Review Shootmania Storm

Review: Shootmania Storm

Review Shootmania Storm

Developer: Nadeo

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PC

Release Date: April 10, 2013

Shootmania Storm works on two controls: Shoot button and jump button. That’s it. Sprinting is mapped to the same button as the jump button, so you’ll have to be airborne before sprinting. This already struck me as weird, but honestly, it works a lot better than a usual sprint button because it doesn’t allow you to spam sprint all day long. You can still shoot through all of these actions, so this game already sets up some nice checks and balances.

The weapon you use in this game is not, as many reviewers would call, a “hitscan” weapon. It doesn’t automatically hit the opponent if they are in the reticle. It takes time to hit the target. This means you can possibly dodge every shot and catch your opponent off-guard a lot. Which is another great aspect of this game. It takes a lot of map awareness and great instincts to last in this game, which most shooters do not teach at first. Certain areas of the map change your weapon, but you’ll never know which areas those are. When you do find them, strategy must be employed in order to figure out when the good time is to use them. You also have a railgun that, unlike the rockets, hits anyone in your reticle the moment you pull the trigger, but needs a few seconds to recharge after every shot.

Shootmania Elimination

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. Your default weapon recharges instead of having ammo clips, and the max is 4. Shooting rapidly will leave you defenseless, so please, plan ahead. Or you WILL GET DESTROYED. HARD. Each player also has armor, which represents how many hits they can take before being eliminated. The amount of armor varies per mode; in the 1v1 Joust mode each player has six, while in the free-for-all Royale mode, each player has two. It doesn’t matter which mode you play in anyway. Playing with ONE armor piece was just insane and intense.

Some spots on the map allow you to sprint and not jump, and vice versa. These particular places on the board make things really strategic, for the fact that if you get caught in a place where, say, jumping is prohibited, you will be in one of the worst situations this game can possibly provide for you. Memorizing these areas that have different effects can make you a pro instantly, which…is kind of the learning curve for this game. It’s one of the really big negatives I found with it. There are no powerups for your character, and everyone’s equal on the playing field, so time and memorization are your advantages when playing this game.

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The game could use a tutorial. Although the controls are simple to comprehend, they lend themselves to some advanced techniques. I had no idea wall jumping was a thing until someone did it to avoid my shot and I attempted to emulate it. If this game had some set of tutorials and a practice mode, it could really become way more than it’s worth.

There are four main modes, along with a map editor that allows for the ultimate creativity experience.

Royale: A free for all game with over a dozen players and the key objective is a “pole” in the center of the map. After one minute, this pole can be captured, and then everything gets blown to bits. Once the pole is captured, players don’t respawn anymore after being eliminated. What’s worse is there is a tornado(yes a tornado, even I found this just abstract and weird but a bit cool)  that surrounds and closes in, making the map smaller and smaller around the pole. Once the tornado circles in and gives you a decent sized (20-25 yard) square area, the last players are in CQC for the rest of the game. This should be the main selling point of the entire game, it is hands down the best feature.

Shootmania Recticle

Elite: A team based game about capturing a single point, but the offensive team only gets one active player at a time, while the defenders play all at once with a max of three players. Standard weapons for all. The attacker has as much armor as the defending team has players; The attacker is awarded a railgun, making it easier to hit targets, and defenders are eliminated in one hit.

Joust: “YOU WANNA 1V1 ME M8?????????”In Joust, shots do not recharge, but instead are refilled once a player goes to one of the two poles located on the map. The players have six armor, and it boils down to one simple fact: who is the better player. And this is one of the few games that FINALLY DELIVERS an equal and fair 1v1 experience, and you will feel better than the opponent if you win.

The matchmaking system is horrible. Try it, you’re better off just joining a random game off the list of games you have, which, is not many. The main screens are so obtruse and off centered, that you immediately get lost with what’s going on and why you’re even here right now. I’m serious. Shootmania Storm directors tried to get fancy, and just failed. You get into the game with at least 4 different panels and a whole bunch of pop-ups and you’re going to get lost unless you look something up or have heard/read something prior.

Menu Shoot

If you’re a new time person to  Maniaplanet software, none of this will make sense.

Pros:

- Very fast paced game

- Not a herpderp I haz super weapon I win game, takes skills

- Puts all players on an even field, so only skill and mental ability is tested

- Easy to understand and learn

Cons:

- Very hard to Master

- Very cluttered menus

- No tutorials, no guidance

Overall:

Shootmania has no shortage of visual and auditory information for the player to take in. The trails on shot projectiles are a clear design decision to show the player where the shot came from. The maps themselves come off as basic tilesets that don’t deviate from grass and concrete. There’s no real “OOOOO COOL” aesthetic except for the tornado. With no real community to attach to this game, you’ll want to leave but it will draw you back. However, most of all you will enjoy it because of the huge payoff from the high skill level. “Easy to learn, hard to master.”

Accuracy. Speed. Instinct.

 

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