Champion Shift Early Access Gets Into Gear On Steam

Become a legend, then shift into gear and run over your adversaries in Champion Shift Early Access - out now on Steam.

Champion Shift Early Access is quite possibly my favourite thing to do on the Steam Deck right now. It has the potential to add my mugshot to a missing person’s milk carton. It’s that addictive. Fortunately for society, my family is keeping tabs.

It’s not that SRG Studios is the best game you’ll ever play – far from it – it’s the seemingly infinite rogue-like gaming loop that makes it comparable to eating an endless supply of ice cream without getting fat, or sick. In other words, it’s indulgent and enjoyable to play.

However, if mindless gameplay is not what you’re looking for, think the Dynasty Warriors model, Champion Shift won’t be for you. For everyone else, the story’s amusing, the concept wacky, and the loop of wanting to start another run make this an immediate recommendation—as long as you’re comfortable with repetition.

Champion Shift Early Access

The idea alone is worth admission. Starting with the legendary King Arthur, you have been captured by the evil corporation Dominion. Set for world domination, they’ve enslaved heroes from multiple timelines to extract what makes them… cool. However, the heroes won’t be strapped down by the suits and set out to take ’em down.

It sounds like an 80s straight-to-video synopsis, and you won’t be far off. The story is corny, and the mechanics are pretty vanilla. If it were catnip-infused vanilla. Man, Champion Shift Early Access is exceptionally addictive, and we haven’t touched upon it’s… USP, until now: cars.

So, you have the likes of King Arthur and the primate that inspired the Dragonball legacy, Sun Wukong (and others), and they’ve managed to snag Dominion tech and can now shapeshift into cars. That’s right, folks – the shift in Champion Shift is the freedom to morph into a hotrod and run down waves of enemies, Carmageddon style.

Champion Shift Demo - Chaos engine
Chaos Engine. Source: Steam

Wheelie Good

It sounds silly, and it is, yet Champion Shift Early Access is entertaining. From a top-down perspective, a sprinkle of enemies will rush you, and an autofire melee attack will trigger when you are within close range. The only time you’re pressing buttons in the game is to dash out of trouble, shift into the car, or upgrade a skill.

Enemy drops include XP that unlock an enormous amount of abilities. Choosing from a selection of three at a time, these are often random, ranging from area damage auras to lighting attacks, from ranged bow attacks to increased melee damage. The skills are often random, and on top of that, the level for each can be increased. 

Perhaps this is one of Champion Shift Early Access’ biggest draws, as no run is the same in terms of loot. There’s the option to grind and kill wave after wave to prepare you for the stage’s boss, or you can go straight to the missions – exterminations, locating satellite-type things and so on, then attempt the boss. Even at the Early Access phase, these stages are massive, and I must admit, I’m not amazing, so have to grind before moving on.

Champion Shift Demo
Source: Steam

Champion Shift Early Access Summary

Is there enough game to warrant an Early Access purchase? Absolutely. As mentioned, I’m not the best at the game and have hardly made a dent in unlocking characters and skills, yet there’s so much fun to be had if you like repetitive gameplay. That wasn’t a flyaway line at the start – Champion Shift Early Access is my favourite thing to do on the Steam Deck right now. By the way, something not touched upon – this is also a 4-player co-op, but I haven’t dabbled in that, hence no mention…