Blockstorm – Preview (PC)

Cube of Duty – Blockstorm

There have been a few voxel-type shooters recently, all of which took a bite out of Minecraft when it came to aesthetics. Ace of Spades and Guncraft each tried to carve out a niche for themselves -to varying degrees of success. Guncraft never did catch on much, and its servers are pretty bare these days, and after Jagex took on Ace of Spades interest in it all but died out. So why should Blockstorm be any different from past attempts at the voxel FPS?

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Developed by GhostShark and published by IndieGala (of game bundle fame), Blockstorm is the result of mixing Call of Duty with copious amounts of cubes. The game is an entirely competitive online shooter with a few different game modes. Currently Blockstorm features such standards as deathmatch, team deathmatch and assault – where one team attacks and the other defends.

So things are a little bare on the  game mode front, but from what we played all modes are a good deal of fun. Action is swift, with players scrambling across the map searching for opponents that they can shoot into a pile of tiny voxels.  The game features a variety of different weapons, sidearms and explosives meaning you can switch up your play style depending on the map and your preference.

Maps with lots of steep hills or tall buildings are great for sniping your enemies with either the sniper rifle or ordinary rifle. Nailing a headshot from hundreds of yards across the map is a joy to behold, but it can be frustrating if you are repeatedly on the receiving end. There are also a variety of maps more suited to run-n-gun players using the AK-47 or Uzi. One feature that lifts Blockstorm above its peers is its destructible terrain and buildings. Blowing the pillars out of structure will send it tumbling to the ground in a hail of cubes, should major parts of the structure land on an opponent it will also take them with it. Some players may also make crafty use of this feature, in addition to explosive charges, to destroy bridges and other crossings to make life difficult for their opponents. Maps were constantly changing and re-moulding themselves while we played.

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The game also feature tools for creating maps and editing your character model. There isn’t a whole lot of content out there at the moment but this should change as more people pick up the game.

We also noticed a good amount of cooperation in-game, with players hashing out plans together and making assaults as a team. It’s encouraging to see such a new game fostering a mature and fun community and we hope to see it continue. Unfortunately many of the game’s servers lay empty for most of the day, but we are inclined to chalk this up to it being in alpha – at least we hope so.

Blockstorm doesn’t actually bring a whole lot new to the voxel FPS genre, but what is there is fun to play with. There also isn’t exactlymuch to dislike, except perhaps some weedy guns and a limited number of modes on offer. As development progresses we should see more content being added though. We can’t tell if it is third time lucky for voxel shooters quite yet, but we can wholeheartedly recommend Blockstorm even in this early access stage.

Blockstorm is available to buy on Steam.