previewed on PC
A new Real Time Strategy/Role Playing Game combo, WorldShift is being mixed up by the creators at Black Sea Studios, who previously brought us Knights of Honor, a historical RTS, back in 2004. With a futuristic look to their new project, can it reach any height of success compared to their first game?
In the 21st century, after our solar systems had begun to colonize, an enormous, dark object appeared beyond the orbit of Pluto. This object was named 'Shard Zero' by scientists. This Shard Zero possessed a deadly aura, which spread some kind of plague on a colossal scale to anything that came near it. All attempts to study this Shard Zero ended utterly futile. Too late the scientists realised that Shard Zero was going to collide with the Earth, bringing an end to their civilization.
WorldShift kicks in thousands of years after Shard Zero hit the Earth. The human civilization is slowly becoming nothing more than a fairy tale, trying to survive in 5 mega-cities. Even after all these decades, the affects of Shard Zero can still be seen in the remaining humans. Shards that crashed into the earth still spread the plague, contaminating and changing the Earth and its nature.
There are three races in WorldShift. The first are the Humans, who carry the survival of the human race in its darkest hour. Secondly, the Mutants, made up of mutated humans, affected when Shard Zero hit and contaminated the Earth with its plague. Third and finally is 'The Cult' an unknown force that recently entered the scene, with an unknown agenda. All thee of these races are playable from the beginning, each with a different style of tactics to use to their advantage and weakness.
You can play WorldShift in two ways: a fairly extensive single player experience, as well as co-op and pvp. The single player itself is spread across 18 different missions wherein escorting, reaching a certain location in time or taking out a boss is your task.
In these missions you will get most of your items and relics to equip your troops with to help power them up, along with shards. Shards are acquired by destroying items, with rarer items giving a higher chance of receiving a shard from it. Shards are used in upgrading skill trees. With over 3000 items, and off the beaten path relics, there's a lot to find in exploring WorldShift. Some of the rarer items can only be obtained from beating bosses in the co-op missions however.
While being designed with a single player campaign, multiplayer aspects are heavily emphasis as well. There are several multiplayer modes available; the standard 2 player co-op missions, designed for two players to work together, and maps best suited for 3 players. Asides from working together, you can also go head to head with other players in standard death matches.
Co-op game play is something not often seen in RTS games, with only a couple of titles coming to mind. With such a heavy emphasis being put upon it, it could turn out to be something very special indeed. Having to work your way through the single player missions first to unlock these co-op stages is a very good way to make sure that both players know how to play the game, which will make it more fun.
The game itself has a lot of unique parts to it. Skill trees are available for your troops to upgrade them, similar to what is seen in some MMORPG games on the market. This gives an advanced feel to your squad, building them up the way you like, rather than having exactly the same kind of units as everyone else.
Strategy is of utmost importance in WorldShift. One wrong move could cause a deadly blow to your forces, and ruin the entire mission. Every RTS game has some elements of tactics; working out which way is best to complete a certain mission, which action works well for defence. However, WorldShift strongly presses tactics on you so you set up formations and pick your battles wisely.
A lot to offer
WorldShift has great potential to be an up and coming hit in the gaming market. With a lot of RTS games behind it, and with few coming out ahead of it, thereâ€™s a good chance it can pierce the market veil with all that it has to offer. Deep tactical game play, multiplayer mayhem and a very unique look and take on the RTS series itself. It's certainly one I will be checking out at release myself.