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Calm Before The: ShootMania Storm Beta Approaches

It's been a good week for mania. Pyromania got things started in truly asylum-worthy style, and now ShootMania's filling the middle of our week with intrigue. And lasers. More specifically, Nadeo's DIY FPS is gunning for a closed beta in "early July," and registration just opened up. The window will slam shut on July 2, but there's a good reason for that: "Every player who has registered for the beta on the official site will receive a 7-day beta key," notes the website, which talks about itself in the third-person. Also, yeah, beta access only lasts seven days. Bummer. But don't let that disintegrate the smile from your face. Instead, watch techno Tron people disintegrate the smiles from each other's faces (and, you know, their faces and also all of them) after the break.

Putting aside the fact that there was nothing stylish about that at all, looks like fun, doesn't it? And while the beta only has a few lonely grains of sand in its hourglass, it's certainly not at a lack for modes. Joust, Elite, and Siege sound like size-based variations on TDM, while Melee's just a fancy word for deathmatch. Battle, though, is TDM with "no size restrictions," and Royal is a free-for-all "with the dome over the map shrinking." And then there's Time Attack, which is apparently perfect for training.

So not the wildest mode selection ever or anything, but presumably conducive to some fairly hectic skill-based shooting. As for map selection and whether or not players will have access to ShootMania's vaunted creation tools, I haven't the foggiest. But I've mailed Ubisoft about it, so hopefully we'll know soon.

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