Impressions – ShootMania: Storm

By Brendan Caldwell on February 21st, 2012 at 12:01 pm.

It’s exactly like that training course scene from Starship Troopers. The one with the non-lethal lasers, I mean. Not the one where a man gets shot to death in the skull during a live fire exercise. In ShootMania, nobody gets shot to death in the skull – that would be much too violent. Violence isn’t really what this particular FPS has in mind.

“Violence is a real limit for esports to grow,” says Florent Castelnerac, head of doing things at Nadeo. “I shouldn’t say that because it’s like saying Counterstrike is about terrorists – but it does limit esport.”

He talks about ShootMania appealing to people as a paintball-like sport rather than another violent war game. About how esport doesn’t need to be bloody and explosive to be engaging or competitive. His soothing French accent is dreamy.

But enough Francophilia. We’re four paragraphs deep and you want to know what this game is like. It’s good so far, if you must know, with lots of wholesome shooting at things. Trackmania gave players a basic racing game engine and handed them a toy box full of building blocks with which to make tracks. ShootMania is basically the same thing but instead of cars there are rockets and rail guns. And instead of building racetracks, you build your own combat arenas. As someone who spent weeks of time tinkering with the mapmaking modes of the Timesplitters series, I see this as a huge improvement. Racecar is my favourite palindrome but apart from that I want nothing more to do with motor vehicles. Not when someone with a French accent tells me I can build maps for a multiplayer first-person shooter instead.

Sadly, our demo didn’t let us muck about with the map-building components. Rather, we got stuck into the running and gunning of the game proper with a few maps that had already been made. Two teams of games journos, battling to the death. Like some kind of horrible dystopian night terror.

As with Trackmania, the focus on simplicity has not been lost. There are basically two buttons besides WASDling about. The left mouse fires off ‘rockets’ while the right mouse button jumps (you can also hold the right mouse button to start sprinting). That’s about it.

I put ‘rockets’ in inverted commas because they look more like long glowing energy projectiles. Yet it’s easy to see why Nadeo are calling them rockets to begin with. They fly across the map relatively slowly, like tracer rounds, so a lot of the game is anticipating exactly where your enemy will be in one or half a second’s time rather than where they actually are at the moment you pull the trigger.

Both firing and sprinting/jumping have separate energy bars. The stamina bar run out very quickly, as does the firepower bar (you can get about four or five rapid shots off before it’s empty) so timing is super important.

It takes a little bit to get used to jumping with the right mouse button. Every journo playing the demo (including myself) instinctively pressed the spacebar at some point, which has rather sneakily become the chat button in this game. This led to some of those wonderful death cries native to PC gaming. “Wwwwwddsssddddd,” cried one journo, as two rockets lodged in his gullet. “Sssaaaaaaaawd,” cried another, as a rail gun round passed through his face.

The rail gun, yes. I’ll tell you about the rail gun.

The rail gun is given to you only on certain platforms. But rather than picking a gun up and cycling through your arms to a different weapon, your weapon automatically changes from rocket to rail gun as soon as you lay a foot on these special platforms. They have a kind of metallic, shiny look to them, so you’ll know when you’re standing on one. Technically your only gun is a Barrett-like hand cannon, so think of it as changing modes when you come into contact with these platforms.

The rail gun itself is an instantaneous weapon, like a sniper’s bullet. One-hit kill. It travels instantly across the map but uses all your firepower bar in one go, which also means it takes longer to reload. This forces you to change tactics. It’s no longer so much about timing (where exactly will my enemy be in one second?) Now, it’s all about precision (where is he now? THERE. SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT). If you miss, you’re likely to have to do a little strafey dance while your enemy unloads at you. It still only takes two hits with the basic rocket to die, so your wee dance had better be sublime. I’m talking Riverdance levels of bullet-dodging here.

There’s another type of surface too, made of wooden planks, which changes your mode of fire to ‘arrows’ – arching ammunition that fires surprisingly rapidly but which causes you to rethink your aim and timing yet again. Will there be more? Dunno.

The game modes we played were domination-style affairs. Each team has a number of generator posts on the map, which basically act like flags which the enemy has to raise by standing close to them. Raise all your foes’ generators and you win. You can’t ‘lower’ your own generators, all you can do is interrupt an enemy. This encourages you to play a fast-paced offensive game, rather than a more ponderous defensive one. But this works just enough to give the game an aggressive edge – and thankfully not enough to make it a rush-fest. There were maps where I still played a solely defensive role, simply because I liked the height granted by our home base.

Such small geographical elements should not be understated. After all, the environment is the game here. Nadeo have a lot more building blocks than simple weapons modifiers. The map-building portion of the game is about being as creatively strategic with that single toy-trunk of building blocks and limited collection of simple rules. For instance, you can build a neutral generator on top of a rail gun platform in the centre of the map and add an in-game trigger so that only the team who captures that generator can use the rail gun weapon. One team, having been slow to capture, will be denied the satisfying electric whizz-line that can go straight through a human body in a single shot.

The wondrous launchpads of sci-fi shooters have also been included for map-makers to use. An entire map during the demo was devoted to these brilliant vertigo-inducing springboards. The highlight of the demo for me was bouncing from one launchpad to another endlessly, pot-shotting rockets down on enemy turf and generally being a nuisance. “Vrrrooom,” went the launchpad. “Pew pew pew,” went my gun. “Vrrrooom,” went the other launchpad. Ad nauseum. Until eventually I heard one more vrrrooom than usual and turned around to find Chris Thursten of PC Gamer soaring through the air immediately behind me. I killed him in a blind panic. But that’s OK because he was not on my team.

There were several moments like this, in which the teams erupted into laughter or cheers. I wanted to look at the developers behind us, sitting Frenchily in the dark. Because I suspected at this point they were thinking, “Ha! We’ve got these bastards! We’ve got every single one!”

After the demo, Florent talked to us a little more about their plans. The game’s building blocks aren’t purely limited to the environment – game modes can mutate too. However, there are some purposeful limits. For instance, the physics of the world can’t be changed. The speed of each weapon, the reload time, the gravity and so on. They are all static. But Florent Castelnerac teases, “…maybe the damage?”

Every player’s loadout is also the same. No perks or modifications here – it’s a completely level playing field when it comes to what you have to hand. Apart from when you fiddle with the energy bar levels, of course. For instance, you can create an in-game screen at each team’s spawn point, on which a player could select a pre-determined ‘class’. Essentially, this is a character with a mixed up level of stamina and weapon energy. We didn’t get to see this in action but Florent gave the example of a character with higher stamina bar. He will be able to run to the enemy generators more quickly but suffer from a smaller firepower bar as a result and therefore have a slower rate of fire. As risk-reward systems go, this is as simple as it gets. And that’s fine because ShootMania seems to pride itself on its simplicity.

These class-altering in-game screens can have another use, however. We didn’t get to see this in full swing either but Nadeo say they plan to integrate a betting system into play. This means you can use the screens – even during a match – to bet on a team to win, or a particular player to capture a post, using the in-game currency – ‘Planets’. Why are the in-game currency Planets? Well, I suspect they are more stable than the Euro. Ha ha ha, topical laughter, ha ha ha, western civilisation is collapsing around us, ha ha ha.

You’re allocated an allowance of these Planets each day. If they’re anything like Trackmania’s currency, you’ll be able to spend these on new building blocks and features for your maps. Or you can enter a tournament and win more Planets as a prize. Or you can just gamble them away. Thinking perhaps of my severe weakness for scratchcards, I asked if you’ll be able to play just as much even if you’ve run out of Planets and find yourself utterly broke. The answer was an emphatic ‘of course.’ Nadeo don’t want to penalise players just for being spendthrift. There’s even a planned taxation system that takes the currency from the Planet-rich and redistributes it.

“It’s almost socialist,” says Florent, with a cheeky French grin.

This is reassuring. But they have to make their money somehow. Has Nadeo fallen prey to the savvy business rascals in their parent company Ubisoft? Can you buy these Planets with real cash, outside of earning them within the game? Have they ‘monetised the shit out of this thing, brah’?

“No,” says dreamy Florent. “Because then it wouldn’t be a fun money. Our business model is more like collection… You like Trackmania, you like Maniaplanet – so you buy the next one.”

When someone asks how much the first game will cost, he jokes that we get a special deal: “In the UK? Uhh, one thousand pounds! Ha ha.” I suspect this is a jibe at the UK’s recent European treaty veto, which earned Britain a lot of bad press in France. And suddenly I feel like standing up and shouting, “No, Florent! I’m not one of them! Je suis Irlandais! Take me to your French socialist paradise where everyone shoots at each other and laughs!” But I don’t do this. It would be unprofessional.

ShootMania’s first iteration – the ‘Storm’ pack – is actually planned to cost €19.99. But Nadeo might also go on to sell ‘advertising space’ to map creators on the Maniaplanet platform, which is the program through which ShootMania and Trackmania can be launched. It’s an interface that Trackmania players might already be familiar with. We’re told there’s an upgrade planned to take this to Maniaplanet 2.0. Nadeo say they are being inspired by Facebook and the like and that Maniaplanet will have ‘notifications’ which tell you what people on your friends list have been doing. ‘Janet Visceral made a map’ or ‘Slugger McJoyride entered a tournament’ or ‘Christopher Flunksbottom is now in a relationship with Big Rocket Launcher’. Things like that, I suspect.

Whatever the business models – both within and outside of the game – it’s easy for me to say ShootMania looks promising. It’s less easy for me to tell exactly how matchmaking will work, which is something a game like this would need to do outrageously well. Florent says there will be dedicated servers for both amateurs and pros, each with a ladder to rank players. But precisely how these ‘ladders’ would function I’m not sure. Even during our demo, one team dominated the other in almost every match. How much that was down to the limited amount of players in the room, I don’t know – but it would be a pity for uneven teams such as that to happen frequently in the final release.

That said, I’m certain Nadeo has taken matchmaking and the problem of team balance into consideration. Simply because ShootMania to them is an esport waiting to be birthed. From our games so far, it seems Florent was right. It isn’t a violent bloodbath or an over-the-top shooter. Nadeo appear to be making a more focused team game, with both professional gamers and amateurs in their crosshairs, along with all the creative map-maker types.

And they’re right to go that route. Alongside any other FPS, ShootMania would look ridiculously slim. Modern Warfare gun nuts would be easily convinced that the game suffers from anorexia. ‘Where are all the weapons? Why aren’t there any perks?’ But the impression I get is that ShootMania is just preposterously streamlined. To steal a line from the bio of a Twitter spambot, the game’s focus on map-building and tactical gunplay promises to make it “the illegitimate lovechild of strategy and creativity.” The game doesn’t look thin because it’s anorexic. It looks thin because it’s athletic.

At least, it had better be. Or this glowing preview is going to make me look like a prize bollock.

, , , , , .

51 Comments »

  1. Kemuel says:

    “Frenchily” is my new favourite adjective.

    Also I’m really excited about this. Tribes: Ascend feels like a breath of fresh air in how far it is from the rest of the pack of grey modern realistic multiplayer FPS, and I think this is going to be exactly the same. I prefer laser rockets and railguns in my shooters to all the M16s and M203s, games that are unashamed of being games, and not trying to present some ultra realistic simulation of getting shot at in a desert.

    If they really can do for FPS games what Trackmania did for racers, I’ll be playing this for a very long time.

    • dsch says:

      Adverb.

    • Jannissary says:

      My brother!

      This is why I love Quake Live (even though it doesn’t hardly run on my browser…)- it’s a game that’s beautiful, blatantly gamey, and just fun. We need more games that are cool just being games.

  2. Prince says:

    I have a feeling this might be the first online shooter to draw me in since Battlefield 1942. I’m not at all interested in dreary, po-faced, excessively violent shooters. If they succeed in making it sufficiently streamlined, it’s a buy for me.

    • Jesse L says:

      Yeah, my ears perked up at the concept of a less violent shooter. I like multiplayer shooters, but the repeated bloody death takes toll every round. This is something I might be interested. Nice article!

  3. DaftPunk says:

    Sounds good.

  4. DanPryce says:

    As long as I can pull a flip six three hole, I’ll be happy.

  5. jon_hill987 says:

    “No perks or modifications here – it’s a completely level playing field when it comes to what you have to hand.”

    Yes! Why don’t more games get that this is they only way to make a good arena shooter?

    • Gozuu says:

      I totally forgot about Power-Ups in Quake III and Shields, Unreal Tournaments Keg O Health, Shield, Damage Amplifier, need I say more?

      Perks & modifications have always been a part of sci-fi shooters and most recently also modern shooters. Why the sudden hate?

    • Kemuel says:

      I think leaving out powerups like those you listed could have been a conscious decison. They dominate the game to the point of taking over all other strategy. Just look at Quake. At a pro level its more about arena control and knowing the paths between spawns, weapons and items than accuracy or anything else. By keeping health and damage output more constant you can avoid that kind of gameplay.

    • Gozuu says:

      Kemuel, that’s the most silly thing I’ve heard in a long time. None of the pros would play at the level they do if they didn’t have exceptional accuracy. The power-ups are a necessity for exciting gameplay. I agree perks are mediocre contributions to extraordinary gameplay, but power-ups and “modifications” aren’t really game breakers.

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      As Gozuu already hinted at – the powerups in quake are there to prevent stagnant gameplay by forcing players to move around the arenas. There is a team mode where there are no pickups at all and it’s dull as dishwater as one team camps the most defensible room/area whenever it’s played at a competitive level.

      I think the ‘competitive’ tag is one that you need to be more aware of, in competitive games, the more variables there are that need to be perfected, the more scope there is for professional players to differentiate themselves while playing. This lead to the birth of Challenge Pro Mode Arena (CPMA, now played as PQL in Quakelive) in Quake where the movement is made faster and more difficult to execute which also makes shots more challenging as your opponent flies past at breakneck speeds. This movie might highlight some of the speed of the reactions and prediction of the players, but unless you actually play it you’ll never appreciate how difficult the movement and control of the arena they’re doing at the same time is (also it’s got some great editing)

    • Gnoupi says:

      There isn’t really a matter of level of damage in this game. In the article it says only that you die in two rockets, but from what I read somewhere else, health and damage are actually reduced to the most simple state.

      You have only 2 hp. Take damage from a rocket, -1 hp. Railgun, -2 hp. And that’s all, it’s not more complicated than that.

    • MD says:

      Gozuu, I’m pretty sure that when people complain about perks and ask for a level playing field, they’re referring to RPG/F2P-shooter-style upgrades that remain with your character from match to match, and are either earned over time by playing a lot, or paid for in real money.

      Powerups and armours are indeed awesome, and they form part of the level playing field of Quake/UT/etc. because everyone has an equal opportinity to fight for them. The shit kind of perks/loadouts/etc. are the ‘unlockable’ kind.

      Looks like Shootmania has neither, which is goodbad. I’m really hoping this game will work, and I’m encouraged by some of the decisions they’ve made, but I’m a bit worried that there won’t be enough complexity to keep it interesting. Fundamental simplicity is awesome, but you still need enough elements in the mix to give rise to some kind of depth. (Quake being a brilliant example of how this can work.)

    • MD says:

      Kemuel, I know where you’re coming from, but I don’t think you’re following through to the full consequences of item-control in Quake.

      Yes, timing the armours and positioning yourself appropriately is super-important at any moderately high level of play. But those things aren’t things you learn to do and then bang your head on the skill ceiling, they’re the keys that open up the really interesting part of the game.

      High-level Quake duels aren’t about who knows where the spawn points are, or how to get from one part of the map to another in the most efficient way. Both players know these things, and their mutual understanding of the game and the map gives rise to some awesome mental battles. (The ‘metagame’, if you like, but it’s really just the game.)

      Technical skills (aim, movement) are also hugely important. A decent level of aim and movement are, again, just basic ingredients in playing the game decently. There’s still plenty of variation in skill, different players specialise in different weapons, and some rely more on aim, others more on tactics. They all need that basic level of competence in every area, but there’s enough depth in each area that significant variation in skill still exists at the highest level of play, and people are still improving after more than a decade of play. This applies to both technical and tactical skills.

      It’s a bit like combos in fighting games, or build orders in strategy games. Yeah, you need to know how to do these things, and you’ll probably get destroyed by a decent player if you don’t. But learning to do them doesn’t take you to a state of mastery, the ‘skill ceiling’… learning these basics opens up the game.

  6. JackDandy says:

    To be honest, I was hoping it WOULD have physics editing, so players could basically make anything from a Doom-like fragfest to more slow shooters like CS.

    If it’s limited to mapmaking, it’s less interesting for me.

  7. Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    So it’s a linear WWII shooter?

  8. mikmanner says:

    Frenchily please shut up and take my money.

  9. Ross Angus says:

    Lovely, lovely writing. Thanks, Brendan.

    • Creaturemagic says:

      Exactly what I was going to say.
      Also, it’s good to finally hear some more about the game, we were in the dark for a long time.
      Anyway, sounds like my type of game *Hopes for populated Australian servers*

    • Bremze says:

      Yeah, fanastic article from start to finish. French socialist utopias are the best utopias.

  10. RogB says:

    nice preview. BUT. No video? I am disappoint.

    its got an interesting look to it. The ‘arena in ruined XXX’ setting isn’t anything new but I like the mix of modern stuff in there to make it look like a proper real world event.

  11. YourMessageHere says:

    This sounded so good in principle, but to learn it’s just going to be Diet Quake III with a trackmania-like editor (where you have to buy/unlock level tiles, no less – interesting way to streamline vs. the CoD model, keeping the grinding but removing the gameplay variety) and weapons that are not only rubbish but also limited as to where you can use them…so much for this then. The fact that the sole form of modding available is going to be stamina/ammo tradeoffs, well, that’s just crap. UT had mutators, both Q3 and the UT games had a great cast of player models (unlike the Tron-meets-medieval-playmobil players above), and Q3 even supported custom models.

    Oh and I’d just like to point out that the number of people who give a flying shit about esports is a small fraction of the people who buy games, and probably an even smaller fraction of PC FPS players.

    • Stevostin says:

      One thing about objective criticism is “don’t judge stuff on what you want but about what the creator wanted to achieve”. It’s obvious here that those guys have their own take on what they want from a FPS, and it’s not what you’re after. But for other, fact is there’s a trend that’s a bit overwhelming in shooters for a few years now and that new one is coming back in the path we loved. What was the best FPS I ever, ever played ?

      Rocket Arena.

      It had zero (0) items to pickup, customisation, skills, perk, collectibles, whatever. No item on respawn, nearly unlimited ammo, all was in the skill and the positioning. And yes, I think that’s a good deal of what makes it the best.

      Each time you had something, new weapon, skill, perk, move, class, you give it importance, which mean you remove it from somewhere. And it’s easy to loose focus and not realise that all this new cool stuff is actually killing very cool, simple, easily overlooked featured such as “aiming really, really well”. I am not saying every shooter shoulde be like shootmania, but one sometime, hell yes.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Well put, mostly, but:

      1. There is no such thing as objective criticism. It’s a goal many strive for, but no-one ever achieves. Me, I have no interest in objectivity, so I don’t intend to aim for it. This is all my view; I dare say many people will love this, but I’m disappointed.

      2. One of the reasons I like FPS games and the whole modding thing as much as I do is that there’s room for this massive spectrum of opinion on what makes a good game. To me, rocket arena sounds amazingly dull, but you loved it to death; so it goes. Personally, my favourite FPS ever was Action Half-Life (written up on here somewhere), which was all about perfect stone-paper-scissors balancing with weapons and equipment, plus a love of action films that meant gameplay had Max Payne-like acrobatics, real world levels and enormous levels of customisation. That’s what I love, what I want and what I completely fail to see nowadays, hence my annoyance.

      3. Adding more to the game may mean less time spend by devs on polishing central features, but the fact is that adding weapon diversity or varied player models or player movement options doesn’t mean you’re less able to aim really well. It’s not quite a zero sum thing. It’s just more, more ways to play, more to attract players, more options.

      To some extent, though, I do agree that you can overdo things, simply pack too much in, dilute the experience too much, but that’s something that’s often down to bad design, not necessarily the stuff you add. Prime example: MW3. There’s simply too much in that game, and they’ve not thought it through properly. As a result, two of the 15 perks, two pieces of equipment, and (arguably) an entire class of weapons are actually completely useless in hardcore mode. At the same time, in the interests of ‘balance’ many weapons are homogenised until they are essentially reskins of each other. This is all solvable by changing the game around a bit, but things are at a level of complexity now where they can’t change the game because anything they did would upset people more.

  12. Blackcompany says:

    This sounds like a fun time. I like the idea of a “competitive” shooter that will not be determined by the people who have more time to play and consequently, more perks/levels/weapons/armor. Put everyone on a more or less equal footing, don’t sell OP weapons for cash and just let us play.
    .
    Also, as someone else commented…a game that knows its a game and is not ashamed of this fact. More and more, I like games like that. Be interesting how popular this is and whether it works. I personally hope it does well and am interested in checking it out.

  13. Bhazor says:

    A shooter with no reloading? Sign me up!

    Still feel betrayed that Sam 3 had a shotgun and machine gun you had to reload.

  14. Resonance says:

    ‘And suddenly I feel like standing up and shouting, “No, Florent! I’m not one of them! Je suis Irlandais! Take me to your French socialist paradise where everyone shoots at each other and laughs!” But I don’t do this. It would be unprofessional.’

    Brilliant.

  15. Kandon Arc says:

    “If you miss, you’re likely to have to do a little strafey dance…”

    Surely you mean do a safety dance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7movKfyTBII&ob=av3e

    • bill says:

      I see nothing particularly safe about that dance. This is a proper safety dance:

  16. BAshment says:

    The map looks like it’s in the south of France.

  17. kyrieee says:

    Jumping with RMB is much better than doing it with space

    • Ephaelon says:

      Wasn’t RMB = jump the default in quake 2 (i only learnt to mouselook AFTER beating quake1, i’m a disgrace)? I just got used to it always being that way so i ended up remapping it on most games back then. Harder to do with games nowadays, especially with the prevalence of iron sight usage, and even lack of jumping, but I still use it on most source-powered FPS’s (e.g., TF2).
      Oh yeah, could also be cuz i’m a lefty and prefer the arrow keys, and space is uncomfortably far for a button you’d use a lot.

    • Urthman says:

      With AutoHotKey, you can jump with RMB in every game!

      Am I the only one who finds it completely ridiculous for a PC game review/preview to make a big deal about a game’s novel keyboard bindings?

      What’s that? You say in this game you chat by pressing the SPACE BAR?! Tell me more!

    • Stevostin says:

      I am sooo used to RMB jump, but actually, you’re wrong. I had to learn it the hard way but RMB slightly impact your aim in a way that can mean troubles at high level of railing.

    • appropriate touching says:

      Part of the stuff about bindings was important, at least to me:

      “… the right mouse button jumps (you can also hold the right mouse button to start sprinting)”

      This sounds terrible. If you can’t put sprint and jump on separate buttons that’d be enough to put me off buying the game.

      • rocketman71 says:

        @appropriate touching:

        Amen to that, brother.

        Fortunately, Nadeo has always been good letting you reconfigure every control. Let’s hope they will keep doing it this time.

        On the other hand, they now belong to the Ubidiots. Hmmm.. :-(

  18. Godwhacker says:

    A shooter that doesn’t require you to level up is a very good thing indeed.

  19. Brise Bonbons says:

    While I love minimalist game design, and I’m intrigued by the idea of a non-violent shooter (if confused by what exactly that is supposed to mean), I just can’t muster any excitement for an FPS with only 3 “weapons” and no map-based powerups. The fact that 2 of these “weapons” are chained to specific areas of the map is… Very odd indeed.

    It just seems like a game that would get become boring for me very quickly. Of course, I’m an FPS oddball, in that I like to play on the same old maps for years and years – some of my favorite TF2 maps are the ones that shipped with the game. I do like new maps to enter the rotation from time to time, but slowly and methodically with lots of testing and revision. Point being, I derive my continued enjoyment of FPS from learning the ins and outs of maps with different classes and weapons, and the prospect of a constant stream of new maps annoys more than it excites me.

    Anyway, it’s a really fascinating concept, I’ll be curious to watch Shootmania, and if it does well and has a healthy community perhaps I’ll pick it up at some point…

    • Gnarf says:

      “The fact that 2 of these “weapons” are chained to specific areas of the map is… Very odd indeed.”

      Are they?

      I might be reading it wrong, but I thought you changed to railgun by touching one platform or another, and then you got to keep the railgun even if you left that platform. Which wouldn’t be any more chained to specific areas than regular weaponthings that lie around and can be picked up.

    • Brendy_C says:

      @Gnarf

      No, you can only use the rail gun or arrows-thingy while you stand on those particular platforms. As soon as you leave, that’s it – back to rockets. But that’s the idea, the strategies that teams will have to come up with will have to be based around the layout of the map more than anything.

    • Gnarf says:

      Ohokay. Thanks for clearing that up. I can now more easily relate to “very odd indeed”.

    • Stevostin says:

      Well I think it’s clearly a different play style than everything we know. So maybe you’re right, but I need to play it to see what it’s worth. All my gaming experience yells at me that 3 weapons with perfect sinergy are bette than four with a bit less synergy. The fun isn’t really a weapon, but facing all sort of situations with that weapon (such as I’ve got RL, he has R, we’re mid range and there’s a bumper). In a lot of game there is no dynamic as in plenty of case, there is just one weapon to have to get the edge.

  20. wodin says:

    Not sure I get whats going to make this something special. It sounds like a simplistic budget online FPS. With a map making tool which may give it life.

    See didn’t Quake and many of online FPS games have maps made by modders?

  21. Kektain says:

    Some truly brilliant writing, by the way. It’s rare that I actually laugh at anything online anymore, but now any time I see the cliche WW2 scene where a guy is dying in someone else’s arms and he opens his mouth for one last moan, I’m going to hear Microsoft Sam saying “Sssaaaaaaaawd.”

  22. jamesgecko says:

    UT2004. CTF-Grassyknoll. Instaglib with low gravity and triple jump. Max out the server with bots and join with a buddy. Behold a battlefield worthy of George Lucas. That was my mental image of Shootmania.

    I’m now disappointed that there will be no gravity mutator. Hopefully shooting teammates in midair to boost them is still an option.

  23. Tony Heugh says:

    This wasn’t on my radar but I’m actively looking forward to it now, thanks for the article.

  24. pbbpbb says:

    NEW
    Online Store:
    ( http://www.paybuybuy.com )
    you can find many cheap and fashion stuff