New Character Class 'Gangster': 4 randomly chosen skins for each gangster 2 boss skins for VIP Mode
New Weapons (for the gangster class): Tommy Gun Snub-Nosed Pistol Molotov Cocktail Crowbar
New Maps: City of Chicago Alcatraz
New Game Modes: VIP: Each team must protect their VIPs and kill the enemy VIP Players health slowly starts decreasing after their VIP died VIP marked with a crown on the map
Territory Control: Occupy territories and stop enemy players to take territories back 7 hills can be occupied; each area marked with a letter from A to G After 5 seconds, players receive different amount of points, depends on how many hills they claimed already (points increasing by 5 points per hill)
New Maps for Standard Game Modes: Bonus MAP - Tokyo Neon: Capture the Flag, Demolition Mode, TDM, Zombie AS VOTED FOR BY THE COMMUNITY - Ancient Egypt: Diamond Mine, Multi-Hill, TDM, Zombie
The St Valentines Day Massacre pack takes you back to 1920s Chicago, with new characters, maps, weapons and game modes. The new battlegrounds include the iconic locations of San Franciscos legendary prison, Alacatraz and the mob-run streets of Prohibition era Chicago. There are six new characters for the new mobster class two bosses and four henchmen. Each mobster carries a trusty Crowbar, sneaky sidearm - the Snub Nosed Pistol, an iconic (but extremely deadly) Tommy Gun and an eminently volatile Molotov Cocktail.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Ace of Spades’ indie-developed alpha version was broken in many small ways, but the sandbox shooter’s foundations were remarkably solid. It was Minecraft spliced with Team Fortress 2, a shooter that let players slowly build and destroy a blocky environment. Runescape publisher Jagex took the game and some of its developers in-house, and promptly broke it.
Ace of Spades lets players modify their environment. Interaction is similar to that of Minecraft: spades, picks, and other tools dig out blocks, a disembodied hand places them. Players are encouraged to build structures: each of the four classes – commando, rocketeer, sniper and miner – gets pre-made fortifications that they can plonk around the cuboid maps. Game modes encourage blowing things up as much as people; Destruction is the best of these, asking a team to wreck an enemy’s house before their own home is demolished.
But the speed of the game means that time spent building or planning is time wasted. Ace of Spades is a twitch shooter, and the malleable environment is entirely pointless. Games only last around 15 minutes at most, meaning grand building projects are off the table. Players can jump and sprint around the maps at a lightning pace, mounting carefully placed defences in a single leap. The Rocketeer’s inclusion is particularly galling: the bastard can just hop over any geometrically intricate structures that are in his way.
The act of destruction is more enjoyable. The miner gets access toa spinning drill bit that can take out a giant wodge of blocks in a few seconds, and I had most fun alone in a corner of a map carving massive holes into rock faces. Blocks make satisfying sounds when they pop, and severing a structure from its foundations has tactical benefits: gravity kicks in and levels it.
I could forgive Ace of Spades’ pointless environmental interactivity if the shooting was top-notch. It’s not. The speed of opposition players meant I found myself reduced to guessing where I’d be attacked from. There are no battle lines in a game where people can attack from above or below. The latter approach offers something tactically intriguing – burrowing under an enemy’s base and killing them from behind – but it’s minutes of digging for a slim chance of reward. Just as likely, the opposition team will spot you and plug you for a one-shot sniper kill. Instead, most battles take place in the air or at extreme range, with the tiny time-to-kill and respawn counter making death an inconvenience rather than a strategic consideration.
In trying to be two excellent things at the same time, Ace of Spades unfortunately approximates neither. Ace of Spades as a class-based shooter is too open and aimless to thrill; Ace of Spades as a Minecraft-esque builder’s paradise is too fast-paced and destructive to satisfy.
◆ Expect to pay: $11 / £7 ◆ Release: Out now ◆ Developer: Jagex ◆ Publisher: In-house ◆ Multiplayer: Up to 32 ◆ Link: www.aceofspades.com
One of the biggest issues for our community right now is the ability to customise your own experience of Ace of Spades. Our goal has always been to give you more freedom of choice – This process has been started already with addition of customisable weapons and Classic mode. Following on from that, we’re now looking to open up the ability for you to control your own matches in the form of custom server space, giving you the option to make private matches, choose maps, game types, load-outs and even more besides.
We want to be able to give you the ability to customise your own matches and control the types of games you want to play, while still maintaining the security and quality of service that you expect. To make sure we deliver the best experience possible we are looking to you, the Ace of Spades community, to help us deliver on our goal.
In the next couple of weeks we will be looking for volunteers to help test out our new customised match system, and regularly feedback to us on the experience. This period will be a beta test, and the system will improve as we apply updates and react to your feedback. In particular, we will be looking for clan leaders, leaders of large communities and experienced beta testers to get involved.
We are still finalising the method of distribution, but it is likely that we will provide local server space with a set number of game ‘slots’ for a modest, reasonable fee. This opportunity will be available to our community leaders and will be much like them having their own server, except that the game will be running securely within our own environment on Steam’s platform. It’s worth highlighting at this point that player-rented servers have not been ruled out as an option for Ace, but there are some hurdles we need to overcome before we are able to offer that solution, so we hope that this will serve as a good start along that path.
This is a really exciting project for us to work on, and one which has been initiated by you, the community. With your help we can make Ace of Spades an awesome, ever-improving experience for a long time to come.
Today’s the day that Classic Mode is launched, so log in, update and give it a go. This strategic mode is more reminiscent of the alpha versions of Ace of Spades that many of you have been asking for. We want the community to lead the developmental direction of this game mode so please do give us as much detailed feedback as possible. It is really exciting for us to be a part of this innovative project and we can’t wait to see what you have to say.
We want to cater for player preferences in terms of the way equipment items/weapons are used within the game, and since launch you have probably noticed a lot of balancing changes to weapons. This for example has seen weapons like the RPG go from Slow but strong to a much faster weapon with less impact. So what we will be doing is essentially seeing how splitting a selection of equipment items/weapons into two variations goes:
Commando - split the RPG:
Powerful, slow, single shot
Rocket jump RPG
Marksman – Split the Sniper Rifle:
Single Shot, super powerful
Weaker, larger magazine (more shots)
Rocketeer – Split the Jetpack:
Low hover Jetpack allows you to travel far quickly (long recharge)
Short burst Jetpack allowing ‘super jumps’ (quicker recharge)
Miner – Split the Shotgun:
Double barrelled, crazy power but short ranged
Pump action, less power but greater range
Post launch we will be really keen to hear what you think of the addition of multiple versions of weapons/equipment, which ones you prefer, if you’d like to see more of this, and ideas for future development.