Impressions: Blockstorm

Blockstorm is another voxel game that has decided to bless the PC. I love having the option to create levels and outfit my own personal character however I see fit. This may not seem the most beautiful of shooters, but let me be straight, this idea works.

I really like that you can shoot the bottoms out from something to have it fall and break apart. Super fun times... almost makes me want to make tree forts that aren't connected so you could just drop the tree someone's standing on.

I really like that you can shoot the bottoms out from something to have it fall and break apart. Super fun times… almost makes me want to make tree forts that aren’t connected so you could just drop the tree someone’s standing on.

Depending on how you start to play this game your opinion can easily go two ways. I’ve played on two distinct server types. Both of them were team deathmatch, which I love. I think shooters shine more when there is some form of teamwork in play. There is a time and place for the organized chaos of a free-for-all shootout, but it’s just not my cup of tea. More to the point, one was a custom map that had restricted rules. They allowed the use of only the first type of rifle, the “Rifle” (yeh, that name may be a placeholder). The other server had all of the guns unlocked. I probably would have shut down the game had I only played on the custom server. While it showcased a few things I’ll get into later, I found out that I really don’t like the basic rifle.

This is a mash-up of all of the weapons you get a pick from. You can choose your main weapon, side arm and form of explosive fun time. The pistol felt pretty bad, much like the "Rifle", mostly everything else felt effective. I think the idea was not to overload you with weapon choices, but to deliver enough choices to cover all the bases. No gold paint needed here.

This is a mash-up of all of the weapons you get a pick from. You can choose your main weapon, side arm and form of explosive fun-time. The pistol felt pretty bad, much like the “Rifle”, mostly everything else felt effective. I think the idea was not to overload you with weapon choices, but to deliver enough choices to cover all the bases. No gold paint needed here.

The other map… could have possibly been a custom build, but it looked a bit more shiny and well made. The more important thing is that all of the weapons were unlocked and ready to roll. While some of the other rifles worked (all were better than the basic rifle) I mostly enjoyed the the Shotgun and the heavy M240. While the Shotgun is always a fan favorite, the M240  made the whole game for me. Not only did it seem to be more effective, which could have just been the fact that it shot more bullets, but it also destroyed the blocks that made the level we were running around in. One of my opponents had created a wall blocking off the main passage way (well played nameless shooter) and had shot me numerous times when I attempted to get past. Eventually I leaped into the spirit of Blockstorm and crafted stairs around the the building to the left of his barricade. I climbed the wall and rained down hell on his blockade. It was fantastic! (Also, I got him twice, “Winning!”)

So building things blah blah blah, designing your own character yadda yadda yadda. What can you actually create in Blockstorm? The correct answer: everything. You can create your own level from a number of preset level choices like climate and size or a blank slate that you can customize anyway you deem necessary. Want to make a jungle level, battleship, Death Star? Well… I’m not sure you could create a 1:1 model of the Death Star, but something similar… yeh sure! You can also create your own character. You’re given a human form lacking all color and anything special and you can create another Bond look-a-like or a giant, skinny, walking chicken. Whatever, I won’t judge you. (Well… maybe just a little bit.)

So in the middle of a low population map, I scaled the side of map, blocked up a sniper nest and went to town. Unfortunately, the map was larger and the population was such that I had to abandon the fort if I wanted any action (and I did), but you can do this!

So in the middle of a low population map, I scaled the side of map, blocked up a sniper nest and went to town. Unfortunately, the map was larger and the population was such that I had to abandon the fort if I wanted any action (and I did), but you can do this!

The gameplay may be a bit slow right now due to the lack of players. Considering that the game hasn’t even launched yet, that’s fine. If you want to manually search the servers to find a match, good luck! They do have a “find a game already in progress” option and that led me to a server full of people to shoot and get shot by. It’s a crapshoot if they’ve locked out guns and such, but if it’s that or not playing… well you can always just turn to your knife and just run around and kill people with knives only. It takes a bit more finesse than most CoD games so it’s got a nicer feeling when it connects.

Blockstorm works, but needs more people. That will change with time. Blockstorm has a winning formula here and if it can get some healthy starter levels made by fans of the game, it could really take off.

Blockstorm works, but needs more people and that will change with time. Blockstorm has a winning formula here and if it can get some healthy starter levels made by the community, it could really take off. With customizable maps and characters and with completely destructible environments, Blockstorm almost has it all. If they get a decent size community with maps that illustrate what an user can create and possibly a way to share character skins it would help this ship set sail. This is one of those games that will rely on word of mouth to spread. If you’re a fan of shooters and either don’t care or can get over the Minecraft graphics, you owe it to yourself to try out Blockstorm.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig


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