Russian studio, Kraken Games, released Warside on Steam earlier this month. Warside is a fun, two-dimensional science fiction side-scrolling shooter where you can customize your character and power your way through the galaxy via online battles to upgrade your commandos and outwit your competitors. You enjoy RPG-like elements including customization and experienced-based upgrades and are immediately ready to start battle. There is some short instruction given upon your first log-in, but every time after that you can expect to be thrown right into the action.
Navigating the game is beautiful, and I found myself really enjoying the RPG aspect of the game because of it’s great visuals. At this stage in development, I was surprised to see such great designs and attention to detail in everything down to the menu system. Since the gameplay portion of the game is 2-D, which is intentional and great for this type of title, the graphics are downgraded but still very clean and well done.
There are definitely people out there who will find this game satisfyingly feeds their need for some quick fun. It’s incredibly intuitive, so there isn’t much of a learning curve for any one who starts the game. The speed makes battles fast and exhilarating, and there is no bloated gun or battle systems. While there were some slight stability issues, a lot of that has been fixed since their earlier release. The game is still a little buggy at this stage, but overall it is a healthy dose of sci-fi shooting fun.
Though this makes Warside a fun game, it is still ultimately a very uninteresting game. Because of it’s online-play nature, there isn’t much story to go around. The depth of the game goes as deep as the type of face you’d like to choose your character. Despite the fact that the side-scrolling shooter is fun, battles can get very redundant. Having a storyline threaded through the action, or just some world building to set the stage for all the run and gun gameplay, would make Warside more engaging.
Overall, Warside is fun to play for a few hours, and with friends when you don’t want to set up too many things or just want to engage in a little bit of friendly battle. But it is not very replay worthy and can get very dull very quickly. I’m interested to see what else Kraken will include in development for this game to see if it deepens any more. Warside is available as an Early-Access title for PC on Steam. Kraken Studios says on their Steam page that a full version of the game may be released in the next 2-3 months.