Shootmania: Storm

8 Overall Score

Written by on April 23, 2013 in [, , , , , ]

Shootmania: Storm doesn’t feel like a thing that should exist in 2013. All of our shooters are complex and intricate and have a huge number of things to do. Even Borderlands, which is fairly rote as shooters go, has five different unique actions in the gameplay; you have shooting, weapon swapping, managing powers, managing grenades, and jumping/movement. Shootmania has two actions at its core; Shooting and moving. It’s the pace and frenetic nature of the gameplay that makes Shootmania pretty good. It’s a simpler kind of game, and the simple nature of it keeps me coming back.

Shootmania’s wrapped up in a neat little Mania Planet bundle that Ubi attaches Trackmania to, as well. It seems to work alright, and the game’s mods, skins, and other associated nonsense are easy to acquire and all set to a weird industrial techno-ish backbeat. I don’t know how necessary the whole system is, but it looks pretty.

Occasionally things will go wrong in a game.

The game itself is pretty nice, too. Shootmania is colorful and varied enough in its maps, and the game’s bright skybox and neon-shaded characters make the game really stand out in a sea of gray military shooters. It’s similar to the parts of Serious Sam 3 that struck me, and Shootmania’s just as bright and just as fast. I had the game running in 1080p at 150 fps on my (relatively modest) machine, and while this isn’t a new Skyrim, stuff is pretty nice looking. More importantly, it all moves really fast.


The bedlam of a match of Shootmania is almost calming when you see it from the deathcam

Shootmania subscribes to the old Doom logic that had the character sprinting at something like ninety miles an hour. Control is the core of the game, and everything in Shootmania feels great. There’s a gradient of speed and acceleration that comes into play based on what you’re running over (grass is ok, roads are better), and a kind of funky jump/dash button (it’s what you use the second mouse button for) that can bounce you in the air or boost you along (it seems contextual). You shoot a lot of dudes in Shootmania (shocker), and it’s with unlimited ammo but limited charge. In the maps I predominantly played, you had four shots at any given time, and it took two to take a healthy player out. There’s no other gun, and no melee attack in the game, which leads to players dancing around each other, dodging single shots as they recharge. It also forces a significant risk/reward mechanic with distance shots; you’re safe from that player but might be caught up close with limited charge in your gun. The game feels finessey and jerky in ways that are reminiscent of Quake or Unreal Tournament, and I don’t know of a better way to describe that than to show you. So here:

Beyond the limitations of a budgeted title (Shootmania will set you back a modest $20 on Steam) my concerns in Shootmania lie with the community. In a short afternoon I was ranked #2 on the leaderboards in my region, and had jumped up about two-thirds of the national rankings for the game. As it was with 5th Cell’s eminently lovable Hybrid, Shootmania will only be fun as long as people keep playing it, and it’s easy to wonder about the longevity of a community that doesn’t seem to be all that active. It’s a shame, because Shootmania is an incredibly refreshing departure from the gray, hyperserious shooters, and it reflects in everything from the game to the community. I never once had a twelve year old child scream racial slurs at me on Shootmania. That alone merits a recommendation.

A code for Shootmania: Storm was provided to The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Zach Snell View all posts by
Hi there. If you're reading this you've probably read some material of mine. If you want more go here and read my stories about a guy who punches wizards.

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