Ace of Spades (video game)
|Ace of Spades|
|Developer(s)||Ben Aksoy (2011-2012), Jagex Games Studio (2012-)|
|Publisher(s)||Jagex Games Studio|
|Engine||OpenGL (1.0-), Voxlap (Beta 0.1-0.76, classic version)|
|Release date(s)||12 December 2012|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, Sandbox|
Ace of Spades is a sandbox building and FPS game, originally developed by Ben Aksoy for the PC and released in 2011 as a beta version. In late 2012, RuneScape developer Jagex took over development of the game, making it payware on Steam and updating its gameplay.
Players can choose from various different game modes such as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Base Infiltration, Zombie Defense, and Diamonds!. The inclusion of sandbox construction elements enables players to construct defensive structures or dig trenches, among other options, to achieve the goals of the current game mode.
- Team Deathmatch gives each team a kills counter, and every kill made contributes to that team's counter. The team with the highest score at the end of the match wins.
- Capture the Flag is where a flag is placed inside the enemy team's base, and you must go about stealing that flag and returning it to your own base to score points.
- Zombie changes the teams into 'Zombies' and 'Survivors', and begins the game with one zombie. A zombie is fast moving and is highly damaging, but is restricted only to melee. After a zombie kills a survivor, the survivor then turns into a zombie. The zombie team wins if all survivors are turned into zombies, and likewise the survivors win if they last long enough for the match to end.
- Diamond Mine involves destroying terrain to uncover diamonds, and then bringing found diamonds to a drop off point to score points for the team.
- V.I.P. is where each team has one player become a 'V.I.P.' The objective is to kill the other team's V.I.P. and then kill the rest of the team.
- Territory Control has players from two teams trying to control as many objectives as possible.
- Multi-Hill is where each team competes to gain control over multiple hills, which results in an aerial bombing when the hill is drained.
- Demolition mode pits two teams up against each other with the goal of causing the most destruction to the other team's base.
- Classic CTF is a simulation of the older version of the game but with better graphics.
There are two teams: Green and Blue. Players can choose between four classes: the Commando, with either a rocket launcher, a triple barreled rocket launcher or a minigun and a pistol; the Marksman, with a one-shot sniper rifle or a semi-auto rifle and a pistol; the Engineer, with a submachine gun, a deployable turret and a vertical jet pack; or the Miner, with an auto-drill cannon and a single-barreled shotgun or a double-barreled variant. Shovels and pickaxes can be used to destroy blocks or as melee weapons. The Commando and Marksman may also choose to have a combat knife instead of a digging tool. The Engineer may choose to have grenades in place of a turret, and the Commando may choose to use anti-personnel grenades. The Christmas Update also added a block cannon which fires blocks that can cause harm or be used to build. Only the Engineer has access to the block cannon.
The free-to-play, development version of Ace of Spades used Ken Silverman's Voxlap engine. In November 2012, UK developers Jagex announced that they had picked up the game for a December release, and had been working with the original creators for a year. This involved a change in engine over to an OpenGL-based engine.
In early versions of game, rounds were played on a randomly generated map, although the game also supported custom maps and included a map editor. In the first versions, the player used a semi-automatic rifle, and a pickaxe, which was used to remove individual blocks quickly, while the spade was used to remove a stack of 3 blocks slowly. The SMG and shotgun were also not released until later builds. The 0.75 build contained a single "class" for the Green and Blue teams, and players could choose between the semi-automatic rifle, the SMG, and the shotgun. Players could hold 3 grenades and a spade.
On January 29, 2013, Classic mode was launched to revive the mode from the Ace of Spades beta, leaving only one class, and one weapon: the rifle.
Release and reception
The game has an aggregated review score of 46 on Metacritic, citing generally unfavorable reviews. In November 2012, while still an open beta, Ace of Spades won game of the month on MPOGD. The final version of the game was released to Steam on 12 December, but was met with mixed critical reception with many critics claiming that the (free) beta version was superior.
There were many fans of the game's beta version that were unhappy with the release of 1.0. This is mainly due to the shift in gameplay and the fact the game is now pay-to-play.
Ace of Spades was reviewed in the February 2013 issue of Edge Magazine, which found the official version to be "maniacally fast", and added that construction "feels pointless; barricades and buildings are meaningless when an enemy can jetpack over them or snipe straight through them, and the game moves too fast to allow complex strategising." Additionally, it said that the game's beta incarnation was slower, "offering a long war where players constructed secret tunnels and vast, defensible forts." Ultimately, the review decided that the official version of Ace of Spades "tries to reach a no man's land between considered construction and chaotic destruction, but its foundations aren't sturdy enough to hold any longterm weight."
The original beta or "classic" version of the game is still playable and popular, despite full release.
Because of the classic version's popularity, a player-run community BuildAndShoot.com for the classic version has spawned. The community provides download mirrors, a server list (for the classic version), a forum, news, an IRC chat room and a Mumble VoIP (voice chat) server.
OpenSpades is a fan-made version of Ace of Spades 0.75 version, with enhanced graphics and compatibility with AoS classic. It's run in the OpenGL engine and now with software engine in the new update. Gameplay is still like the original, but with a few minor changes.
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