Minecraft is arguably the king of indie games, generating more sales across more platforms than some AAA games have managed. Of course when a game becomes as popular as Minecraft has, it generates plenty of copy cat games, trying to cash in on the success. Just look at Android, iOS and xbox 360 indie section to see how many there are to pick. Now the art style and design choice of voxels are also beginning to be a new trend. Ace of Space, CubeWorld, Yogventures to name a few games released or in development that are using this style.
Now this Is a game that the developers have tried to make it clear it has nothing to do with minecraft, but with a name like GunCraft, you instantly think of a mod for MineCraft. You would be forgiven for this as well, once you saw the graphics and of course the name. Though it would seem that this is where the similarities end to MineCraft, Ace Of Spade on the other hand? Well it’s a voxel based FPS, with different match types and levels, though unlike Ace of Spades we have a Create a class function, kill streaks and other additions.
If you want a quick sum up of the game, it is Call of Duty meets Battlefield all squeezed into a minecraft skin. Of course this does sound good on the surface, not anything new or amazing sure, but its a solid base for a game that could be run on low end computers and with a level editor a constant stream of new levels. Well, implementation and exertion of this game is its downfall.
GunCraft has just been released through Steam GreenLight, and released to the masses, for those who are interested In the game, a good question is, what is offered here, that other games do not offer. The answer to this, is I have no idea, there really isn’t anything here that you couldn’t get from Ace Of spades, Battlefield, Call of Duty or hell, minecraft modded.. Well this is not entirely true, there is at least the gun foundry, which allows you to create your own weapons, but more on that later.
So, GunCraft is a online FPS game with the ability to destroy any building or construct, and build them whilst fighting as well. Honestly if you’ve ever played a game of Battlefield you will know what your getting into. Large maps are standard and most have vehicles that you can drive around in. Most of the maps are very well designed and are all interesting enough to play through multiple times which is great, my favourite being a level which is just a Christmas tree. Though the problem with these levels is that they feel massive, now usually this is good, but the problem Is the game at the moment has such a small population (less than 100 on peak time) that chances are servers that are in your region will have 3-4 people in there. This makes it a massive pain to find them, and if they decided to go sniper, you will just be picked off. I tried attempting to play at different times and there juts seems to be such a small player base right now that It is impossible for anyone in EU to get a server with ping under 90. Thankfully the level creator is easy, so there is a good chance that well designed maps will be released from the community as well.
The vehicles also seem to need balancing, from what i’ve played so far, unless your using the star wars speeder type, your wasting your time, Tanks are slow, but do not have the armour to justify this, helicopters have terrible aim, and there difficulty to control gives them a massive blind spot underneath them. The speeder bikes are fast, can go over any surface unhindered pretty much and can deal considerable damage to players and other verticals. I can’t see a situation when I would rather use any other than the speeder, and even then if you have a LMG and Rocket launcher you are more than equipped to deal with anything.
There are your standard modes here,with some more unique ones, Meteor survival has you running around the map trying to hide from falling meteors that will destroy the terrain, whilst lava rises up from the bottom. It can be a fun mode with a few friends trying to desperately cling onto life the more hectic it gets. Onslaught which is your basic horde type mode we’ve seen before, Spleef, the popular minecraft game mode, Siege mode, build a catapult first whilst attacking the opponents and defending your own and a racing mode, which as the name suggests, you race in vehicles.
Graphically is where this game fails most at, because for a game that is trying to set itself apart from other similar games, they haven’t done a very good job. The game looks like minecraft, the textures look like minecraft, at least ace of spades whilst using a voxel based system the art style is different, with smaller blocks used to make up the characters. The characters here are something you could make in minecraft with an edited skin. This really bugs me, for a game that the developers stress is not similar to minecraft, they couldn’t of done a worse job than in the graphics department. 16×16 texture map is identical to Minecraft, the body structure? Idenical to minecraft. Ironically the one part that isn’t similar to minecraft is, what I assume to be, the knifing animation, where your character awkwardly throws his or her arm out, to which is separates from your body and disappears, this animation also seems to run at 10fps because it looks so jerky.
Now onto one of the parts that is actually a new idea, GunSmithing, the basis behind this is that each user can create there own weapons to use in the game, now I really like this idea. Of course the one part of the game that I want to enjoy is terribly implemented, I was hoping to craft it in free space, being able to zoom in and out of the weapon and rotate it. No, nothing that fancy here, you enter a building mode identical to when you want to build a level, and walk around building your weapon. This is honestly one of the laziest implementations I have ever seen of this, building weapons could be so much more efficient and faster if I didn’t have to run around what quickly becomes a massive weapon in front of my character. It not only makes it longer to create, but also makes it incredibly difficult to judge the size of what your creating. Not only that but because of the chance of a user building a sexual weapon (A blocky penis shooting white blocks would be obviously so offensive to players) you have to submit your weapon and wait for it to be evaluated, the ETA being around 5 working days. Surely there could be a system where each user can choose if they want to vote on weapons, they get presented with random ones and vote whether it is sexual or not?
For those of you who want to use steam big picture, Gun craft supports full Controller support for 360 controllers, I haven’t been able to test any other controllers with the game so those of you with 3rd party will have to test this out yourself. Also there is no Controller enable/disable option, which means for myself where my controller is in a USB port at the back of my Computer, I have to reach round and unplug it every time I want to play GunCraft without using my controller, if you do attempt to play with Mouse/Keyboard whilst it is still plugged in, you will be greeted with controls that are unplayable.
GunCraft aspires to fill a niche in the market that is not there, those who want to play FPS games will not come looking for this game, if they own minecraft they will just mod that. Then they have to compete with ace of spades, a game with much smoother gameplay and larger community, a battle that looks like GunCraft will loose. GunCraft NEEDS to find what makes it stand out, because right now it is just a miss match of different game play elements from popular game, mashed together in a very boring and uninteresting way. I’m giving it 1/5 just because It at least supports steam big picture, I shouldn’t play a game like this, and think the minecraft mod I happened to play recently has better and more interesting gameplay, but I did, constantly, and I’m not even a big fan of Minecraft.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.