The beauty of Gunscape is that there’s a lot for any given player-base to enjoy. If you like to noodle around in deathmatch style gameplay, that’s an option. I had loads of fun booting up recreations of classic shooter maps from games like Doom. I can’t tell you how giddy I was to discover that someone had remade the “Facing Worlds” map from the original Unreal Tournament. Discovery for new maps is front and center, and that’s a Very Good Thing.
The simple campaign mode is intended to teach you about the sheer diversity in landscape more than tell a full-on story. Weaponry is pretty well done, albeit a little trying at times. Taking you through a compound that hops between hellish Doom ruins and compounds likened to Wolfenstein, you’ll get a chance to see all the different layouts and weapons one can use. I was even treated to a jungle-like atmosphere after that, where a bunch of dinosaurs promptly bit my face off. Weapon-wise, they let you field-test over a dozen weapons, although some felt a little wonkier than others. Ammunition is shared for the most-part across three energy types noted at the top-right of the screen. This means a shotgun and handgun can use the same ammunition – no need to collect separate bullets for each. This kind of simplifies things, but also makes it a little tougher to figure how many shots a specific weapon will use. Damage pops up as floating text when you land a hit on a target, but as mentioned earlier, some of the weapons are a little hit or miss (teehee!). A blade saw became available fairly early, but targeting was a moderate nightmare. My weapon landed hits only sometimes, which caused a lot of frustration and for me to immediately switch and stick to sticks that go boom. This wasn’t a problem, since there are so many weapons you get to noodle around with. Beyond the campaign mode, the editor is where Gunscape really shines. A simple and effective editor lets you design campaigns and arenas, which ultimately means that the game will only get better as long as people keep contributing new maps. Map-sharing is also cross-platform, which was surprising and welcome news! Build on PS4, play on your friend’s PC. Maps can be made as single-player, co-op campaign or competitive multiplayer. Up to 20 players can be in the same game at the same time.
The gunplay still does lack some polish, which is noticeable even in a voxel-based game where graphics don’t matter as much as the world-building and your imagination. There’s little user feedback given when firing shots or landing hits beyond numbers that may or may not appear. It wasn’t enough to turn me off of the game, but it did take a little getting used to.
If you’re looking into picking up Gunscape, it’s delivered in three different editions: Free-to-Play, Standard and Gold edition. Free-to-play lets you buy individual block kits through Microtransactions, whereas Standard includes some starter blocks, monsters and guns. If you’re interested in getting more advanced, the Gold edition is roughly twice the price, but includes all current and future themes and block sets in the game. Think of it like a permanent season pass.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Gunscape. It’s the start of something really cool, but it’ll need a good community and constant attention from the developers to continue down a fruitful path. I’d love to see the gunplay tweaked to be a little more satisfying, and perhaps that will come in time. The company has a new block kit slated for Q2 of 2016, so we’ll see what other updates will come in the future.
Gunscape is available on Steam for both Mac and PC, as well as PS4 and Xbox One.
4 stars out of 5