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Review

ShootMania Storm Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PC
Aaron Sampson on Google+

ShootMania Storm's sleek action is an invigorating return to the days of speedy, purely skill-based shooters.

Accuracy. Speed. The ability to act on pure instinct. These are the qualities needed by gladiators in the bloodless arena games of ShootMania Storm. In this multiplayer-only competitive shooter, you move very quickly, and every hit counts. Its movement is reminiscent of competitive shooters from the era of Quake, but in this modern market cluttered with shooters in which characters move deliberately, absorb bullets, and regenerate health, the speed of the action and the stakes associated with every shot you take make ShootMania a refreshing departure from the current norm.

In ShootMania Storm, you move and you shoot. You don't swap between weapons or chuck grenades. There are only three types of weapons in the game at present, and which type you're equipped with is generally determined by the game mode you're playing, and sometimes by where you're standing on the map. Most of the time, you're equipped with rockets, which you can shoot four of in rapid succession, but since you must then wait for them to recharge, you constantly have to decide between firing off all of them when a promising opportunity to land a hit presents itself, or using them sparingly and keeping one or two in the chamber for emergencies.

You might also have a lightning blast (frequently referred to as a railgun) that, unlike the rockets, hits anyone in your crosshairs the instant you pull the trigger, but which needs a few seconds to recharge after every shot. And in certain tunnels on certain maps, your weapon changes to a grenade launcher of sorts. You never pause to pick up a weapon; you just know your weapon has changed because your reticle changes. (Unlike in most shooters, you don't visibly hold a weapon in front of you.) This keeps you focused on moving, shooting, and trying to stay aware of other players' positions, rather than on scavenging for ammo or racing to grab the most powerful weapon on the map before another player does.

It's a very pure, skill-based shooting experience. You and your opponents might each take one, two, or three hits, depending on the game mode and your ranking; there's no health regeneration, so each hit you score and each hit your opponents score on you is significant. Because each individual shot is visible and each weapon takes off a clearly delineated amount of armor with each hit, there's never the sense here, as in so many shooters, that you were shooting your opponent and that maybe you went down first only because he had a better weapon. There are also no perks to augment any competitor's abilities. It really is a level playing field, a pure test of skill, and that is a rare and welcome thing in a shooter today.

It doesn't get much closer than that.

The skills that are tested go beyond just your ability to accurately target your enemy; you also need to move well. Movement in ShootMania is brisk and precise; it's exhilarating to zip across maps, perhaps spending some of your stamina to leap and run, moving along surfaces that automatically speed you up or letting a launcher send you soaring skyward to land on a higher surface. The need to stay evasive while also trying to hit your enemies gives ShootMania's action a dancelike quality as you and your opponents run and caper about, sending brightly colored energy blasts at each other and dashing out from behind objects to squeeze off a few shots before returning to cover. The speed and smoothness of ShootMania make you feel skillful when you score a hit on a moving enemy, and in the game's Elite mode, in which you're informed when you miss an opponent by just centimeters, you feel the sting of coming oh-so-close to hitting your target.

Elite is one of a few game modes getting a lot of play currently. It's an unusual team-based mode in which two teams of three compete, with just one attacker from the assaulting team going up against all three members of the defending team in each round. It's a great mode for testing the skills of each individual player. Royal is a less high-pressure mode, a free-for-all in which players race to capture a pole in the center of the map. Once this is done, a tornado starts closing in, drawing all combatants into an increasingly smaller and smaller space. Rounds often end with the last two remaining players dancing frantically around the pole, trying to use it for cover while dashing out from behind it frequently to take shots at each other. Battle is a pretty standard mode in which teams take turns defending their own poles and attempting to capture those of the opposing team.

ShootMania's bright colors and bloodless combat also help set it apart from many other shooters on the market.

There are other modes, and if you take the time to learn the ManiaScript language, you can design your own. Much easier than grappling with code to design your own mode is designing your own maps, a process made about as straightforward and accessible as you can expect it to be with the built-in tools. The potential is certainly there for players to make ShootMania thrive with a constant influx of exciting new modes and maps, but whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. Even as it stands right now, though, ShootMania is well worth the $20 price. It's more of a return to the past of competitive shooters than a step into the genre's future. But in a market crowded with shooters that involve classes and weapons and perks, ShootMania Storm's laserlike focus on quick movement and skillful shooting almost feels new again.

The Good
Fast, fun, distraction-free shooter gameplay
Presents a truly level competitive playing field
Creation tools empower players to design maps and modes
The Bad
Relies on old shooter ideas rather than offering new ones
7.5
Good
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Discussion

220 comments
DSExpert
DSExpert

This game may seem like a level "playing field", but there's one subtle problem that remains, latency. Sure, better players may overcome this problem and still dominate a match, but they could do so much better if their latency was 10 ms instead of 250 ms. I'm someone who lives outside the US and has a latency of at least 300 ms when i play most games online. As a result, I won't be getting this game since I know I'll never be able to compete at the highest levels due to this handicap. In League of Legends, I get around 260 ms and I know I could win a bit more if I had at the most 50 ms of latency.

This isn't something the game can fix, but just know that it won't be a "perfect playing field" due to each player's differing latency.

Bionic_
Bionic_

If you consider playing Shootmania, try Quake Live too. It's free to play and offers oldschool deathmatch experience that is lost in Shootmania.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

I'm not sure what's worse. People saying that a game they have yet to play sucks, or people saying that a game they have yet to play is awesome. 

And then the worst part is that the two groups argue with each other, point fingers and say the other side is wrong... even though they haven't played the game and can't really form an accurate opinion on it.

*Facepalm*

Nightflash28
Nightflash28

I got this game yesterday and played it for a few hours. I find it hilarious how many people in the comments below say that it looks boring and in the same sentence ask for perks, nukes and whatnot. The very same thing that has made shooters so incredibly boring in the past years, cause there is no skill involved in being the guy with the biggest weapon.

Shootmania is so refreshing. Nobody has an equipment advantage, it's really just about outplaying the opposition, being a better shot than the others, being able to predict their moves. Boring? Repetitive? No! Highly exhilarating!

brok
brok

How on earth is relying on old shooter ideas a bad thing? If it ain't broke noone needs to fix it. Would have been nice to hear straight up if it featured any bots or not though.

singhellotaku
singhellotaku

Could really go for a rerelease of unreal championship one of these days

singhellotaku
singhellotaku

This looks insanely boring, and if playing it is anything like watching the pro gaming footage ign was streaming during some recent tournament...it is

BrYaNq93
BrYaNq93

Anyone saying this game sucks clearly has never grown up with real FPSs.  So excited to play this game!

bkohary
bkohary

Combine Trackmania and Shootmania and you get TrackShootmania- which sounds like a very posh way to say tracksuit. 

Wensea10
Wensea10

This game should easily get a higher rating...

Darthrocker
Darthrocker

the fact that its a "level playing field" where no one has a advantage other than their skill level is good... but i hate the speed at which the characters run and jump ... which then makes it look like a simple smash bro's brawl game, where its just button mash and watch your character fly all over the screen in 0.5 seconds


69ingChimpmunks
69ingChimpmunks

So quickly they can put out this massive patch, Makes me wonder why they didn't bother putting all this effort in before the game's release

JamesThePrince
JamesThePrince

This game makes me wanna listen to Jonas brothers -__-

xpepox
xpepox

Looks fast and fun.  The characters look super cheesy  though like from a 70's movie depicting what the year 2000 would look like.

SY_shoot
SY_shoot

I remember playing Quake I,II, my reflexes and aiming were so tight back then. then "something" happened ... :)

blackrunie
blackrunie

it's impossible for a shooter to be purely skillbased, there's always an element of luck.

Psycold
Psycold

Seems like the heart is in the right place, but if I'm playing an old school lightning fast shooter, I'm going to want some GIBS. 

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

I went back a few days ago and played unreal tournament (1999) and omg that game is still awesome!! it made me realize how much i miss those type of games. soooo goooood.

obsequies
obsequies

maybe they should have picked a different name and a more competitive price though, other than that it looks really interesting

obsequies
obsequies

so .5 more and it would be as good as blops2

TERMINATOR-SSD
TERMINATOR-SSD

i still wish you could actually see your hand for the weapon, for that immersion feel. I just feel like im a floating camera instead of person running around. And i do wish it had better graphics. Yes graphics are not everything but still it would of been nice to see something with amazing graphics for this type of game.

I wish for Unreal Tournament 4 :-D

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

Or you could just play on an insta gib server on Quake Live for free, or a soldier class locked TF2 server. 


Make no mistake, I appreciate the concept of the game, but with comparable and sometimes better free options, it's a hard sell for me. Even at 20 dollars.

toshineon
toshineon

This reminds me a bit of the good old days of LANing Quake 3 Arena, and that ain't bad.

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

Nadeo tried to do with shooting that they've done with racing, and that's keep it simple. Unfortunately shooting doesn't convert quite as well when there's so many other online shooting games that offer more. TrackMania on the other hand has a strong following and is of a rare kind. Personally they should focus on their TrackMania titles so they can fix the problems with the latest versions.

petez34
petez34

@TenraiSenshi you are going to give yourself a headache- facepalming so much. What's interesting is that people can have different opinions about the same set of facts. Is that bad? 

dussan2
dussan2

Petit is a damn hipster.  The bad in this is that it doesnt' bring anything new to shooters?  If it isn't broke don't fix it.  Why does a game have to be "innovative" to be fun?

barrybarryk
barrybarryk

@SY_shoot lol yeah I'm dreading playing this later in the week.  If it's even half as good as Q3 with well populated servers I'll have to buy a high DPI mouse and decent mousemat for the first time in about 10 years

LatinproX
LatinproX

@blackrunie Or cheapness by some players. For example, camping at enemy spawn points, so they never get a chance to shoot back.

nate1222
nate1222

@Fernin-Ker Agreed. I'm still big on Open Arena (free Q3 clone) and UT2004 (GOG, DRM-free).

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

@Snaptrap 

Your Icon makes me think this game would very well fit in the Reboot universe. X3

Ezioprez9709
Ezioprez9709

@petez34 @TenraiSenshi You are missing the point, THEY HAVEN'T PLAYED THE DAMN GAMES, THEY ARE JUST ASSUMING THAT IT SUCKS OR IT'S AWESOME BY FOOTAGE AND NOT ACTUAL GAMEPLAY.

Ezioprez9709
Ezioprez9709

@hitomo @TenraiSenshi Tenrai is right, you need to play a game to know what it is like, not by judging it on what the game looks like. Graphics, controls, voice acting and guns don't make a game, gameplay does. Judging a game by the way it looks and/or presented is just dumb.

*Facepalm*

ShadowRun02
ShadowRun02

@dussan2 the thing is that this game is old-school, and yet innovative. (this doesn't make any sense right?) this game isn't quake with a new look (nexuiz is), this game is a game **like** quake in the sense that it's a twitch shooter that needs more skill than perks.

it's innovative because it brings back a genre from the dead. not entirely new, but it is different from anything else in the market right now, and that's what i call innovative

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@barrybarryk @SY_shoot Ditto... We have UT on the PCs at the office and on Fridays if everyone's finished work early we put in an hour or two in the afternoon, but not exactly the greatest competition.

Definitely giving it a shot though, just need to be prepared to be embarrassed  :D

Ezioprez9709
Ezioprez9709

@LatinproX @blackrunie That's mostly online, story mode or offline mode is much more fair, unless the developers are from planet moron and don't even bother loading files into a level (you know where I am going with this...)

experience_fade
experience_fade

@LingeringRegime @Psycold I'm pretty sure he's talking about the innards of a killed opponent. 

In games like Doom, Wolfenstein, and even Team Fortress 2, there are ways to kill enemies (usually with explosives) that cause their insides to become exposed. It's called gibbing someone. 

Almost every zombie game lets you gib zombies.

Any time you see a brain fly due to your attack, or a spleen, or a lung, or a liver, or ... you get the idea, you gibbed him.

ShootMania Storm More Info

Follow
  • First Released
    • PC
    ShootMania Storm is an online mutliplayer first-person shooter by Nadeo with fast-paced online combats in a rich fantasy world.
    6.2
    Average User RatingOut of 40 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate ShootMania Storm
    Developed by:
    Nadeo
    Published by:
    Ubisoft
    Genres:
    Team-Based, First-Person, 3D, Shooter, Action