Shootmania Storm Review - Massively FPS First Look
Four bullets, two lives, one game: Shootmania Storm is an absolutely massive shooter that brings back a more retro way of playing an FPS, simplifying the genre completely. There’s no need to change guns, add equipment, perks, killstreaks and all those other timekills that will bog down your experience with needless statistics and constant load-out tweaking, just the skilled and the unskilled. In Shootmania the emphasis is on your place within the community, how well ranked you are not only globally, but in your country, county and more. This places a constant emphasis on getting better and thanks to the easy to pick up and play nature of the game, you’ll feel you’re getting better all the time.
Incredibly Fun: When was the last time you heard somebody describe a shooter as “incredibly fun?” There have been lots of great FPS games over the last couple of years and, when you’re winning, they’re a constant joy to play. When you’re losing, and constantly losing, you end up getting incredibly frustrated and ready to snap just about anything, including family members and friends who happen to walk into the room at the wrong time. Shootmania is fun all the time, even when you’re losing, and that’s a hell of an achievement in itself.
Beautiful Graphics: The graphics in Shootmania Storm are far better than perhaps you’d expect from a game like this. With plenty of options, it’s fair to say that almost anybody will be able to play, but those with a higher end computer will see fantastic visuals from the very get go, with beautiful colours and rich landscapes.
Brothers in Arms: While the gameplay is the key for a game like Shootmania, it doesn’t hurt that the people you’re playing with are fair-minded, courteous, polite and totally not bad losers. It’s that much more enjoyable to play a game knowing you’re not going to have profanities hurled at you if you win, and a great community will make or break a game like this.
Game Modes: While the basic theme of each game mode is exactly the same – kill the enemy, whoever they might be – there are a variety of different ways to do it. Whether playing in a team or going it alone, there will be one or two ways to enjoy your time in the game and no doubt a few more will sneak in before launch.
It takes skill: Let me clarify here: I think games like Call of Duty take skill. That’s why the majority of people end up with negative K/D after a game – some people have played it more and are just better at it. But there’s also be lucky games where you’ll do fantastic just by being in the right place at the right time. That won’t happen with Shootmania: to get to the top of the leaderboard you need to practise and you need to get good. If you don’t, you’ll be in an average position. Thankfully, due to the great community, you’re unlikely to get messages telling you to give up and do something else, so it all works out fine.
Retro-feeling: Many modern FPS players will take one look at this game, presented as an extremely polished but largely simple affair, and decide that it’s TOO simple. You can’t aim down the scope, people hop around dodging bullets: it’s not very realistic. For the sort of person that likes Battlefield more than Halo, this might be a problem, but for those that can blatantly see that Shootmania isn’t necessarily the generic shooter most people enjoy (and there’s nothing wrong with that), the click will probably be instant.
Have I Seen You Before?: The level design is occasionally very good, but for several of the maps it may take you a few minutes to realize that it’s not the same thing you’ve played before. There’s not enough variety in the type of buildings that are around and, while they still remain fun (and huge, the majority of them), it would be nice to see a map that isn’t built around blue skies, green grass and ancient looking ruins.
Taking the Long Way In: Shootmania Storm comes with its very own launch program, Maniaplanet. While it’s probably a result of being able to have a global chat system or something like that, it means loading and logging into Maniaplanet, then working your way through multiple menus in order to pick a server and actually get into a game. It’s longwinded and it feels unnecessary. Plus it’s never nice to have to install extra software on top of what you actually want in order to get into a game.
Stand down Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Shootmania Storm is the PC FPS to watch. It’s simple, it’s fun, but it’s effective and a joy to play. You’ll find the minutes becoming hours and the deaths becoming kills. More than that though, you’ll come across people who really are fantastic to play with and, as a social game, I can’t think of anything that tops this. Rule your local area, then your country, then the world, but don’t forget: there will be hundreds coming to get you. Shootmania Storm is going to be huge.
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