Brick-Force, from Infernum and EXE Games, has been out for some time now, though you may not have come across it yet. It’s what would happen if you took the block based building aspects of Minecraft, took out the fact that you have to pay, and combined it with first person shooter mechanics. Did I mention it’s free?
The idea behind Brick-Force is that players can create their own maps, jump into that map with some other folks, and murder each other for a while. The host of each game gets to choose what map to play on and, after the match is done, players vote on the viability of the map. Like Minecraft, you can build maps cooperatively (or not, if you don’t want to give people permission to edit your detailed recreation of Redwall), although unlike Minecraft you choose a base template (size and ground/sky blocks) and then build up from there. Although if that’s too much work you can save up your in-game currency to buy other players’ maps from the marketplace. Maybe snag Dust –based off of Counterstrike’s eponymous map–which is the highest rated map at time of writing.
Building’s only one facet of the game though. Albeit the most interesting. Sure, there are multiple gun types, grenades, accessories that up your stats, and various costumes for your character that can be earned with in-game currency, (or real money if you’re so inclined) but they just don’t seem to hold the same appeal. At least in the–admittedly short–time I’ve spent with the game. The actual shooting part of it feels clunky at times. All the character models are quite large and you can’t even crouch (yet!), so evasive actions are difficult to take and combat ends up feeling like two cars with no brakes crashing into each other. Which is not to say that fighting in Brick-Force isn’t fun, it’s just not terribly nuanced.
The standout feature of Brick-Force, to me, is the build and destroy mode. Players are plopped down on an empty map. A shimmering wall obscures the two teams from each other. For three minutes your team can build your fort up in peace. Maybe construct a nice, tall sniper tower or a bunker. Or, you can do like me and take out squares from the ground in front of your base and fill them with fire. After the three minutes are up the wall lifts and the shooting commences. You can run over to their base and set about being a nuisance, perhaps deleting their turret or removing a key set of blocks that allows your team to shoot into their spawn points. You can still build once the fighting starts, but it’s an understably dangerous task.
Brick-Force is well worth the price of nothing at all, the game’s a good time. It’s currently in its second season which means space themed blocks, gravity settings for maps, and astronaut suits for all. Season three begins sometime in spring and brings with it a medieval theme. You can check Brick-Force out here.