Blockstorm is very much a combination of the multiplayer action of Call of Duty/Battlefield and the creativity that comes with Minecraft. That being said, the appearance and gameplay really hearkens back to the early days of multiplayer, to such games like Goldeneye and their pixelated appearance. However, this type of gameplay combined with the ability to create maps as well as characters on the fly make for a truly unique experience.
It is worth noting that Blockstorm is exclusively a multiplayer game. As such, there is no story mode or single player campaign. However, being exclusively multiplayer plays to the strengths of Blockstorm.
Players can choose from three modes – Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Assault. While the game is still in its early phase, there is not a lot of players online, playing the game. That said, the fun of playing online with friends and other people is not lost. The competitiveness and gratification of playing with other people present and is one of the reasons that Blockstorm is such a great and fun game.
One of the key aspects of Blockstorm is customization. Customization is the one quality of this game that pervades all aspects of this game.
Before each match, players are to choose a character to play from both the a selection of pre-rendered characters that the game provides the player or custom characters that the player creates himself/herself. As with all character creation in any game, the amount of time spent here depends on the player, but expect very detail-oriented players to lose time on this section.
Also available for you to customize are the weapons and tools you carry. What weapons you have already has a bearing on your movement. Moving fast or slow depends on the weight of the weapons and items you carry. One of the tools that you are required to carry regardless are shovels and blocks. This adds a unique dimension of verticality to the gameplay. No longer are you limited to going around your opponents or head on. Now, with these items, players will be able to dig or build you way over them. Now I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds stupid.” Well, to that I say that I have born witness to people using this tactic several times so whether this is a worthwhile tactic or not is up for debate.
The map editor is another compelling aspect of the game. Players can spend hours upon hours making their own map. This feature is welcome because with the game being in the early stages of development, the variety in maps is lacking.
Another aspect that is lacking in this game is sound. In every match, the only accompanying sounds are the sounds of gunfire, the explosions of grenades and missiles, and your own footsteps. However, you don’t hear any music, which makes for a very bland experience and, at times, kind of distances the player from the game.
Blockstorm does the best of what first-person online shooters do and that engage you in a feeling of competitiveness. It also encourages some creativity in its customization aspects like character and map creation. Minecraft players will feel right at home in this respect. The game certainly is lacking in terms of sound and map variety, which is understandable for a game in early development. However, the creativity that the game encourages as well as the competitiveness of its multiplayer allude to some interesting developments down the line.
You can also view Michael’s video preview of Blockstorm below.