaying experience that I completely reject.