ARTICLE BY: Patrick R. O'Boyle & josh771
Release Date: July 4, 2014
Steam Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/223490/
There is A LOT of hate and very negative and hateful reivews circulating around on steam and other websties about this game. But, after reading the reviews they all apper be less about the the game's current content and quality and more about personal expactations of what they think they game should be. I won't rule out that there are obviously people who probably do hate the game's content as-is, and they're free to have that opinion. But the majority seems to be about personal gripes with the developer in general.
Blockscape is being developed by ioneo , which is 1 guy. Thats right folks.. 1 person is working solely in there own time to put this game together. Considering the scope of the graphical quality of blockscape so far, that in itself is a massive feat of strength! The game came out almost 3 years ago and as been in development ever since. Ioneo recently sent out an update april 3rd to address bugs and glitches with the game. So, he's still very much alive and working on the game.
If your looking for another blockbuilding survival game like minecraft,.. Your going to want to look elsewhere because the Survival mode isn't worth the purchase.
The Creative mode however, is most definitely worth the purchase, so grab this up if you want to make beautiful voxel-based structures and you're tired of using the coarser resolution of blocks that certain other games use. The graphics, as they are, are very pleasant and seem to be well optimized. Not the best thing I've ever seen, but I have very little to complain about. You can make some beautiful stuff with this game.
"Blockscape is being developed by ioneo , which is 1 guy. "
The game seems to perform well 10 hrs in, but I can't be certain without more play time. Just know that you're purchasing an Early Access Game that seems to be developed by a lone developer, so either turn and walk the other way or cut the guy some slack. You should know there is always an element of risk in buying an early access game, so reserve your torches and pitchforks for the big-name AAA developers.
= Survival Mode is Poor, Creative Mode is Fantastic =
Let me say, if you're looking for a fully fleshed-out survival experience, you want something else. I believe this game will eventually offer some survival gameplay comparable to other "Minecraft-like" titles, but it is rather limited for now.
Where this game shines is in its "Just Build" mode. If you have long enjoyed creating buildings in other voxel-based games but found that the voxels themselves were a little too large or undetailed, you might be pleasantly surprised by this game. It has a small voxel resolution and a good selection of shapes to choose from, including slopes of varying steepness, corners (inside and out), bevels, bars, and more. The slopes are dynamically flipped based on your viewing angle, so putting slopes under staircases, etc. is handy enough - no worse than Minecraft's dynamic stair flipping.
The utility of the blocks is only fully realized when you combine the many available shapes with the available materials. The same shape one might use to make small wooden window panes can just as easily create a stylish steel portcullis. You just have to keep in mind the possibilities with the 2-part block system - there are very few shape-to-material incompatibilities here. I have already enjoyed building a log cabin with an outdoor covered forge - was able to place nice support beams with angles unavailable in blockier games - and a small stone fortress with a very nice arched gate and portcullis.
= No Tutorial, No Problem =
The controls, I will confess, take some effort to learn, but it's hardly the end of the world. I was able to find a handy control and console command reference just by bringing up Steam Overlay in-game and checking the Community Guides. A little bit of expermentation for a few play sessions should greatly increase your understanding of the gameplay as well, depending on the plasticity of the individual brain. I personally kept clicking the wrong mouse buttons for block placement/removal (they're inverted from traditional Minecraft, and there are no keybinds). So far, I only get better the more I play. Don't let the controls bog you down - you're not learning to play Dwarf Fortress here.
= Not Realistic, But Still Beautiful =
Graphically, I love how far the view distance goes and the fact that the voxels don't ever seem to be missing in the distance. They load in at different levels of detail, allowing for fairly seamless exploration without noticeable pop-ins and the like. There are shadows cast by sunlight and there are colored lighting options. And I've already mentioned the voxel resolution, but you can also paint blocks with a decent palette of colors - or even paint them with other materials like moss or soil.
= Performance at a Glance =
The game runs with a smooth framerate with all settings on High. My rig has 8 GB RAM, an AMD FX-8350 Eight-Core Processor running at 4 GHz, and an nVidia GeForce GTX 970, for the curious. I only have roughly 10 hrs in game at the writing of this review, but I have so far not encountered any crashes or game-breaking bugs, although I've heard of them. I have encountered a few "ghost" voxels that do not vanish after I harvest them in survival mode, but this resolved itself when I left the area and returned.
When it comes down to it, You should make your own mind up regarding this game.
But, if your passing this game up purely because of reading the reviews on steam about it...
Well, Its your loss. The game is a lot better than the negative steam reivews let on to be.