Have you played… Shootmania?

Shoot the man, yeah!

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Shootmania: Storm was an athletic multiplayer shooter. You moved fast, you jumped far and you only had two types of gun (one of which only appeared when you stood on a certain type of platform). It was about skill, not gear. Everyone died in the same number of hits, everyone had the same powers. People use “esport” to describe Dota 2, Call of Duty and Overwatch. I don’t think Shootmania matches those in terms of quality but I’d argue it was far more sportsmanlike, because it had symmetry.

You could also make your own maps, as in the developer’s other game, Trackmania. And the visuals had a kind of welcoming futurism. It was like playing paintball or laser tag, all neon lights and blurry Tron costumes. I don’t know what the player population is like today  (a shooter like this basically suffers a quiet and slow death when the servers empty) but I suspect it has long since passed away.

Part of me feels sad about this, but part of me isn’t surprised. It was good but given the choice to play this or another, flashier and less predictable game, I’m not sure many would stick with Nadeo’s neon Airsoft. Even if it was fair, athletic and clean. Shootmania was sportsmanlike, but it wasn’t esportsmanlike.

9 Comments

  1. Uncle Fass says:

    I was thinking about this recently after the ‘Have you played’ on that one free Trackmania game. Felt like a weird but interesting idea from Nadeo.

    The beta was okay for a bit but really, being fair isn’t good enough. It’s not hard to make a perfectly fair and balanced game, and playing this you learn very quickly that having the same gun as everyone else does not make for lasting appeal.

  2. Retne says:

    I was certainly attracted to the purity of this; no stack of guns to learn just hop in and play, but sadly that does mean boredom set in quicker than it should. Plus, perhaps, it just wasn’t that big to start with.

    • haldolium says:

      Pretty much my experience. It was rather good in its execution and by no means a bad shooter, but more of an idea that lacked in finesse and final polish in terms of idea development.

  3. Uberwolfe says:

    Symmetry is good. It’s a shame Shootmania just wasn’t fun.

  4. Noodlefighter says:

    I was going to buy Shootmania but then the playerbase rapidly declined. I think its a shame, if Nadeo ever decides to make another Shootmania they need to seriously revamp it, especially now that multiplayer shooter scene is becoming crowded and your game must be really good and unique to stand out or it will get crushed by Overwatch, CS:GO, PUBG, and other shooters. The arena shooter trend on PC is near dead. Unreal Tournament 2017 and Quake Champions are only able to muster somewhat a playerbase due to being free to play and they both were huge PC franchises back in their days. Shootmania could make a nice battle royale type of game since custom maps would be a nice mix up.

  5. Tiax says:

    I really liked the gamemode that took place in the eye of the storm, that got smaller and smaller as time went by. Only one life for each player. Basically a pre-Battle Royale in only a fraction of the time.

  6. johnford313 says:

    I had a lot of fun with that game, played a ton of it with two of my friends. The game modes were fun. And I like that it was all skill based, especially when playing with the modifier that only gave railguns. One shot, one skill. Only the best survives.
    I miss that game. Last time I played was about 3 years ago and the player base was very small already.

  7. Ztox says:

    That game was incredible, I was absolutely gutted it died. I found it really fun and it probably helped that I was pretty bloody good at it too lol. RIP Shootmania :'(

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