Gunscape review: DIY retro shooter

Reviews

Reviewed on: PC. Copy supplied by publisher.

Gunscape may have caught your attention in recent times, it’s been presented as a customisable retro shooter. The PS4, Xbox One and PC game provides all the elements that are reminiscent of classic FPS titles such as Doom and Wolfenstein, and leaves them at the player’s disposal to create their own maps. Players can then try out other people’s creation ranging from single-player campaigns, co-op maps and multiplayer arenas.

I really get what Gunscape was going for, but what it delivers is something I really didn’t care for and found incredibly dull to play.

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Interestingly a flag was included with my expression.

When throwing back to older games it’s usually best to go for nostalgic visuals or music, not by going back to clunky outdated gameplay. I’m talking about simple stuff that’s not included in Gunscape, like not having headshots register higher damage, AI being overly simplified, cumbersome movement and bland gun play where variety in weapons means very little.

The guns have the kind of feeling you would expect from a game released in the late 80s/early 90s, which was great at the time, but using them now is something else entirely. You have a basic range of shotguns, pistols, melee weapons, grenade and flame throwers at your disposal, but that doesn’t make things interesting enough to persevere for long. Enemies mostly rush you, so combat variation is limited. Of course PVP is a different thing entirely, yet that still feels flat and not really worth investing too much time in.

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Game within a game.

The enemy types are relatively ranged with a selection of nazis to take down and a few monster types, but each enemy has the exact same look, so you feel it’s a copy paste mosaic of the same assets rather than a game filled with variety. You know those asset flip games that Jim Sterling constantly berates? Gunscape feels like a catalogue of these game all rolled into one.

On the plus side Gunscape includes some great building features, but they may as well be non existent if what you’re building towards doesn’t deliver. I tried my best at making something playable, yet failed miserably. To be fair, I’ve never really understood block building games or gotten into them, so I’m not the best judge of that. However, for an entry level level builder the system at hand here doesn’t do much to introduce you to the mechanics or make you want to stick around and learn them for very long.

The Verdict

Unfortunately this is a game I’d be hard pressed to recommend to anybody. It’s a carousel of relatively interesting custom built maps that have little playability due to the fact the gameplay itself is so mediocre. Considering the game costs an exceptionally high $US19.99 for standard edition and $39.99 for gold edition, it’s one that will probably be best left on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

Pros: A lot of building options. Good retro soundtrack.

Cons: Gameplay simply isn’t fun. Daunting map building experience. Current retail price is overshooting on value.

2/10 Not recommendable.

Build Charlie on Twitter @clbraith, and don’t forget to follow @load_screen and like us on Facebook.

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