When I sat down to start playing Gunscape, I was very unsure what to expect. I had heard it was a Minecraft sandbox style game with guns and not much else. I was so excited to find there was quite a bit more to the game. The art and game play took me back a few years to playing games like Quake and Doom. You find yourself taking commands from a computer system that may not have your best intentions. After the computer finishes rambling on about what it wants from you, you begin to wander through halls killing almost anything that crosses your path.
The main story quests are fairly straightforward, follow the computer’s instructions or don’t and solve the puzzles that each level presents to you. I enjoy the simplicity of the game because it is something you can just sit down and play for a bit after work to unwind. The enemies range in difficulty causing death to always be a risk, but overall the game doesn’t take a lot of energy to focus on. It helps that the controls are so second nature for most veteran shooters, so you pick them up almost immediately. If you find yourself getting tired of the main story line you can jump into one of the three other game modes.
With my many years playing tabletop games, my favorite mode in this game was the Building mode. You are given practically unlimited possibilities to create gauntlets and puzzles for other players to try and conquer. The mode starts you off with nothing but a spawn point and an endless number of different blocks to create with, everything from floor tiles to monster spawns. This is where I spend most of my time, creating a challenging “dungeon” complete with locked doors and a boss fight. I was really impressed with build mode’s functionality and the ease at which the components would go together. It feels as if they took a lot of time with the controls for this part of the game and assigned tasks to buttons that felt natural. My biggest complaint with most sandbox games is I feel my creation time is being wasted by some mechanic, such as having to destroy a misplaced block. Gunscape does a fantastic job eliminating these headaches and allowing you to spend all your time creating fantastic levels.
After you have spent a few hours creating an amazing level, it is time to dive into some PVP action in the online versus. This is pretty standard deathmatch style combat, on level created by both the development team and other players. It is a fairly fun play mode that is saved from the eventual staleness of a deathmatch with the diversity in maps you get to pick from. The PvP aspect is a very small chunk of the game. You can also go online and try out levels created by other players in a cooperative mode.
The editors of the game have top pics that pop up when you first log into the game. These maps are the best of the best from player creations. I enjoyed spending a great deal of time trying to solve the puzzles presented from other creative minds. The co-op play adds the ability to make this a game you could enjoy playing with a friend either online or local split screen which, sadly, is a feature we see less often in games these days. Gunscape is a simple but elegant game in a world of fast paced high end graphics. However, I truly believe it should not be overlooked. The unbelievable amount of fun you have just sitting down and playing this game makes it a competitor for one of my favorite games this year. It has a little bit of everything from nostalgic shooter game to new age sandbox and, for that reason, is a tip of the old hat to Blowfish Studios for the trip down memory lane and the chance to create some amazing new memories with this fantastic little game.