Apr 10, 2013In my humble opinion Shootmania is the first shooter in over a decade to actually hold a candle to its venerable ancestors in the same genre, Quake (3) and Unreal Tournament (99). For those of you who know these games well, just think of Shootmania as a well-executed mix between the two in terms of character-handling, weapon feel and overall game speed and sense (with a small twist, I'llIn my humble opinion Shootmania is the first shooter in over a decade to actually hold a candle to its venerable ancestors in the same genre, Quake (3) and Unreal Tournament (99). For those of you who know these games well, just think of Shootmania as a well-executed mix between the two in terms of character-handling, weapon feel and overall game speed and sense (with a small twist, I'll get to that).
If Q3 or UT99 doesn't ring a bell, let's just say Shootmania is a very "core" multiplayer FPS. Across various team or FFA game modes (Capture the Flag, Dominion, Last man standing, just to name the most well-known, there's actually a lot more) you are pit in small-to-medium sized arena against other players with a single weapon and a couple of health points. And that's it! No power-ups, no additional weapons to pick-up (although some maps include particular tiles which provide life regeneration or control of a specific weapon as long as you stand on them). In some modes you will respawn immediately upon death, in others death means waiting for the next round, CS-style.
That's the beauty of it! By going back to the arcade-FPS fundamentals, Shootmania is both very accessible (no complicated multi-layered objectives or elaborate weapon selection to remember or unlock) and very hard to master, as it focuses solely on the most basics of skills precision, reflexes and tactical sense.
Some people are put off by the relatively neutral (some say bland) graphic design. While it is true the "ancient ruins upon green scenery" is far from spectacular, its merits are many it's rather undemanding and will behave well on lower-end rigs, I find it quite soothing (agreable relief from the frantic action) but most importantly the action remains clear at all times which is paramount in this type of game.
Shooting is well handled (no ammo but instead an automatic reloading timer preventing mindless spam), the controls are responsive and the weapon inertia is familiar. Movement is very satisfactory in its simplicity. At first, it's a basic WASD ZQSD scheme to move strafe, space to jump and you're all set. You will then discover and master wall-jumping and most importantly, the ability to tremendously boost your speed based on the use of the Space key and your character's intertia. Hard to explain, hard to master, yet very fun once you get the hang of it.
SM is a fairly community-oriented product, and while it means there's already a plethora of game-modes and an almost unlimited supplies of maps (ranging from great to "wtf?"), it also means the orientation of the game (and ultimately, his success) will heavily depend on its population.
I'm writing this review as the open beta ends, and I must say I'm disappointed to note that the most popular game modes include Royal (Last Man Standing with a twist) or Battle (Dominion with a twist), as I find them to amongst the least interesting. Simple case of player taste here. Alternatively, it's become quite hard to find, in Europe at least, good servers proposing iCTF (instagib-CTF with the railgun-equivalent) or any instagib modes for that matter. I'm also dubfounded by the success of modes such as Obstacle (a kind of obstacle racing, no shooting involved) which is arguably fun and original but in my view quite far from the game's original intent.
The population is a bit on the elitist side but the general attitude remains several orders of magnitude better than the modern military shooters will all know. In other words, you won't be flamed endlessly if you are a beginner, which is quite agreable in this gaming age!
Overall, if you are longing for "old-school" arcade shooters like Q3 or UT99 or are looking for an arcade shooter that rewards player improvement over sheer playing time, and a steep-but-manageable difficulty curve doesn't frighten you then give SM a try, it's definitely worth its moderate price.… Expand
Jun 15, 2013Shootmania seems to be a nice alternative to the brainless FPS games out there, however, I have a few points that seem to let it down a little.
First, the lack of being able to modify the FOV. Oh yeah, I'm going all "TotalBiscuit" on this issue. It's annoying, and it gave me pretty serious motion sickness after a quarter of an hour playing it. I can understand their view of restrictingShootmania seems to be a nice alternative to the brainless FPS games out there, however, I have a few points that seem to let it down a little.
First, the lack of being able to modify the FOV. Oh yeah, I'm going all "TotalBiscuit" on this issue. It's annoying, and it gave me pretty serious motion sickness after a quarter of an hour playing it. I can understand their view of restricting variables to make it more about skill than anything else, but skill cannot be applied when you're attempting to avoid the dreaded "Keyboard Pizza". It would score better with me if you could change the FOV into something more comfortable, Nadeo.
The next point seems to be the lack of variety. Again, I can understand the need to let people build the game up into what they want, but still, I can't seem to understand the dependency of UGC.
Will it all change because it's a beta? Oh yeah, maybe those criticisms may abate as it inches closer to a final release, and I do hope that Nadeo takes it on board, otherwise, there could be trouble ahead for them.… Expand
Apr 11, 2013This game is really skill-based. There's one gun (apart from the 2 other you don't/can't really use that much). Basically you join a server and your fun with one gun. This simplicity is so not spectacular, yet so good executed and satisfying. Just that over-sized number popping on your screen when you hit someone with a well-aimed rocket is feeling so good just like a well-aimed rocket inThis game is really skill-based. There's one gun (apart from the 2 other you don't/can't really use that much). Basically you join a server and your fun with one gun. This simplicity is so not spectacular, yet so good executed and satisfying. Just that over-sized number popping on your screen when you hit someone with a well-aimed rocket is feeling so good just like a well-aimed rocket in Quake 3.
The ranking system is motivating and makes sense. You don't get a higher rating by playing more or having a better K/D ratings (there isn't even one: only hits), instead you get higher by being higher in the match scoreboard then other players who have a higher rank than you.
A very big part is the map editor which is really easy to use, but lacks in variety, especially for a FPS which relies on precision. Because of the countless maps servers never get boring and you almost never see the same map twice.
The main gun, a rocket, has 4 shots to offer which refill automatically fairly quickly. Because of the the fact that a rocket is a rocket it dosen't hit immeadiately. Estimation and precise aiming are question, even more through that, that the rocket has no splash damage only pushes you a bit and only direct hits count.
The other two guns, a really slow grenade-launcher thingy which explodes when near to a player which is only available when underground or in tunnels and a laser which... lasers stuff. O_o
The many gamemodes are really weird and take a bit to understand. Outside of "Melee" which is a basic deathmatch-FFA. There's no "standard" gamemode like CTF, TDM or KOTH. I like that it really brings fresh air into the FPS genre. This gamemodes also can be fully scripted. There's plenty of usermade gamemodes, one of my favourites being the team-based "Speedball", in which there's a ball in the middle of the map and a player needs to carry it to the other pole, capturing it, without dying. He can also pass it by shooting teammates. It really reminds of FPS football.
The last thing I will mention is the graphical performance. Not only does it look really good and has nothing to hide, but it runs fast like BF3 tends to lag on 20-30 fps lowest settings on my desktop. This game: 60 fps solid on highest settings.
BUT what's the best part of it? YES, it's only 20 bucks. So much fun for just... TWENTY bucks. I played the beta forever and still it is not getting boring. There's some flaws in it but they are just getting bombed off by the fun and satisfaction of this game. :D… Collapse
PC PowerPlayJun 4, 2013A return-to-roots competitive FPS romp, let down a little by its niche target audience and our smaller local community. [June 2013, p.89]