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Guns 'n' crafts.
For some folks, the best part of building a ginormous sand castle is going all Gojira on it once it's all done. Destroying that which you create, existential crisis… something, something, something catharsis… whatever. Me, I'd rather wreck shop on someone else's sand castle, and in Guncraft, that's exactly what you do—except you do it with a shotgun instead of a shovel.
At first mention, the idea of building objects a la Minecraft while worrying about your K/D ratio in a fast-paced multiplayer shooter sounds too hectic and cumbersome to be a good time, but this issue is largely solved by what can only be described as building “macros," objects you drop into the world that, over time, build structures you've previously designed. The bigger the object, the longer it takes to complete, and the longer the cooldown until you can use it again. It makes erecting a bunker or cover wall as easy as tossing a grenade, and keeps your eyes down-sight… where they belong.
And structures aren't the only things you can design, either; you also get to design your guns. I don't mean slapping a sight on it and call it a day, but actually determining how your firearm behaves in almost every regard, from accuracy to how much damage it does to players vs. vehicles. Just pick a common weapon archetype, like the sniper rifle or SMG, and then set its attributes to your liking. The whole thing is balanced by a 100-point system so every creation is theoretically equal. I'm sure some folks will find optimal setups, but the spirit of inventiveness here is refreshing to say the least.
As much as this sounds like complete anarchy, the minute-to-minute gameplay feels nicely familiar despite its voxel-based appearance. Some might criticize multiplayer shooters for being too same-y, but here it works to ground some experimental mechanics, and I think that's wise. Some modes will feel much like your typical team deathmatch, except with the completely destructible environments shattering into pieces all around you, while others, like Lava Survival, turn traditional shooter logic on its head.
It's a "last man standing" free-for-all where you use a Zelda-esque hookshot to leap from rooftop to rooftop, trying to off opponents while keeping your feet out of the ever-rising lava. The best part? When you bite it, you stay on as a ghost who can delete one block every 10 seconds. In this way, fellow dead people can launch coordinated griefing efforts to get revenge on whomever offended them. Can't beat 'em? Troll 'em!
Perhaps the most refreshing thing about Guncraft, though, is the lack of unlock progression. From the moment you start playing, you have access to all the same guns, killstreaks, and building tools as everyone else. Even better, you won't find any micro-transactions here. The game will cost a paltry $15 bucks when it releases later this year, and then it's yours to play. No sales pitches, no pay-to-win bullshit, just a fun, unique game with near limitless customization.
You can sign up for Guncraft's open beta right now.