Many will remember the frantic run and gun gameplay of classics such as Doom, Quake, and Serious Sam, with their iconic visuals, and fast-paced action. Blowfish Studios have attempted to reignite that same passion and nostalgia with their latest release, Gunscape.
With the ethos of Create, Share and Play, Gunscape gives you the opportunity to exercise your creative muscles, and encourages you to create the most fantastic and fiendish levels you can imagine.
Before you get your creative juices flowing, you are encouraged to complete a short campaign, which acts as inspiration for your own creations. Featuring everything you’d expect from its influences, you will find yourself taking on Nazi-esque enemies, fantastical, and terrifying, creatures, and even dinosaurs. Taking you through various environments from ancient ruins, to futuristic prisons, all the while being escorted through by an AI with an alterer motive. Overall, the campaign took me around two hours to complete, and was enjoyable while it lasted, but mainly for the gameplay, not the story. I’m not usually a fan of titles such as Doom or Quake, but even this had me wanting to try “one more time” to succeed.
The campaign, although short, is merely an introduction to what could be, as Gunscape wants you to spend your time creating new and exciting levels for others to try.
The creative mode is your fairly typical level designer, offering a plethora of items and objects to create your own. Unlike many other level designers I’ve used, Gunscape actually places you in a completely blank space, with only four blocks, and four spawn points, to get you going. At first it’s quite daunting, unless you’ve already an idea in mind, but you soon get into the creative flow. The actual creation process is smooth and fairly simple to navigate through your choices. As level creators go, it’s a painless experience, and allows you to get on with designing your level with ease. You are welcome to mix and match the styles to your choosing, as well as enemies, weapons, travel mechanics such as teleportation plates, and much more. Ultimately, it is only limited by your own creativity.
Gunscape does offer an excellent array of multiplayer options, in both creation and play modes, online and offline. There are also a selection of competitive modes, such as Capture the Flag, Last Man Standing, Infection, Team Deathmatch, and much more. These are all available with up to eight people, either via Xbox Live, or by adding additional split-screen players, something which has been overlooked by some big titles recently. So whether you wish to take on some friends over the internet, or on the sofa, the options are there for you. These options are also available should you wish to partake in a collaborative project with friends, and create the perfect battleground for you and your friends to prove your dominance.
Taking inspiration from the classic shooters, Quake, Doom, Gunscape has a highly pixelated aesthetic, which plays well with the type of game Gunscape promotes itself as, a run and gun classic inspired first-person shooter. Each of the level packs are perfectly themed, both in environmental objects and enemy types, and work well together across different themes, with enemies which are easily distinguishable and unique.
Gunscape’s soundtrack is a punchy, upbeat affair, which offers variety between levels. Influenced, once again, by the classic first-person shooters, it’s a mix of 8-bit and electro, and works perfectly with the aesthetics of the game. It’s also a soundtrack I would happily listen to outside of the game as well.
If you’re a fan of classic first-person shooters, or are looking for a no thrills bit of fun with the mates at a weekend, Gunscape is definitely worth looking at. However, if you’re looking for a deep and immersive campaign, with the option to create some of your own levels on the side, you may find yourself disappointed.
Gunscape is now available to buy from the Xbox store for £15.99.
Thanks to Blowfish Studios and Xbox for supporting TiX.