Please note I am redacting my negative review for this game from before. Please see the developer's commentary below for more details. In basic terms, I unfairly compared this with CS2D, which is F2P, but this game has its MP aspect that is also F2P via the Demo. The Campaign is what you are paying for when you purchase this game.
Geneshift is a top-down shooter that can be a lot of fun if you play with a group of friends, because it features a campaign that is good to tackle as a team. This is where the game stands out, and the combat action is fairly fun as well, with many fun mutant skill unlocks that can be customized and changed prior to reaching a certain spot on your account.
Prior to reaching level 20, you can freely allocate and reset your skill unlocks to more dynamically enjoy the game. This gives you freedom to try and choose which mutations you think might work better for you. You gain levels through playing through the campaign, your actions are counted, including damage taken and damage inflicted.
You can unlock guns/power-ups from the money you receive from the missions as permanent unlocks for your game overall.
The game's campaign is fairly fun because you can play with up to 4 players and tackle the campaign in coop mode. Initially only two of the simplest difficulties are available, you have to unlock the two more difficult settings for more of a challenge, should you wish to do so.
The campaign levels are fairly difficult and lengthy. Even though the levels are not randomly generated, they have been designed to challenge the players. There are many places where the wrong decision would cost you dearly, and you can usually navigate amid all of the chaos in order to find a way to survive and make it to the next check points. The check points are important for single player, because you are not reset at the beginning of the level. They also serve as respawn points for your coop buddies. So as long as one person makes it to the next CP, you can keep playing.
Other things that make this game stand out is its gameplay that looks like a cross between the top-down GTA 2 and Hotline Miami. Though this game may not feature as good or fun combat scenes as Hotline Miami, the coop campaign play is something that the other game cannot offer. It's easy to compare to GTA 2 because you can hop into a car take jumping ramps and run enemies over--using cars to run over enemies has always been rather satisfying.
If you are playing by yourself, it’s a bit tedious, because there are clearly locations that are better navigated with more players to distract enemies and to catch them unawares. Playing with friends also increase your survival rates based on the checkpoint system noted above. Fortunately you can host a game on the server and your friends can join any time.
Otherwise, there are some quick playing options that include capture the flag, etc. There is just not enough of a player base at the moment and the game has already been around for more than a year. It is notable that it is still in Early Access that began development in 2009.
CS2D has similar MP battle arena design. Both games allows level editing and multiplayer hosting. Geneshift has a bit more variety in its gameplay, upgrades, unlocks, etc. And its battle arena MP functionality can be played for free via its demo, as @bencelot assures me in his response to my original review. It's my own fault for not looking into the capabilities of the demo more closely.
Lack of Player Base
Not enough people playing means that outside of the campaign that you play by yourself or up to a team of 4, you are playing most other MP modes against Bots. This is okay just to fool around a bit in, but if you are looking at a MP game and there are not enough people, it’s not really a MP game any more. There was some information released a week or two ago about possibly raising the price and taking the game into a Battle Royale mode, I do not think I can get behind either one of these plans. Maybe if it drive up user volumes and gives some meaningful MP gameplay, then it may be okay.
Geneshift is a top-down shooter with a fun campaign that can be played with up to 4 players. This is the most promising part of this game. Keep in mind that you are paying for this multiplayer coop campaign function when you get together with your friends to enjoy this game. the campaign is fairly lengthy and is best played in coop mode. Single player mode tends to be a bit more tedious. The other aspects, especially the MP arena modes do not have enough online players, so you need to coordinate with your friends if you do not want to play against bots only. You can choose to play the Demo of this game or to play CS2D for the battle arenas. Apparently the demo features all of that for free, just like in CS2D. There are some mechanics of this game not found in CS2D, but lack of player base makes the battle arenas less desirable currently.
I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
Hi YQMaoski, thank for the review. It's clear that you put a good amount of time into the game and spent a lot of time writing the review, and I appreciate that. This sort of feedback is very valuable to me.
I would like to clarify one thing if I may. You seem to say that the game is fun but gave it a negative review due to similarities between CS2D. You said that it's better to play CS2D multiplayer for free than spend $40 on Geneshift multiplayer (with friends). I actually agree with this. A free game is infinitely more valuable than a paid one!
What you might not be aware of though (and perhaps this is my fault for not making it clear enough), is that Geneshift's multiplayer is ALSO free. You can play the multiplayer 100% free through the Steam demo (as it says in blue in the description). In light of this information that you might not have been aware of, perhaps you as someone who clearly takes reviewing seriously might reconsider the negative review of Geneshift? CS2D's multiplayer is free, as is Geneshift's. If you and 4 friends buy the game you're doing so for the campaign, which you mentioned was fun and CS2D doesn't have.
Anyway thanks for the review and for reading this. I will try make it clearer that the demo is indeed giving away multiplayer for free.