Game Review: Guncraft
Ever since the initial release of Minecraft, and it’s increase in popularity throughout the years, many video game titles have tried to receive this popularity themselves, typically with very little success. Guncraft, in many ways, is the product of this scenario. The game from the outside looks as if it’s a rehash Minecraft, except with Guns, of course. However, looking deeper into it, there’s a glimmer of difference that really shows that Guncraft knows what it’s trying to accomplish and is more than a hollow mimicry, even though it does have several features that are indistinguishable from it’s predecessor.
To start with, Guncraft players will be in for a rude awakening at first in some ways more than one. The game itself gives no tutorials whatsoever, and it really doesn’t explain have the basic concepts of the game for the player. At times, it does feel as if it expects you to have played one of the many “craft” titles beforehand. Furthermore, there’s actually no explanation on how to use some vehicles or even some weapons, such as the hook shot or a hover drone. It’s a tad bit irritating due to the fact that many gamers will need to take time to look at all of the different keys and try testing out hookshots at different angles, try to find the range for them and in general, just get used to them along with the different keys for things such as consumables or even trying to place a block down.
However, looking past this issue, gamers will find themselves in a world filled with content. Especially considering the fact that it has been three months since it’s initial release, the community has taken it upon itself to give Guncraft new skins (such as a Gordon Freeman costume), new weapons, new maps (i.e the zero gravity map), or even silly things such as having two aircraft fly in the moonlight for no odd reason. All of these things add a great deal of depth to the multiplayer, but sadly, there’s no one to see it, due to the fact the multiplayer barely has players playing on it, being another major issue for the game. This wouldn’t be as troublesome if there was a single player, because not every player wants to go out of their way to build different objects or maps rather than experiencing what the game has to offer.
During the multiplayer itself, the game is truly large, having a total of ten different game types. These range from simple team deathmatch, to racing against other player, to a game type called “Meteor Survival”. Even though game types such as paranoia or even meteor survival aren’t extremely new, they are very enjoyable. During meteor survival, players will have to well, run and find a safe place to avoid the meteors, however, keeping in mind that meteors do break concrete objects. Paranoia is very similar to “Undercover Cop” from Kane and Lynch 2, where you’re disguised as some other individuals and you have to take down your own teammates without them knowing who you truly are. It does add a bit of suspense and is a well appreciated touch compared to the simple team deathmatch mode.
Prior to matches, players will choose a profile which has their skins, their class and their weapons of choice. The classes make a huge difference, as some of them give you special bonuses within the match themselves and range from assault to demolition to mobile snipers. Demolition features a bonus that allows players to have infinite C4 during a match, while a ninja has the bonus ability to be able to kill any foe with one hit with any melee weapon.
Weapons, however, are sadly a fluke. They are far from special to say the least. You have your ordinary assault rifles, shotguns and even a pistol along with a rocket launcher. On the other hand, within the community portion of Guncraft, you are offered flamethrowers, along with custom looking guns. It kind of shows that the developers didn’t really place too much concern within the weapons- on the bright side, though, there are vehicles within the game, such as helicopters and tanks that make up for it, and those do contribute a great deal to the enjoyment of the game.
In addition to the different profiles are the skins and different perks. Perks offer a chance for you to unleash some havoc upon other players after getting a certain amount of kills. These perks range from having helicopters that are armed with chainguns and rocket launchers appear from the sky to AI stationary turrets. It does spice up the game, but it really doesn’t make the game itself, and especially considering the fact that most of the starting characters look dreadful and have terrible color palettes, ranging from dark brown, to mud color, to black to gray and in general just colors that are somewhat just depressing to look at. However, there are other skins of course such as the first mate outfit, or the lady pirate that look like great eye-candy, however, there are barely enough for a player not to go and download mods for them as well.
On a side note, there are several issues within the game as well. The game has very random frame drops even three months after its initial release, and even with a GTX 670. The textures themselves are not nearly as good as many other games, meaning it’s terribly optimized for PC. Furthermore, even though the graphics and audio are not very important when it comes to a title such as this, where the gameplay should shine far more, the graphics and the audio are downright terrible. There are barely any details within the blocks and all of it looks bland, as if there was block was created utilizing OpenGL and from there, color was added to it- and nothing more. Furthermore, during my playthrough, sometimes the audio would just drop randomly, meaning sometimes if I went into a match, I would not hear any audio unless I exited out of the program itself.
These issues are only the tip of the iceberg. The game itself really can’t stand on it’s own two legs because it so heavily relies on the community. During my playthrough, I found myself constantly bored during some of the matches. Not only was there a lack of individuals, but there was a lack of enjoyment to be had from the different classes and weapons and even the surroundings themselves didn’t feel fun- you would fall down if you dug too deep, or if you missed a jump on a platform.
Overall, Guncraft deserves a solid two out of five. I would have loved to say that Guncraft has grown the spectrum for indie titles and is the epitome of innovation, but it severely lacks in almost all categories. It barely stands on its own two feet within the gameplay, it has eye-blinding graphics that have no settings to improve, optimize or change them, the audio is funky and sometimes just downright disappears, and worst of all, it’s really just poorly optimized. When the player who started the match drops out, the game just kicks you from the match. Beyond that, even though the community is brimming with several interesting modifications to the game, players still have to wonder if Guncraft deserves a good score for something that it barely offers to the players- modders are the reason that Guncraft is even remotely enjoyable.