A Review of Guncraft: The Internet Isn’t Always Right

The game still needs improvement.

Guncraft, a fast-paced indie voxel shooter developed by Exato games, launched just a few months ago on Steam with little fanfare besides the customary front page feature. Not surprisingly, the game’s Steam forums were assaulted by hundreds of ranting internet dwellers, stumbling to get their words out as fast as that could, telling everyone that the game was a rip-off of Ace of Spades and/or Minecraft. Never mind the fact that the game is a deathmatch-style shooter with smaller maps than either Ace of Spades or Minecraft. It also lacks creepers, zombies, sheep, crafting tables, and an inventory, but that shouldn’t even need to be said.

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I would love to tell everyone that the game is absolutely perfect, and will shine a new light in the world of shooters today. I would love to rave about the map design and the amazing weapon balance.

But I can’t, because I’d be lying.

What the game does have is a lot of game modes, a lot of maps, and a lot of customization. These are all pretty good things in their own right, but the game doesn’t feel finished at times. Fun, for sure, but unfinished.

Simple Graphics (and Sound)

It’s a voxel shooter, so the game’s maps are made of cubes. The game has very low resolution textures and no graphic options. It’s running at its highest and lowest settings, as the devs had neither the time nor the resources to create multiple settings and texture resolutions. A lot of people are protesting this choice, but I agree with it. It’s not as if the game is a huge eyesore. The graphic style works, and I can’t bash them for having a game with nice graphics that runs on a huge range of systems. The one thing I will bash, though, is that amateurish design of the menu. It seriously looks like no work went into it, and it’s unresponsive half of the time.

The game has sound, it just doesn’t stand out enough. You have footsteps, explosions, and a menu theme. That’s it.

Map Design Issues

The game takes after Call of Duty here, in the sense that it is not inherently unbalanced in its design but not every weapon is useful in every map.

If you’ve ever played the original Ace of Spades, or even Team Fortress 2 or any Quake titles, then you’d know the difference. In those games, every map has a specific situation where every single weapon class can be useful. There’s long corridors, open spaces, towers, high ground, flat ground… No weapon will be left out of the map, and every weapon has a position where it can shine.

Guncraft is not that game. Some maps will have huge buildings for you to snipe from, others will have completely flat terrain, and some will spawn helicopters which allow you a huge advantage if you take to the skies before your opponent. For some people, this might be okay. But from someone like me, coming from arena shooters, this isn’t too fun.

A Huge Variety of Weapons… With Huge Balance Problems

There are a lot of weapons. As in, a lot. You can even customize them to make them stand out from the generic designs. But some weapons are flat-out better than others. The heavier guns will give you a slight hit to movement speed, but a huge boost to damage if you can land the shots (which you definitely can, because recoil is almost non-existent) Lighter weapons will give a slight boost to movement speed but you’ll take a big hit to both damage and the speed of your attacks. So, unless the map calls for sniping, you’ll have a bunch of people slowly walking around shooting each other with the biggest gun they can get their hands on. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.

In Summary

Guncraft is a fun game, and it can keep you playing in short bursts of a few minutes. But it’s hard to get into and doesn’t really stick. I don’t see myself playing this game as addictively as other shooters.

7
A Review of Guncraft: The Internet Isn’t Always Right
The game still needs improvement.

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Author
Zachary Welter
A dedicated gamer that loves sandboxes, realistic games, and long walks on the beach.