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Preview: Guncraft is equal parts build and destroy

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Posted by: Sal Mattos

When the outside world thinks of video games they tend to go straight to violent, destruction based titles. Too often mainstream media ignores games where construction and creativity is the focus. Whether it be SimCity, Spore, or, yes, Minecraft there is an entire genre of diverse titles that don’t center entirely around shooting people or blowing things up. And these games are wonderful of course; tapping into the human drive to build rather than destroy. Sometimes though, and don’t let those anti-videogames nuts hear this: we really just want to run around and wreak some havoc. But what about a game where we can build and destroy in equal parts? Well, that’s what Guncraft is for.

From Exato Games, Guncraft is exactly what it sounds like: a first person shooter mashed up with Minecraft. Gameplay doesn’t stray far from what how most first person shooters function, with your standard control schemes and movement set-ups present. If you’ve ever played Call of Duty, Halo, or any other modern shooter you’ll be right at home here. What make Guncraft unique, ironically, are the aspects it borrows from its primary source of inspiration: Minecraft

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The aesthetic appeal of the game is undeniable. Imagine running around the beautifully low-res, do-it-yourself worlds of Minecraft…but with a machine gun to mow down enemies! The fun doesn’t stop at fighting enemies, though, as players are able to build and destroy cubes as they play. Players can stack cubes to protect themselves from enemy fire, or shoot down walls built by others.  Entire sections of levels can be destroyed or added on to, based on whatever the player wants to do.

Different player classes determine invidual skills. You select a prebuilt class before you begin a game, but are able to customize each class as needed to match your play style. The architect class, for example, is able to build cubes faster than other players and might be better suited to the less-destruction minded players. Along with prebuilt classes are prebuilt items and structures that players can call upon in the middle of a given battle. Entire buildings can be summoned, so to speak, to aid a player. And, of course, players can customize their own unique items that, once approved by the moderators and community, can be utilized in a match. Imagine dropping your own signature cube structure onto your opponents so that they have no question of who it was!

But the crafting doesn’t stop at items. Custom character skins will be added to the game as post-release DLC. And, of course, what would a game called Guncraft be without the ability to craft your own guns? In the post-release guncraft mode players build a larger than life gun of their own design, with custom skins and the like, and then scale those guns down to what will be its in-game size. After assigning various stats to your new gun you can take it to the firing range and see how it plays.

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Guncraft features many different styles of gameplay. All your standard modes are accounted for, from your basic multiplayer to Onsalught with its endless waves of bot enemies. Other challenges, like Lava Survival Mode, give the game its own identity. Lava Survival is exactly what it sounds like, with players building structures higher and higher in order to avoid the ever-rising lava floor. In this mode players don’t kill one another, but instead focus on their own survival and the hindrance of others. It’s experiences like these that help Guncraft stand out from the pack, and to bring some much needed fresh air into the FPS genre.

Just as with Minecraft, Guncraft has a lot of potential for expansion and growth once players get their hands on it. It’s basically a make your own shooter and, in that regard, is a welcome entry to the genre. If Guncraft proves to be as endlessly entertaining as the game that inspired it, then you will definitely want to give it a download when the final version is released later this year. Preorder bonuses are on sale now, and if you just can’t wait the Open Beta is ready and waiting for you.

Tags: Guncraft, Preview

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