One of our favorite early access shooters is approaching the finish line with the release of its creepiest chapter yet

New Blood shooter Ultrakill has released an exciting holiday update. The high-flying Doom Eternal come character action riff launched the first part of its third and final act: Layer 7, Violence.

Even as the boomer shooter renaissance presses ever onward, Ultrakill remains a singular FPS⁠. For my money, it’s the combination of acrobatic action with some truly stunning levels and an anarchic sensibility for jokes, hidden stages, and secret levels that really sets developer Hakita’s creation apart.

My favorite stage from its previous acts is a stately cruise ship in Layer 5: Wrath. The level sees you first going through the ship rightside-up, with a curve ball second half requiring you to explore the upside-down vessel as it sinks into a vast, hellish ocean.

That tradition of knockout levels seems alive and well in the new layer. Violence is set in a plane of vast, bone-white Hellenistic temples⁠—it looks like those desolate white cities that figure in the weirder parts of NieR Automata. What I’ve seen of the layer’s later portions looks like it drives this concept to ever more surreal, unsettling places, and I can’t wait to check it out myself.

Ultrakill has two layers left to release in its third and final act: Fraud and Treachery. We don’t yet have a date for Ultrakill’s full release, but given the pace of development so far, we might see the shooter’s 1.0 launch by the end of the year. You can currently get Ultrakill in early access for 25% off as part of the Steam Winter Sale. 

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