ShootMania Storm Review for PC

ShootMania Storm Review for PC

A Storm Is Coming

What comes to mind when you think of shooters? Gruff badasses crouching behind chest-high walls? Space marines shooting aliens in cramped corridors? Military men expatiating about how they have to shoot more brown people in order to save “the America?” Believe it or not, this wasn’t always what the shooter genre was like. There was a time when they were filled to the brim with low-gravity jumps, bullets that bounced off walls, and rail guns that fired lightning. It’s the spirit of that era that ShootMania Storm is looking to recapture.

If I had to compare ShootMania Storm to anything, I’d compare it to Unreal Tournament or Quake. It’s an arcade-style shooter that does away with all modern shooter conventions. Experience? Nah! Perks? Not in my house! Regenerating health? What are you, a pansy? In fact, ShootMania Storm doesn’t even fool around with ammo. The only thing limiting you is your gun’s fire rate and recharge time and your own, admittedly short, health bar. Get shot too many times and you are dead, pure and simple.

ShootMania Storm Screenshot

ShootMania Storm doesn’t even fool around with cover. Most of the maps are massive, wide open arenas where you can clearly see your opponents moving around. Sure, bullets stop when they hit a wall or pillar, but these environmental objects aren’t set up for you to hide behind. Instead, only your skill with strafing, your reliance on bunny hopping, and your surefire aim will save you. And that’s actually kind of refreshing.

There are even objects in the game that temporarily catapult you forward at super speed or fling you through the air at ludicrous heights. So even if you find a piece of cover, it’s not safe from the people who are low-grav jumping overhead. This game wants you to be out in the open, involved in intense firefights, and every aspect of it works toward pushing you into the fray.

ShootMania Storm Screenshot

Even the weapon design reinforces this arcadey kill-or-be-killed design. The basic gun is kind of like a rocket launcher with no AOE damage. It fires humongous, slow-moving energy shots that require you to hit your target square on in order to nab the kill. Using this gun requires a lot of aiming and leading rather than placing the crosshairs over someone and holding the fire button. Guns work on energy, not ammo, and your basic gun has four shots before it has to recharge. The only way to recharge your gun? Not shooting for a while. There isn’t any spray-and-pray here. Aim-down-sights? Aim-assist? Not on your life!

Of course, there are plenty of other weapons to fool around with as well, but you won’t be getting them when you spawn. You have to find them the old fashioned way, by searching through the map. Different special weapon platforms transform your normal gun into anything from a rail gun to a sniper rifle, allowing you to tear through the map with the greatest of ease.

ShootMania Storm Screenshot

Every character only has two HP, and getting hit by any bullet takes off one. There aren’t any medkits or ways to increase your HP; you only get one freebie before having to respawn (or be taken out of the game completely if you are playing in a permadeath mode.)

There are plenty of game modes to choose from in ShootMania Storm, and many are remixes of old favorites. For example, you can play in a free-for-all, last-man-standing mode where you struggle to be the final player alive. But to avoid a slow ending as both players run away from each other, instant-death barriers slowly close in from the outer boundaries of the map. Genius! You can play in attack/defense mode, except the attackers have one-way speed boosts, allowing them to catch up to the action quicker and keep the pressure on.

Maps are quite big in ShootMania Storm, but you are never left wandering around aimlessly looking for an opponent to shoot. This is partially because movement is so quick in the game. Characters speed around the map, even without boosts, and jumps cause your character to cover obscene distances at once. That being said, you can easily change direction and stop on a dime if you choose. The controls are extremely tight, and they need to be for a game that is so based on skill and twitch reflexes.

Of course, if all of this doesn’t sound to your liking, you can easily tweak the game to your own personal design. Railguns only? No problem. 1HP insta-death mode? No problem. 5 HP, sniper rifle only, low gravity, semi dark maps? No problem. Want to make you own map? Go for it! ShootMania Storm comes with an extensive suite of modding tools and very few limits. If you don’t like one of the maps in the game, balance it to your own liking. If you want to make your own game type, go ahead. You’ll find races, variations of tag, old school “defuse the bomb” maps, and even an interesting game mode where you play a sniper, shooting at opponents running through a maze. You have an incredible amount of liberty with this game engine, so go wild.

ShootMania Storm Screenshot

Of course, there are some flaws. For one, there is no single-player to speak of. This, combined with the lack of any sort of progression or level-up system, may give the game a short shelf life for gamers who are used to Call of Duty or even Team Fortress 2. There’s nothing to work toward, no numbers to watch go up, no Skinner box to keep you pressing the food button. The only thing keeping you here is the versus gameplay, and if the community doesn’t keep coming out with new maps or game modes, you’ll have little reason to sign back on and play the same game you played 100 times before.

Graphics and audio also aren’t ShootMania Storm’s strong points. The sound effects are pretty generic, and yes, this does get repetitive. With a game that hinges off community map support, you’ll find that lots of maps look the same and use the same elements that you have seen time and time again. The game runs smoothly, even on low-end PCs, but the arenas you play in feel as generic as the sound design. Your environments are little more than a collection of walls to shoot people in, and you never get a sense of personality that you get from modern day shooters.

Still, ShootMania Storm is a breath of fresh air in this world of carbon-copy military shooters. It’s a new take on an old genre that will satisfy anyone who grew up alongside the early shooters. If you were one of those kids who snuck a copy of Doom onto the PCs in your school’s computer lab, ShootMania Storm will make you giddy. It’s a game that knows what it is: an arcade-style FPS, and nothing more.

The unfortunate reality of arcade-style shooters is that they simply don’t try to astound us with fancy graphics. 4.0 Control
The controls are incredibly responsive, and they have to be in a game that demands twitch reflexes. 2.4 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound effects are pretty generic and are largely forgettable. 4.1 Play Value
If you like arcade shooters, this will keep you entertained for a while. 3.7 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • An unlimited gaming world customized for you – Whether they are classic or developed exclusively for ShootMania Storm, the wide variety of maps and gaming modes offered within the game or created by the community will allow you to live constantly changing experiences.
  • Innovative intuitive gameplay – Accessible to many and allowing the best to stand out, ShootMania guarantees fun from the first game to the last.
  • Tailor-made for competition – Experience a fight at any time in a spectacular world. The many competitions held on ShootMania Storm offer the best sporting atmosphere.
  • Pure multiplayer delirium – Many players can take each other on simultaneously! The “matchmaking” system allows players to easily connect to a server on their level, whether for pure enjoyment or competition.
  • Create your own game – With its map and script editors, numerous communication tools, Machinima sharing and editing tools, etc., ShootMania Storm offers everyone the opportunity to create and share their own game.

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