Overload is one of the several spiritual sequels to Descent, the classic first-person “six degrees of freedom” shooter from the 90s. Its big advantage over the crowd is pedigree, in that it’s being made by the leads of the original two games, and this shines through in feel and look. The playable teaser from the Kickstarter campaign was like going home for anyone familiar with Descent, big and meaty and packing a solid pyrotechnic punch. The Kickstarter campaign may not have set the world on fire but it did clear its $300,000 with a bit of room to spare, and since then Overload has been quietly worked on over the months. Today’s update contained a nice revelation in that the teaser is getting a 2.0 upgrade, available immediately, and that a non-teaser version is hitting Early Access March 13.
The Early Access version is going to be focused primarily on Challenge Mode, which wasn’t supposed to be a big feature but turned into one thanks to its reception from the teaser. The regular single-player mode will have a few levels made available farther along in development, but for the most part the early version will be about grabbing a ship and seeing how many kills you can rack up in a run. Simple, but a lot of fun, and with player feedback the plan is to grow it into a mode to stand with the rest of the game.
The Early Access version of Overload lands March 13 but the playable teaser is available free to anyone interested, either DRM-free on Rival Production’s site or on the ever-reliable Steam. You might want to unplug your VR headset if you’ve got one, though, because it defaults to it with no apparent way to bypass in the current build. Or go nuts in VR, either is good.