Some games want to see you lay waste to the world around you while others focus on building it up. Blockstorm attempts to blur the lines between the two, combining a first person shooter with Minecraft-style creation.
Currently in early access via Steam, Blockstorm from Ghostshark Games aims to offer more than your average FPS primarily with its suite of customisation tools and unpredictable multiplayer action. At its core Blockstorm is a somewhat basic shooter, allowing players to select a loadout and take on others in frantic combat. It’s not the twitch speed that Call of Duty players are used to, but sits more akin to the Battlefield franchise with slight weight to the weapons.
From a technical standpoint Sony’s PlayStation Vita is a very capable machine, yet sadly the handheld is still lacking in quality standout games. This issue is especially true when it comes to first person shooters (FPS) — both the Resistance and Call of Duty franchises failed to make use of the Vita’s two analog sticks, typically perfect for the genre. Could Killzone: Mercenary be the Vita’s first great FPS?
That’s what developers Guerrilla Cambridge are hoping to achieve, bringing some much needed FPS fun into the Vita library with their take on the Killzone universe.
Gamebrit took the closed multiplayer beta for a spin to see whether this is the shooter that Vita owners have been waiting for.
Metropolis is in ruins, the heroes of the DC Universe have fallen to their villainous counterparts and mankind’s last hope is dead. In their quest for revenge Lex Luthor et al have unknowingly released a much greater evil upon the earth, Brainiac.
The first Bad Company became quite a surprise hit for most people. Especially the kick-ass destructible environments which allowed the flow of gameplay to constantly shift and the way in which the multiplayer had huge maps with a large variety of vehicles, from golf carts to helicopters. After playing the Beta, I’m glad to see that DICE have made something even more enjoyable than the first.
First of all, the graphics of the game have had an overhaul – they have a much more detailed look – especially in the guns and character model department. Plus, with this being a demo from a game that still has around four months development time before it is actually released, it’s expected for them to be even sharper than they are now. In addition to the impressive graphics, the map (that is available to play in the demo) is much more detailed than those of the original, with a lot of variety thrown in too. Offering an open highway with bases at each end, it’s a tanks dream. The CQC of the town’s streets also make it an infantryman’s dream.
The gameplay has also seen some changes in the beta. Everything was much smoother in terms of movement and actions, such as the melee – which is now a simple button press, instead of the previously required equipping action. Tanks are no longer the indestructible vehicle that was guaranteed to get you a kill streak, they are now much more vulnerable to a few well placed RPG’s, or of course the Engineer class’ drill. Two new vehicles have also joined the ranks, a quad bike, and a UAV. The latter is a remote controlled helicopter, which has the ability to call in airstrikes on enemy positions and is also very good for recon, spotting where enemy snipers are hiding. However, it is very vulnerable, so keeping your distance is advised if you want to keep up a barrage of airstrikes.
DICE’s destructible environments have also had an overhaul. Unlike the previous game, whole buildings can now be destroyed and you can now use your guns to chip away at walls and fences instead of completely destroying them. This opens up new ways the game can be played, as you can move around using fences and walls only for temporary cover.
The classes of the game have also seen some changes, and most definitely for the better. The basics are all still in place with the Assault, Engineer, Medic and Recon, each with their own perk. These perk’s include such things as the Medic’s revival tool and the Engineer’s drill. However unlike the first game, you unlock weapons during the course of playing the game, and they then become immediately available for you to choose. So if you’re tired of sniping halfway through a game, why not switch to your unlocked shotgun and get some CQC time, before going back to making the enemy team’s day that much worse?
Overall, DICE have seriously managed to build upon the success of the first Bad Company and really turn the sequel into something potentially awesome. Even though the Beta contains one map and no single player action. If the multiplayer is anything to go by, you won’t be disappointed. So will this beat Modern Warfare 2? It could be, but we’ll have to wait until March 5th to find out.
Real Time Strategy games are perhaps the biggest type of format game on the PC. World war 2 is perhaps the most over-used theme for a real time strategy game on the PC. So whenever a new strategy game based on world war 2 is announced, you can expect that the reception will eventually become quite sour. War Front Turning point, is set to challenge that perception. The difference between this and many other World war 2 RTS games; it tries to take an alternate history approach to the game. In War Front Turning point, the Nazis manages to get their super weapons into mass production in time for World war 2, in this way the game explores what would of happened if this was indeed the case.
We recently got a chance to play with the multi-player version of the game. The game has three sides to choose from, the UK and US coalition forces, Soviet forces and the German forces, pretty much typical of a WW2 RTS. However, each side has alongside traditional tanks and weapons of their time, special new age weapons and missiles. This does beg the question as to how different it really is to any other strategy game, new weapons and old ones create a weird contrast,, but only add variety to the gameplay, already in other games not strictly of the WW2 theme.
To fans of the genre, the game mechanics and style of War Front will be both familiar and obviously well polished. You start off by with a building unit and a command base, the basic formula which has existed for RTS games since their creation. From that point you have to build up your perfect base, using standard RTS buildings such as energy creators, factories and research labs. Like most Real time strategy games, it is important to have a well rounded and built base, before you start to churn out your units. The two key resources in the game are supplies (necessary for almost everything, such as constructing units and buildings), which are brought in by trucks and electricity which is powered by the generators.
The demo we played still seemed to have a few bugs to work, you notice when sending large amounts of units that they often get confused and in a tangle, I assume this will be worked out for the final version however, as it is almost essential they get this right in an real time strategy.
The graphics in the game are very sound, not entirely ground breaking, but the textures and animations are well done. I noticed the occasional drop in framerate, but I assume simply that this is because it is a demo, and this will be worked out in the final version. The sound is also pretty solid, which makes the game seem pretty well rounded from the impressions I got of the demo.
When first constructing units you are restricted to basic troops, another very generic feature of an RTS. You start off with very light infantry and tanks, you can use these to explore the map and defend your base until you are able to create and control the big boys. You have to raise your tech level before you can construct better units, this is done through research bases.
It might play as original as it sounds on the tin, but if you are a fan of RTS games and are a little tired of all the generic World War 2 games being released, then this might be one for purchase. The “alternative history”, might not be as alternative as it sounds, but it does add some spice to what looks pretty much like its set to be any other RTS game in existence, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. When all the bugs have been fixed and the game is finally released, it will probably be a fine example of an RTS, with the traditional elements of a WW2 game, mixed in with the explosive fire power, of the 21st century.