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Game Review: Gunscape (Xbox One)

Game Review: Gunscape (Xbox One)
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Game Name: Gunscape
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Wii U.
Publisher(s): Blowfish Studios
Developer(s): Blowfish Studios
Genre(s): FPS, Action, Adventure, Create.
Release Date: March 2nd, 2016
ESRB Rating: T - Teen: Violence, Blood, Mild Language.

Running from corridor to corridor, finding that key to unlock the door, as pixelated dogs are nipping at your Gunscape_Campaign3backside, and Nazi soldiers are filling you full of bullets, I adored Castle Wolfenstein. I remember getting together with friends to hook up our computers, which are ancient relics by now, and having Lan parties to play some Team Deathmatch in Quake, or Duke Nukem 3D. Those games at the time were the pinnacle of graphics and online play. Level editors would come out, and while they aren’t as robust as what is out now, we made due and had our little pixelated murderous fun.

Gunscape is tailor made for 2 types of gamers. The type like myself that remember those experiences with Wolfenstein and Quake, as the inspiration from those titles weighs heavily here in Gunscape. The other type is those who love creating and building via games like Minecraft or even Little Big Planet.

Right from start you are treated to some fantastic music, borrowing familiar tones from a variety of games, with even one track that sounds eerily close to the theme from Halo. Graphically, this game is a pixelated blocky heaven with extremely crisp and clean textures. I also found the menu’s to be extremely well designed and simple to navigate.

From the main menu you can check out various things like Editor’s picks, Campaign, Cooperative and Competitive matches currently running, and various build modes. Each of these modes are playable Online and offer Splitscreen, GunScape_02so if you feel like building a level or two in the build mode with a friend, feel free. Xbox One and PC users get access to 8 player Splitscreen which is totally insane, while PS4 users are limited to only 4 players and Wii U with 5. Online matches support up to 20 players and I could always find a few games going. You can even bring your Splitscreen friends with you online.

You’ll pick your character to run around in from a huge variety of models. Pick from various characters like Mobsters, Soldiers, Nazi’s, Baseball Players, Chefs, Farmers, Fighter Fighters, Robots and more. I’ve played a solid few hours just in multiplayer alone and kept running into new and interesting characters. You’ll easily find your favorite here.

The campaign that is here is quite enjoyable, but over quickly. I spent just under an hour ripping through the story as you are being watched and guided by a mysterious force, who communicates with you via terminals. You’ll blast through soldiers, monsters, dinosaurs and far more through this journey of underground labs, ancients ruins and mysterious locales. In fact, the dinosaur levels were easily my favorite as you’ll grab a bow and suddenly you are in the pixelated world of Turok. While the story mode itself is brief, this is more of a game that you will design and GunScape_03share with others, or you can just enjoy the content that the community itself will build. One incredible feat that Blowfish Studios has been able to achieve is that all content created in the game is playable from any of the available platforms for complete mass exposure.

The tools here to create your levels are vast and immense. You’ll start with a blank screen of just a few blocks and spawn points and then you are only limited by your imagination. While building has never been my thing, I did manage to build a small room with some outside areas, filled it with monsters and guns and had some murderous fun in my small little map. I tried a few of the maps created by the community and was blown away by the creativity of what was here. I’ve played a few games that have had a map editor before, and usually was disappointed by how frustrating the tool set was to create those levels. Usually it was because of a bogged down interface or controls that just got in the way. Gunscape has an extremely easy to use design and allows even the creation novice like myself to at least get the basic understanding of it.

GunScape_04I’ve had access to an early build so there wasn’t too much available when I first installed it. Since the games release, I’ve had the chance to play far more of what the game offers than I have been able to in the past few weeks. Servers seem to work just fine as a few hours of competitive shooting was never disrupted by any dropped games.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing and if you don’t have the content to back it up, it can usually be something cast aside once that wonderment subsides. Gunscape has such a fantastic build mode that offers a vast amount of customization that the community that it currently has can only grow and I can’t wait to see what wonders await me in the next few months.

Go create, go share, go play!

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