Storm In a Beta Cup: ShootMania Storm

ShootMania: Storm, with its creative tools and its day-glo combat, seems worlds away from the brown, gray and blood of so many of today’s multiplayer man-shoots. I’ve yet to play it myself but because it looks like a cartoon rather than a war, I’m tempted to poke my head in and risk the slight public humiliation of hanging around the roots of a leaderboard or two. Pre-orders, at a 20% discount, now give instant beta access and there’s a new trailer to celebrate that fact. Musical choice? I can’t be sure, but I believe it’s Shostakovich.

Excerpt from symphony No. 10, right?


  1. Lolmasaurus says:

    If only it was Adam, If only it was.

  2. Gnoupi says:

    I tried it in beta… and was quite disappointed.
    I was expecting a lot from a game coming back to the “essence” of fast-paced shooters. From the description and videos, it was very interesting.

    But the actual feel of the game is where it’s lacking, for me. It’s “floaty” at best. Your movements and jumps are floaty, feel not connected at all to the floor. Weapons have the same kind of feel: you see projectiles flying, and just disappearing when reaching an obstacle or an enemy. No indication of the splash damage, no feeling of it, at all.

    To describe it, I would say it feels exactly like what it is probably underneath: a sandbox on which they plugged shooter rules. It doesn’t feel “tight” like a Quake 3/live, weapons really have a simple “pew pew” feel…

    Really underwhelming so far, for what I was expecting.

    The worst for me was when joining an “instagib” match. Now I don’t know who sets the rules for weapons in such mode… But the gun has around 3 seconds of cooldown. For someone used to playing instagib in UT2004, or even regular Q3 railgun, it’s incredibly frustrating. You honestly spend most of your time watching each other awkwardly with your opponent, if you don’t get it right the first time. In such fast-paced shooter, it feels wrong to wait such time between each shot.

    Also, the menus are quite a mess for now, but that’s just the beta state. But it doesn’t really help.

    • EvilMonk3y says:

      For aiming did you set ‘y scale’ to 1 in the input options? Doing that along with turning off the mouse acceleration really improved the aiming for me and got rid of some of the ‘floatyness’.

      Movements are a preference though, I have kind of gotten into the jumping and movements despite it not feeling the most accurate. It almost feels like you are skiing in tribes and there is a fair bit of momentum in the movements that takes some getting used to.

      Agree that insta-gib isn’t a great game mode here, I stick to other stuff. I don’t mind the feel of the weapons but I am hoping their is the scope for some more. Menus are kind of quirky which is the norm from my experience of the mania games.

      • 7hink says:

        I don’t think movement is really a preference to be honest. I’d say it has to give me a certain amount of freedom. It also has to do so in a way that feels natural and smooth.

        To give an example: In quake I can rocket jump onto a ledge. I can do this while standing still and I can do it while bunnyhopping. It feels completely natural and (if you are very good at it) can be very smooth.

        To give an example of something that didn’t really do it well in my opinion: In brink you can still climb on that same ledge. It does feel reasonably natural, but my god is it clunky compared to quake.

        Now I get that people are trying to move away from the quake mechanics because those are pretty awful to begin with. Not because they don’t facilitate the right amount of freedom, but because they’re far to hard to learn/ master. I’d say they only work because people grew up with them. People can do all those things because a lot of them played the game for many years.

        While I think shootmania certainly doesn’t feel as clunky as brink did in places it also doesn’t give me the freedom that I would like in a fast paced shooter. It doesn’t provide any vertical freedom for instance.

        • Gnoupi says:

          I gues it will be a matter of good level design, but seriously, when they use those loooong ramps that you can’t climb, it’s really annoying, exactly, opposed to Quake or Brink.

          Because you just have to go around to find the entrance, then go up the ramp, then reach the place you wanted. All the while trying to survive shots coming at you.

      • Gnoupi says:

        Yes, I did set this to 1, it was weird to have that to anything else, honestly. I understand the idea, you are more likely to need a 360 around you than on top of you… but it’s still going against most of the uses, if you change that.

        Besides, I agree it is probably a matter of personal taste, but there is something in the weight of characters which feels not right. You talked about Tribes as an example, Tribes Ascend is for me a good example of something which can be a bit “in the air”, without feeling “floaty”. Itfeels like you have a weight, a momentum. Shootmania makes me feel the code behind the jump. I feel the “force on z axis applied”, instead of feeling like my character just used its legs to jump, just like if I was using the demo scene from the OGRE engine and adding the jump action myself.

        All in all, it feels like what it is: a shooter designed by people which are treating the object controlled by the player like another vehicle in their engine.

    • The First Door says:

      If it is anything like Trackmania, the menus will remain a complete mess even when they launch it. As much as I love Trackmania Canyon, the menus are bloody awful.

      • Gnoupi says:

        It’s currently a mix, so you find some of the options on the top right corner, like for trackmania games, and the rest in different places, in the pause menu, etc.

        The server browser is also based on Trackmania’s one, and it feels weirder for a shooter.

  3. EvilMonk3y says:

    I am really enjoying the beta of this game so far. I have spent a lot of time in Trackmania 2 since release (probably 100 + hours) and really like how Nadeo’s games are really trying to be ‘fun’ at their heart.

    As soon as I saw I could pick it up for just shy of £13 it was an instant purchase for me. I will no doubt play around with the video editor enough to justify the price and some of the current game modes are interesting. Royal is my personal favourite at the moment and generally involves a ‘wave of energy’ consuming the map once a neutral flag is capped, concentrating the players in a smaller and smaller area.

    I am hoping enough people pick this up to keep it going, Trackmania 2 just about sustains enough players and content creators to keep it interesting, hopefully this can do the same.

  4. mikmanner says:

    I am loving the beta, I think some people were expecting Quake but this is something else entirely. It’s so pure, the movement is very unique, it’s all about momentum sort of like a cross between Mirrors Edge and Tribes. It takes skill to get good with it but after a while you find yourself just flying at crazy speeds across the maps.

    The game feels brilliantly balanced due to how they handle the weapons, the default weapon is in a great ‘Spinfusor’ sweet spot between tough and satisfying. Every time you hit someone you’re given a satisfying ‘ping’ it’s all very pleasing.

    The way they apply different weapons to different surfaces is interesting too. The map designers essentially place the sniper spots by using the railgun surface in defined spots. This makes for a really thrilling risk / reward because standing on the railgun platforms means one shot kills (if you’re accurate enough) but then the slow recharge and removal of jump makes you a sitting duck on them. This completely eliminates the problem with some shooters where snipers are overly dominant.

    Overall I think it’s a very clever game which makes some crazy dumb decisions when it comes to the interface and actually demonstrating how excellent it can be to new players. I didn’t notice until someone said it that there’s two radically different game modes, Joust and Elite that are not playable within Shootmania Storm. Bizarre.

    So much like Trackmania, there’s elements of genius in there blended with some strange design choices which I think are compromises to the completely open-ended, community driven aspects that dominate the game.

  5. Sp4rkR4t says:

    It feels far to soft and even things like how slow the bullets travel just make this one to avoid for me.

  6. InternetBatman says:

    Are bright shooters really that rare now? It seems like they’re making a bit of a comeback.

  7. BaconAndWaffles says:

    For those interested, Giant Bomb has a Quick Look of them playing the game.

    My impression is that exactly what I would expect a shooter from Trackmania to feel like – takes some getting use to, needs to be tweaked and there will still be things that are obtuse/nonsensical (which I somehow find endearing)…

  8. Jengaman says:

    I actually think its and excerpt from his 5th symphony. The Allegro non troppo i believe. Shosti started to stray away from dub step in the 1940’s, mostly cause Stalin would’ve executed him if he continued.

  9. dsi1 says:

    I see new blocks in that trailer!

    I wonder why they’d make curved panels like that… wall walking tiles? Just a guess.

  10. Shadowcat says:

    Well I see people making references to weapons (plural), but to my knowledge I’ve only ever seen one kind of weapon (the devastating SparkleLauncher) in use in the Shootmania trailers I’ve seen. Maybe the others just aren’t as obvious… what am I missing?