Channelling the dark spirits of Quake and Blood and packing a mean shotgun, Dusk is one of a handful of new but pointedly old-school shooters I'm excited for. It's been in early access for a while, and you can play the first two episodes now, but the last, weirdest chapter of the game now has a release date - December 10th. While the final few levels are still in production, dev David Syzmanski and publisher New Blood let me take an early tour of its netherworld. It's good, weird and playful stuff - take a peek at it for yourself in the new Halloween'y trailer below.
While the first episode took a little time to get up to speed, the latter two episodes ramp up much faster and get a lot more creative. While episode two was ostensibly about military bases and industrial facilities, it quickly got into weird Quake-inspired territory. Episode 3 (the little bit I've played so far) starts at Quake and gets wild from there. Fractured worlds, pocket biomes and deep dives into volcanic chasms abound. While episode one's maps felt a bit too chunky and low-fi at times, the third's more abstract nature works in its favour - it's playing to Dusk's strengths.
While I've not encountered any new weapons yet, the third episode does bring some fun new enemies, including a charging melee monster that I'm still trying to decide is brilliant or incredibly stupid. If nothing else, it's a very imaginative design, and while I'm loathe to spoil it, you can get a peek at it here in today's patch notes. Looking at the stuff in the trailer above, I've clearly got a few more surprises ahead of me. Blood tornadoes, rune-etched ruins and apparently a reality-bending, zero gravity boss battle await in the final cut, and I can't wait.
As an aside and a treat for those hungry for old-school pixelated gore, Blood mega-mod Death Wish updated again for Halloween, refining levels and adding co-op and deathmatch support, designed for play via the recent BloodGDX source port. Grab Death Wish here on Mod DB and BloodGDX here. You will, of course, need Blood to play - the game, not the bodily fluid, though that helps too.
Dusk is out in Early Access now on Steam and Humble for £15/€17/$20, and contains the first two thirds of the game. When the final episode launches on December 10th it will be briefly discounted to $16.66 (cute), but go back up to $20 afterwards.