GAME REVIEW: ‘BlockStorm’ (Early Access)

When the gaming world was introduced to Minecraft, I don’t think anyone would’ve imagined that BlockStorm was a logical next step. At first,  developers who had been inspired by Minecraft just created their own clone of the blocky, 3D world, but didn’t add much. Then came milestones like Terraria and StarForge– games that have taken terrain manipulation and made it their own. BlockStorm falls into the category of games that succeed in stepping out of the shadow of the mighty Minecraft.

 

BlockStorm

BlockStorm is mainly an FPS.When you join a game, you have to choose your loadout (which affects your movement speed), as well as your character. You can build with blocks in your inventory, but it is quite hard to make things when other players are trying to unmake you. This is, after all, inspired by not only voxel games, but modern military shooters as well. So you can choose to look like a sniper, or an assault soldier, or any number of male and female classes you tend to find in military FPSes. The character selection screen is where you experience a bit of BlockStorm‘s humor. You’re not stuck playing as one of those gritty soldier people; you can be any wacky block soldier you want. Or, better yet, you can use the character creator, and go wild with whatever your imagination can spit out. It would be fun if players could design weapons as well, but that would make for a broken gameplay experience.

BStorm TitleScreen BStorm C4 BStorn Destruction

When you jump into BlockStorm for the first time, you’ll find that this is clearly not a mature-rated title. There is blood, but when you shoot people, bits of red blocky material pops out of them. Some maps are based on real locations and realistic environments, but you can only look so realistic in a world built on squares.

BStorm pause menu video Bstorm map top BStorm character variation

What stops the game from being all-ages fare is that some gamers choose to take on “colorful” monikers, and there is also text chat. If developer GhostShark decides to add in voice chat, we may be in for a rough ride. I expect BlockStorm to be geared towards a teen audience, at the least. The community, thus far, is pretty tame. They rarely communicate, and when they do, it’s not likely to be a statement of anger.

 

BStorm pause menu BStorm claymore active Bstorm winner screen

Blockstorm is still in early access on Steam, but it is a solidly playable title. If there are bugs, I have been fortunate to not encounter any. As a veteran gamer, all that takes away from the game for me is what is missing from the game. At this point, BlockStorm lacks newbie resources, such as a tutorial level, or rooms made for novice players to work out their kinks. For someone like me, who isn’t in the habit of playing first person shooters, I would appreciate features that give me time to enjoy these wonderful maps before I am constantly rifled down by experienced players. I can just imagine how hard FPS hardcores have been slamming developer GhostShark with feedback, because they are sticklers for weapons balancing and map design. By the time BlockStorm makes it to version 1.0, I have little doubt that it will be a polished shooter. For now, it’s a fun time to be had on your computer.

BlockStorm is available on Steam, for PC, Linux, and Mac. Playing early access is US $11.99 or about £7.

 Rating: 3.5/5

GS Blogger: VichusSmith

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