[Dislcosure: A preview code was provided by the publisher for the contents of this article]
Still putting time into Block Story, I've found myself really enjoying the game's world and atmosphere. One of the most compelling and engaging aspects of the game is the ability to explore.
Now, simply saying “explore” might sound derivative for every other open-world RPG out there. However, I should note that this game is not like the exploration in games such as Minecraft or Divinity or Risen or Gothic. Instead, exploration in Block Story is highly rewarding and visually fantastical.
In the game's core story mode, you're only going to be able to craft items, vehicles and transportation based on quests you complete. Due to this inhibition, it means that players can't simply build a flying machine and blast high into the sky, going wherever you want. Instead, it means that you have to pace yourself, find proper material and slowly work your way up to some of the more awesome features in the game.
As you move up the quest chain and start unlocking new recipes, it does get a bit grindy, as you'll need 100s of materials to build useful contraptions and transport.
Alternatively, you can keep leveling up by simply mining and crafting, enabling you to increase things like jump height, fly time, how long you can breathe underwater or how quickly you can gather material.
Given the amount of time it would take to craft some of the transport objects in the game, I opted to use the jump-flying skill to scale high into the sky. I was just way too curious to know what was up there – what was beyond the reach of man's limited jumping abilities? Well, after tons of platform-hopping, dragon-dodging and sky-flying, I finally made it to where I wanted to go.
I have to say that graphically – despite the game's blocky environmental voxels – the game looks really good with its aesthetic. A lot of it has to do with the fact that the environments look like they beg to be traveled across. There's a lot of intrigue in the unknown, and most players will probably want to know what lurks above and beyond, far into the seemingly unreachable plateaus that fly high above their heads, daunting in size but majestic in appearance.
The game almost taunts you to make the journey high into the sky. It begs you to find a way to venture high into the unknown – seeking to find an answer as to what inhabits the land in the sky.
If you're getting shades of Bioshock: Infinite, don't worry I was thinking the same thing looking up into the sky (or from down below) and seeing the massive world sprawled out before me as giant, fragmented continents all their own.
Take note that the game does offer various types of enemies and allies alike via spawn boxes scattered throughout the game world. Different areas have different foes, friends and quest-givers.
I can't say for sure if the higher you go the harder the bad guys become since I avoided combat at all costs, but I can say that some of the enemies definitely look a lot more threatening the further away from your initial spawn point you go.
I've tried avoiding combat for now because it's quite clunky and I'll need to mess around with more weapon types to see if all of them handle that way. For now, I'm really digging the quest-scaling and exploration aspects. For $9.99 during it's Early Access it's certainly not the worst thing you could buy.
You can learn more about Block Story by paying a visit to the official website.