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In today's gaming industry, which is unfortunately riddled with remakes and games that feature similar mechanics, it's always a breath of fresh air to see a game try something different. While games that experiment with different genre combinations don't always work out, I always give them the benefit of the doubt and ensure that the word is spread. I've always felt that having games that combine genres in unique ways is what makes gaming so exciting, and experimental action-RTS with RPG elements Warshift is no exception to this idea.

Warshift combines action and RTS gameplay elements with the customization and upgrading that we've come to expect from an RPG. While this combination isn't extremely unique, as many games have attempted to combine action and strategy mechanics, it is the way that the mechanics combine in Warshift that make it worth a look. The dynamic action battles really do a good job of complementing the slower-paced strategy gameplay.

Warshift is currently being developed by one person, Cyril Megem, who has taken on multiple roles to create the game of his dreams. After being in the industry for many years, he decided that it was finally time to take on the project that he's always wanted to work on, and thus Warshift was born. Combining his own creative ideas with the innovative thoughts of the community, Megem has worked hard to get Warshift to the point where it was ready to be released onto Steam's Early Access after three years of hard labor.

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As is the norm when it comes to RTS games, building bases and creating units is the meat of the RTS part of the game. After creating your units, you'll be able to select and control them as you can in your typical RTS and send them into battle against enemies. While some RTS games have made the move away from traditional base-building, it's great to see a game include these mechanics. As much as I've enjoyed games such as Dawn of War II, I've always wished that the base-building mechanics were never removed, as I found these to be the most entertaining parts of the game. For me, RTS games used to be a mix of a city-building simulation and a tactical strategy game, and it was always a shame to see the removal of what I felt was half of the fun. As a result, Warshift manages to earn some solid points for including the ability to build your base.

Switching from RTS mode to Action mode is as simple as the press of a button. Switching out of RTS mode places you in a third-person camera that follows one of your main characters and allows you to take a more hands-on role in the battle. Entering Action mode turns the game into more of a third-person shooter, and allows you to blast away at enemies to attempt to turn the tide in battle. Playing in this mode allows you to gain experience for your main characters and vehicles, which can later be used to customize your units.

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In terms of the unit variety in Warshift, there are 6 combat avatars, 9 AI soliders, and a heavy unit. While it's not as large of a variety as I'd like, it's important to keep in mind that the game is in early access, and that the customization that is available allows you to greatly alter some of the units. In terms of what you can use to build up your base, there are currently 7 types of buildings available. This is definitely a small number, and I'd love to see some additional buildings added in a future update to ensure that you really have to make choices on which buildings to include in your base. I feel that this addition will add greatly to the strategy elements of the game as you find yourself having to choose between buildings.

Warshift features a couple of different game modes, including custom AI skirmishes, which are a staple of the RTS genre. In addition to skirmish mode, you'll also be able to play the single-player campaign, which currently consists of 10 unique missions based on the human faction. Finally, there is currently a very basic LAN multiplayer mode that is very early in development, but it still somewhat functional. All in all, Warshift is an interesting game. It does a solid job of combining some very entertaining genres in a way that is practical and fun to play. The strategy and action modes fit together very well and give you a great amount of control over each encounter. While more variety would definitely not hurt the game, it's something that I imagine will be added in future updates throughout the game's early access period.

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If you're interested in Warshift, you can find it on Steam Early Access for $19.99.