Blockstorm isn’t just another “Minecraft with guns,” despite the fact that many developers have found themselves coming to the conclusion that the one thing Minecraft was missing is guns. Rather than try to focus on a building game that also features guns, Blockstorm is a shooter that features building game elements. If anyone remembers the .54 glory days of Ace of Spades like I do, this game will scratch the same itch that did. Even more surprising is the amount of polish, especially considering that this is an early access release. Blockstorm, even in this early state, is a surprisingly awesome game that you just have to play.
Blockstorm is pitched as a tactical shooter and features three basic modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Assault. While the modes themselves lack inspiration the level design is quite nice. They play like maps you would find in Counter Strike or Call of Duty, but are built like maps out of Minecraft. Blocks can be destroyed by gunfire or dug up with your trusty shovel. You can also use your own complement of blocks to construct new objects for defense or for fun. Player blocks are more durable and can be used to create makeshift fortification or to divide areas of the map to create more favorable positions in combat.
Before spawning you can select your loadout of primary and secondary weapons, choosing from rifles, machine guns, shotguns, RPGs, and more. The guns are all fairly good and shooting is a generally enjoyable experience. It is clear that the developers didn’t aim to make just another building game with guns, as an FPS Blockstorm could hold its own as a decent multiplayer shooter. That will be all the more important as the game picks up steam (HA! IT’S ON STEAM!) and the player base grows. Being good at just one aspect of a game like this can be difficult, being proficient at both is impressive.
There are several pre designed levels to choose from, each with a different setting and unique design. They promote classic FPS gameplay, while always leaving open opportunities for unique sneak attacks or taking the stealthy approach to the extreme. You can dig underground to pop out behind unsuspecting enemies or build massive fortifications around the assault objective. As more and more players pick up the game and get a feel for its building and shooting, you’ll be in for a dynamic FPS that won’t play the same way twice.
Both the character and map editors were also available in this early build and are incredibly deep. The character editor lets you get down to each and every block on each individual body part to make a character that is as close to perfect as you’ll be able to make without making your own game. In game characters, just as examples, include military soldiers, monsters, and even a model based on Walter White. The map editor offers two options, editing the existing maps or creating your own from scratch. Creating an original map is a surprisingly simple task if you use the powerful design tools. It is easy to generate a simple layout to your specifications and build from there with several different tools. My only complaint is that editing is a single player only affair. It would be nice to be able to build with another player in the same session and could hopefully be a feature in a future update.
You’ve seen games like Blockstorm, you may have even played games like Blockstorm, but I doubt you’ve had more fun in those games as you can have in Blockstorm. I myself was surprised at how fun the game was, expecting it to be just another Minecraft with guns. An old Ace of Spades .54 beta friend of mine, who I was playing with, said this was the game he wishes AoS had become, but he was more than happy to have this instead. Head over to the Blockstorm website to purchase a copy of the game for $9.99, or $11.99 with early access on Steam so you can start playing right away.