This review was written using a review copy of the game.
Indie title BlockStorm has been available via Steam’s Early Access for a couple of weeks now and it has proved popular amongst those who have plucked up the courage to purchase it, but what exactly is BlockStorm and is it any good? To put it simply, BlockStorm is set in a Minecraft world, but it also features weapons, grenades and all that sort of “good stuff”. Not only can you dig your way through enemy barriers and buildings, you can also blow them to smithereens, or pixel pieces if you prefer. Game developer GhostShark Games have done well here to create something that feels somewhat unique, but any fan of the Minecraft series might cry out against the similarities.
The game is heavily influenced by the hit game Minecraft and having played both of these titles now there is no denying it. From the pixelated world to the shovel you carry around in your back pocket, the developers are riding on the back of a popular game and it appears to be working for them. The game world, although bland with its textures and backdrops, does feel beautiful in its own way and creating pixel confetti is always fun.
There are three modes available to play; deathmatch, team deathmatch and assault and these modes are pretty basic but within this unique world are rather fun. As you join a game, then you are able to pick your avatar and equipment. The avatars available vary and some look and are named either after or similarly to famous personalities. Take Tony for example, who looks remarkably like Scarface and Richard, who is undoubalty from the Hotline Miami game. The loadout screen allows you to choose from a selection of items, each having their own weight, meaning the more weight you’re packing the slowly you’re going to move around. This is a unique idea and one that I like, though I do wish you could completely remove items that are no use to you or that bring your overall weight up too high. Once chosen you are then able to pick a team and your game begins.
The weapons are very basic but include something for everyone; assault rifles, sniper rifles and shotguns are all available to use from the word go and the selection of explosives is also pretty impressive. It stops there, as there aren’t many secondary weapons to pick from and the shovel you begin the game with is the only item available in that loadout spot.
This is your typical shooter title, the first team or individual to reach a particular score wins, either that or whoever is in the lead when the timer runs out wins. There really isn’t much more to say other than the fact that it does take a while to adjust to the differences from your standard FPS game due to the whole Minecraft vibe going on. Once settled, there is a million things to do and explore, including figuring out how to sneakily infiltrate the enemy base without them knowing. The one thing you’re going to have to watch out for is hit detection, it’s literally hit and miss. Sometimes you can be hitting bullseye, but it won’t register and shooting long range can be pesky as some shots won’t inflict any damage on the enemy, even when using a sniper rifle.