Lo-Fi Games have been hammering away at sci-fi samurai sandbox RPG Kenshi for over a decade now, and the end is nearly in sight. The game of life and (much more frequent) death in a low-tech alien world is leaving early access on December 6th. Last year, Brendy braved its bleak work-in-progress wastelands as the ill-fated Gurpson clan. A lot has changed in the game since. The latest early access release includes the new finalised world map, with extra deadly and "less civilised" new area to explore. Check out the latest patch notes here and a new trailer below.
Kenshi's official development blog begins as far back as July 2008. Over a decade later and the game is nearly complete, and impressively more popular than ever. According to Steam Charts, on average there's over a thousand people playing at any given moment - a quiet little cult hit. I remember when it was little more than a game about wandering a vast plain, most likely getting stabbed by the first people you met. Now it has town management, army scale combat, an appropriately clunky post-apocalyptic bionics system and strange alien life both sentient and bestial.
As its seemingly boundless patch logs suggest, much has changed since Brendy's look at it last year. Major factions with their own laws rule much of the map, if you allow them to during world generation. There's a major political aspect to the game, and an alliance with a powerful group can make the difference between getting stomped by bandits every week, or having relatively secure territories. Of course, you can still play the game as a lone wandering sword-for-hire, but you're unlikely to make as much impact on the world as a trained and well equipped army would.
The final early access version of Kenshi is on Steam and Humble for £13/€15/$20, with plans for the December 6th launch version to increase in price to £23, though US and EU prices haven't been announced.