STAFF REVIEW of Gunscape (Xbox One)

Thursday, April 28, 2016.
by Brent Roberts

Gunscape Box art Ever since the olden days of Wolfenstein and Doom, gamers around the globe have invested countless hours in classic FPS games. Developer Blowfish Games has recently created a FPS called Gunscape that attempts to resurrect these hours of enjoyment from decades ago while also attempting to bring them into the current-gen platform by giving you a map editor.

Gunscape seems like it will be a fairly straight forward FPS game; however, after an incredibly short 8-level story mode that is absolutely irrelevant, you will have come to grips with the mechanics and play style of Gunscape. In case you were curious as to the campaign, it involves you infiltrating a secret installation to gain access to DOLOS, which is tasked for one thing; to become the ultimate AI weapon on the planet. You will not only have to read dialogue that attempts to be humorous at times, but you will gain knowledge on how switches and other items work within the game parameters, which is key when you take into account this game's soul is focused around one thing: a players ability to create new content of their own.

That's right folks, Gunscape's soul is based around the game's map editor. Using a simplistic method of construction, Gunscape allows you to create either your own multiplayer maps of various gametypes or campaign maps which can then be shared with the online gaming world. It goes without saying that the traditional gametypes are included, such as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Free For All, Last Man Standing, and Infection gametypes to name a few.

You use the cubes that are provided at your disposal such as terrain blocks, but these have more uses than just a "floor". Some are angled so that you can create ramps, stairs, and more advanced shapes. However, while creating a strong foundation is important, Gunscape allows you to customize your levels with items such as statues and more to help give it your own personal touch. As you build and develop your levels you'll also have the ability to place special elements, such as dash/jump pads, teleporters, elevators and so on, on your created map

This gives you a tremendous ability to create some spectacular maps on your own, but you'll also see that
Gunscape loves to pay homage to classic shooters as their theme packs clearly show some generic tributes to games such as Quake, Bioshock, Portal, Doom, and so much more. This means that you can mix and match your blocks from varying themes making your possible combinations limitless as you will always have a tremendous amount of content to create, play, and enjoy.

But in the mix of all of this, there is a couple things that seem hurt this game somewhat. For starters, when you create a map you're limited to the AI enemies and their reaction within the map you're building. When I say limited to, what I mean to say is that you have barely any choice at all. Sadly, you can't adjust it and the theme packs have very little in terms of variety when it comes to your available AI enemies. It's this limitation that can tend to hold this game back and you can't have a setback like this affecting your main characteristic of your game.

Normally if that was the only fault, even though it's a large one, I could tolerate it; however, this isn't the only mark against Gunscape. Going through the build mode it became a chore and a half thanks to the stability issues that I had with it. Instead of having a bout of bad lag here and there I was the recipient of full on freezing. Thank the heavens I hadn't been investing hours and hours developing a level before it all crashed to the floor.

The stability issues continued well into the single player, but at the time of review I could not find one single multiplayer game to join. So while the network issues plagued the single player and build mode, I could not find a multiplayer match to see if they continued via that mode. I also noticed that my signal strength for the first time was jumping rapidly all over the place. I'd get 1 red bar, then 3 green, then 2 green, then 4 green, then 1 red bar, and the cycle would continue. This had nothing to do with the signal coming to my modem as I am
hard wired into my Xbox One and all my other games run smooth as silk.

When you create a FPS and you want to pay tribute to classics that have paved the way for this game to even exist, you want to make sure that you use those icons as a reference point on what to do. I don't see that here at all and it pains me to say that. For $20 you should get a game that offers more, and while Gunscape tries to do that, the stability issues are almost insurmountable as you cannot have these issues when you don't have much else packed into the game itself. If you're looking for a trip down nostalgia road then this will do it for you. If you're looking for a classic iconic experience, then look somewhere else or save your $20.00 for another time.

Please work on stability issues to make this game more enjoyable.

Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 6.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.8 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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