After getting interested in upcoming Minecraft/FPS hybrid Brick-Force late last year, I was quick on the buzzer when it was time to sign up for the game’s closed beta. Soon enough, I ended up with some free time to kill and received that wonderful email from Infernum Productions informing me that I made it into their closed beta. Naturally, I took some time to sit down with the free-to-play game and give it a few hours to let loose. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to check out the map editing process, aside from strolling around someone’s map while they were making it. The good news is that I was able to put in some quality time with their FPS aspect.
If you’re interested in hearing what I thought about Infernum’s debut title, keep on reading!
What’d you preview? Brick-Force
Who’s making it? Infernum Productions
When’s it coming out? “Spring 2012″
If you’ve ever played a shooter game on the PC, then you’ll feel comfortable with the control layout. Most of the controls are natural to the FPS genre and they try not to stray from what works. Right from the start, you get to look at your avatar and view your weapons and inventory, along with access to a shop where you can purchase your much-desired upgrades. Naturally I went right for the AK-47 lookalike, the BK47, and unlocked it for my session. Right after that, it was time to jump into a match – completely oblivious to what I was in store for.
The actual FPS style is quite refreshing; there’s a very clear influence from Counter-Strike at its core. You have your crosshairs and no zoom, unless you’re using a sniper rifle. Headshots are deadly and the heads are quite big, though I believe there might be a sweet spot as opposed to just nicking them on the skullcap. The game plays like Counter-Strike with a new skin, and that includes user-made maps, which I believe to be a good thing. The blend of this particular art style with classic gameplay allows for cartoony action in a different vein than Team Fortress 2 while still giving us a solid shooter experience. A player gets four weapons to use during your game: a wrench (yes, that’s your melee weapon), pistol, a main weapon that you can pick from a lot of familiar weapons under a different pseudonym, and your choice of frag or smoke grenade.
While the main focus of the game is the fact that it’s a first-person shooter, to neglect the entire user experience of map-making would be outright wrong. As I ran around a map that another player was currently working on – with what I could perceive to be other random people helping – I felt that there was a connection in that time with the other players. The originator of the map was giving instructions and people used their Brick Points, currency you get from winning matches, to lay down some terrain and obstacles. I didn’t want to mess with what was going on, so I observed for a short period before leaving to continue my slaughtering of big headed Lego-men.
I should probably mention how nice it is to see a shooter that doesn’t have some sort of regenerating health, especially in this new age of monster kill-streaks. This makes it much harder to survive for long periods of time without inevitably meeting your death. While there are medics in the game right now, at this point in the Beta they don’t seem to be too useful from what I could tell. I could say that’s because I just wasn’t looking for them, or maybe they weren’t looking for me.
The game has some mega potential to get a growing community with a plethora of maps. I’m sure some people will take mainly to the designing aspect of creating levels and completely forfeit the FPS experience, but either way I have to hope that Infernum Productions can keep the game stable and the community happy. Due to the game starting me out with 100,000 of the aforementioned Brick Points, I was able to afford what I needed and jump right in knowing I was on a level playing field. I hope this aspect stays past beta, at least to a degree so that new players will feel that same sense of balance. A common fear with many free-to-play games is crossing the line between “pay to play” and “pay to win”. If Brick-Force does fall in that hole, it might end up buried beneath a sea of other like-minded first-person shooters.
Give the game a shot when it comes out “sometime this spring”, or sign up for the beta and start playing before release. It’s definitely worth checking out.