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Gunscape: Coming Out Guns A’ Blazing

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Blowfish Studios' Take on Build and Play!

Gunscape, created by Blowfish Studios, is a newly released game for several platforms. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a press beta for PC, and might I say that I was pleasantly surprised by the content I saw.

Gunscape is an interesting take on first person shooters. It features level creation and a vast range of weapons to discover and collect within the world. Gunscape’s campaign mode which, from what I’ve played, has an eerie feeling to it.

I do have some mixed feelings regarding a few parts of the game, so I’d like to go into some depth with that.

First off, I enjoyed the art style that the game depicted. When I first heard about Gunscape, I was expecting high-definition graphics; instead I was greeted by a style which, to me, feels like a mix between Minecraft’s iconic design and some classic, more retro games style choices seen on platforms from the golden era. While I was playing, I enjoyed looking around at all of the blocky rooms and the geometric character models. In my opinion, for some of the more horror-themed levels, the graphics added more of an air of eeriness than high-polygon graphics would have provided.

In addition, the art design makes it possible for players to create their own levels that are reminiscent of their favorite older games. For example, I’ve seen a good number of GoldenEye 007-themed levels that work extremely well because of the art style that Gunscape employed. Because of this, the art style allows for a ton of creativity in building worlds and levels, and caters to those players which may be desiring something that adds a sense of nostalgia.

Next, there’s the mechanics of Gunscape. In the campaign mode and co-op levels, the player must wander around until they stumble upon a weapon. The weapons come in a rather vast range, going from simple knives and fists to buzz saws and electrical weapons. When the player picks up one of these weapons, the weapon’s stats pop up in the upper right corner, allowing the player to see what attributes that specific weapon has. From what I’ve been able to tell, the stats for these weapons aren’t too important. However, it is interesting to play with each of them and see how they damage the AI characters. I do wish that the player could have more control over which weapons they find, or that the weapons dealt more damage to certain types of enemies, but I enjoy the need to adapt to the weapons that are provided.

Another thing I’d like to mention is Gunscape’s potential for growth. As it stands, Gunscape holds a lot of potential with community driven content. As I mentioned previously, many players have already begun creating their own levels, which other players can then play and vote on. I’ve tested out a number of the content created by other players and, while some have downfalls due to their pure reliance on multiplayer capabilities, I’ve been generally happy with the levels that I’ve seen. As also mentioned before, there were a few cool levels inspired by GoldenEye. I particularly enjoyed playing those levels since they seemed to have some sense of purpose.

I thoroughly enjoy the campaign levels which the developers have created. As fun as rummaging around is, I always love it when programs such as this have a real objective. By providing missions, the player has more incentive to play and succeed in the game. With the levels that depend entirely on multiplayer for death-match-style rounds, I’ve found that I usually end up quitting out before someone else even joins! That’s because I’d rather spend my time achieving something instead of waiting around; I’m sure that a lot of other players feel the same way.

So, although I enjoyed the amount of the game that I played, there are a few drawbacks to it. Most of these setbacks regard how new the game itself is and how much certain parts rely on more than one player in the server. Because of the recent release, there isn’t an established group of players around to populate the servers. Granted, this is not the fault of the developers, but it does mean that a good number of maps cannot be played or, at least, be enjoyed as much as they have the potential to be. I found myself hoping that someone would stumble upon the server I created so that I could have some minor human interaction, rather than just with the AI. Of course, if players already have a set group for who they’d like to play with, then they’ll be better off than I currently am. However, it makes it a tad difficult for those who don’t have anyone to play with yet.

However, even with these minor setbacks, there are definitely a lot of positives to the game and I sincerely hope that Gunscape will take off on a path to success sometime in the near future. Until then, I hope that the developers will continue adding to their game, and that they will consider more options for single players.

Thinking that you and some buds would like to populate the world of Gunscape? Let us know!

Hey, I’m Paige! I’m an undergraduate student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and I’m majoring in Interactive Media & Game Development. Video games have been my passion ever since my dad bought me Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando for Christmas one year. I love games that have a sense of humor to them, and I really enjoy exploring colorful worlds and experiencing the narration along with the game characters. I'm particularly interested in the concept of serious games at the moment and would love any suggestions!