After two long years in early access, my favorite indie Elder Scrolls-alike is getting its full release⁠—and it'll let you fly around in your own airship

 Dread Delusion knight holding sword and magic spellbook.
Dread Delusion knight holding sword and magic spellbook.

One of my most anticipated games is paradoxically one I already have 19 hours logged in, and yet here I stand, thrilled at the news of Dread Delusion's 1.0 release. The indie mini-Morrowind will be launching in full on May 14.

It's the best kind of RPG, set in a surreal world where human civilization clings to asteroids around small stars, with medieval-to-early-industrial societies scraping by under an alien, blood-red sky. The most powerful political force is a brutal, atheistic inquisition driven to eliminate the last gods, but their authoritarian methods don't necessarily make the alien deities of this world the good guys.

Dread Delusion has an emphasis on exploration that I love⁠—similar to Deus Ex's various door-opening skills, your stat investments determine how you approach levels, opening up new paths and ways of thinking about the world. My favorites are a "Lore" skill that lets you see hidden switches to open up secret doors, as well as a speed boost magic spell that allows for all kinds of shenanigans that border on sequence breaking.

The 1.0 launch has long promised a resolution to Dread Delusion's main quest, as well as a visit to the poisonous Underlands of the planet that humanity fled to the asteroids from, but developer Lovely Hellplace recently revealed an exciting new endgame feature: pilotable airships to fly around the islands, with both a third- and first-person view. It reminds me of the endgame airships you always seem to get in JRPGs, but applied to a seamless open world in the style of the Elder Scrolls games⁠—usually you gotta wait for a mod for this sort of thing!

I also had a real RPG sicko moment seeing artist Artyom Tucović share a peek at the game's Fallout-style modular epilogue slideshow. Dread Delusion already does a great job of showing consequences in-game, with at least one settlement getting partially destroyed depending on your actions, and a classico RPG epilogue strikes me as the perfect accompaniment.

Dread Delusion will be on sale for 20% off its usual $20 price from May 9 to 16, so it's probably a good idea to hold off on buying it for a few days, but you can always wishlist it on Steam for a reminder on launch day.