I’ve always had a soft spot for level creators, regardless of quality. Whether it’s just tweaking stuff in a minor way, like the contract mode in Hitman World of Assassination, or having a full blown editor like with Super Mario Maker 2, they just feel so satisfying to have.

Considering that I love first person shooters, and the last time I saw a proper console FPS creator was back in Timesplitters 2, needless to say I was very excited for Gunscape – an FPS that promised a fully fledged creation and sharing tool. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, a number of way it seems, but it still does a pretty decent job nevertheless.

Many thanks to Blowfish Studios for the review code.

Gunscape is very much a creation and sharing tool first and FPS game second, so don’t be expecting any type of proper story campaign here. There is a short 8 stage campaign available, aimed to show you some of what the editor is capable of, but don’t be expecting Super Mario Maker 2 levels of depth here. Whilst it’s fine, for the most part, it certainly has its fair share of  bland levels that have you either getting lost or inadvertently falling out of bounds.

The campaign does show off some of the tools that you’ll be working with in the editor mode, which largely consist of assets themed after famous properties such as Quake, Bioshock, and Minecraft, but it also highlights some of the inherent issues you’ll face throughout your experience. First of all, the ‘campaigns’ are more of a co-op experience, and – much like old school co-op modes – will simply respawn you at the last checkpoint upon death, with enemy health, ammunition, and so on, all remaining intact. That essentially means it’s essentially impossible to fail, with your patience being the only thing stopping you from overcoming the odds. And there certainly are odds too, as enemies are complete bullet sponges that take forever to go down. It leaves the shooting feeling rather unrewarding overall.

This isn’t helped by the enemy AI being some of the worst I’ve ever seen in an FPS. Standing absolutely still, enemies usually don’t notice you until you’re either up in their face or firing bullets at them – at which point they’ll go into a nonstop aggro mode until you’re dead. The AI being this dumb effectively means that often you can just run past most foes and you’ll end up in a better position than if you had stayed and fought instead.

At least the weapons are both varied and well designed. From bows to shotguns to plasma rocket launchers, there’s a solid arsenal here that gives you more than enough to play around with. Enemy health and hit detection can result in some of them feeling a tad useless, but none of them feel poorly designed at least.


These inherent issues unfortunately also plague some of the fantastic user content too, with even some of the great ones (such as an excellent GoldenEye remake) having enemies that just spoil the experience. Thankfully there are some user campaigns that make the most of the tools at their disposal and offer you the heaviest weaponry in order to deal with foes instead. In fact, some of the user content is phenomenal and blows the game’s in built campaign out of the water. It’s a shame then that the interface used to access such content doesn’t have a proper search feature, meaning that you either have to play the ones on the home page or go randomly browsing in the ‘shoot’ section of the game. It’s rather inelegant, and I wish more work had gone into making it a little bit more user-friendly.

As for the editor itself, it’s pretty robust and easy to use for the most part. You control a floating god-like creature that can place or remove blocks at the push of a trigger, and you can browse the available stuff to place what you want. There’s not a huge amount of assets available, but there’s certainly enough (as the user content demonstrates). Creation can be done alone or with other people, and testing is dead simple to do too. Of course, making something even remotely interesting is a huge time investment, so don’t go in expecting a Mario Maker style experience where you can knock something out in half an hour. My only real gripe with the editor is the inability to change enemy and weapon values, as being able to adjust enemy health, damage, size, etc would certainly have added more options and made for some more interesting campaigns.

That’s why the game really comes into its own when it comes to the multiplayer. Whilst the AI may be dumb and spongey, human players are all on a level playing field with the awesome weaponry at their disposal. It’s fast, it’s fun, and the huge number of great levels from classic FPS titles make it a thrilling experience. I was unable to find players online at the time of the review, and there’s no bot support either, so it remains to be seen how many people will play it upon release. That being said, even if you’re just playing in split screen with friends on the sofa, you’ll still have a lot of fun with only the odd bit of framerate dips and lengthy loading screens to dampen the fun.



Gunscape isn’t quite as comprehensive or as polished as I’d initially hoped, however it still offers a decent FPS level creator that creative types will be able to sink hours into. If you’re not a creative type but love old school deathmatching, then the game may still be worth a punt.