Build. Destroy. Attack. Defend. Tunnel. Trap. Catapult. Poison. Slice. Detonate. Sabotage. Win.
Insomnia 54 is featuring the brilliant Minecraft-influenced first-person shooter; Block N Load.
Block N Load is a major departure for publisher Jagex; unlike Runescape, which has been the company’s most well known property for almost 15 years, this new release won’t be browser-based, won’t be free to play and won’t be an MMORPG.
It’s a class-based multiplayer team shooter which takes inspiration from Team Fortress 2, Battlefield Heroes, and above all else, Minecraft.
Right off the bat, it’s clear to see the Minecraft influence; although the game looks a bit more modern and refined than Mojang’s sandbox world builder, everything is built from cubes and the characters, weapons and objects are all suitably blocky.
You won’t need a powerhouse of a PC to run it, but you’ll need quick reflexes; once a match gets going the acton doesn’t let up.
Rather than boil down to a simple deathmatch, Block N Load combines five minutes of base building at the start of the game with an objective-based attack and defend scenario. Players have to protect their power generator, using a combination of explosives, traps, turrets and block walls, before racing towards the enemy base to take down their own generator. The first generator to topple will end the game, but a solid defence can mean teams will need coordination and tactics in order to breach through.
Before jumping into a 5V5 match, players have to pick one of six diverse characters; there’s the usual mix of heavy weapons, sniping, AOE denial and turret defence, plus our current favourite, Mexican ninja O.P Juan Shinobi. Every character has their own set of skills and abilities, but Shinobi can climb walls – meaning he can reach areas otherwise inaccessible to the other players.
You only have a limited amount of blocks to build with, but collecting the ones already placed on the maps will refill your supply. That means striking a balance between laying down your best traps or turrets, then scrambling to collect more, or waiting until later in the match to turn the tide of battle in your team’s favour.
Cogwheel, the BNL equivalent of Team Fortress 2’s Heavy, might have seriously powerful mortars that can rain down explosive fire on an area, but he’s so slow that Shinobi can race past at breach his defences. Combined with his ‘secret shrine’ teleport ability, you can warp around the map in secret, completely avoiding direct conflict. Of course, the other players can do the same by tunnelling under the map.
And what’s more, extra map packs are free of charge.