A lot has changed in the FPS scene in the last ten or more years. Where arena shooters like Quake and Unreal Tournament reigned supreme in the competitive scene, were slowly nudged aside by the tactical/arcade shooter like Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, Counterstrike, Gears of War and the rise of Major League Gaming (MLG). It’s argued that early Halo was a combination of arena/arcade style shooter but it’s latest incarnations have fans leaning more in the direction of tactical/arcade with its load-out system similarities to Call of Duty – regardless, Halo is still iconic in the competitive scene. The current competitive scene has a lot of people asking “Is the Arena shooter dead?” and the answer is no.
For those of you that aren’t aware, I’m currently sort-of-really-absolutely obsessed with Shootmania right now. Shootmania is an arena style “twitch” shooter. A lot of players are drawing comparisons between Quake and Unreal in regards to style and game play, and for this reason it’s giving many players a lot of comfy nostalgic feels. Shootmania is still in beta, and recently launched beta 2 adding many more options within the game allowing for more defense tactics and movement options. Shootmania is made by Nadeo, the same people who made the acclaimed Trackmania. Trackmania got Nadeo a lot of attention with its basic but by no means simple game play. Both Trackmania and Shootmania offer easy to understand map building capabilities, and Shootmania has many customization options – whether you want to customize your player skin, cross-hair or design your own map. Shootmania boasts an impressive amount of play modes, too. The competitive mode is “Elite” which is a 3v3 mode where the attacker must either eliminate all 3 defenders or capture the pole before the time runes out. There are many other modes, including several free-for-all modes, training modes and time-attack modes.
Myself, some friends, casters and pro players at IPL5 for Shootmania!
Something I like a lot about Shootmania is the the simplicity of it. There are not a ton of weapons or power-ups to worry about; your main focus is understanding your movement, learning your maps and formulating a strategy that works for you and your team. The game is still extremely challenging, and you’re constantly faced with players with different play styles than you which keeps you on your toes. Another interesting aspect of Shootmania to me is how the terrain affects your game. Your base weapon as a defender is a sort of arm cannon with a 4 rocket burst, but if you stand on a rail-pad you can “snipe” using an instagib laser that is a one hit kill. If you find yourself underground or in a tunnel, you now can shoot what is called a “nucleus” which is essentially a grenade that explode on impact, or after a certain amount of seconds. Using the terrain properly for cover and weapon usage can certainly amplify your game. The simplicity but constantly learning curve is definitely appealing to many players, and keeps the game fun and engrossing no matter what mode you’re playing in. Just watch over for those laser hits – getting picked off early on is the worst!
I love every aspect of this game and definitely plan to practice way more this year! I had the pleasure of working Shootmania for IPL5 and introducing new players to the game. I was really elated to see just how many people saw the game and wandered in to check it out. It was really great to get a tournament going and sit down with them and talk to them over the mic about how to play, instruct them on strategies and shit talk them when they failed miserably. It was fantastic. It was great to come home, log into Shootmania and see so many new players that were recruited from IPL5. Shootmania is already pretty hot on the competitive circuit, with a lot of amazing North American and European teams. At IPL5, European team “Colwn” took the win. I watched the European qualifiers, and they were my pick to win! I am excited about how well they did against a lot of the impressive NA teams, too. The matches were intense and it was fantastic seeing Nadeo, players, fans and new-comers cheering everyone on. These moments were a true testament to what Shootmania has in store for the competitive circuit. A great community and a game that is unreasonably fun to watch – there is so much ahead for Shootmania and I can’t wait to cheer-lead every step of the way.
Valkyrie of the Frag Dolls interviewing Colwn after they took first in Shootmania.
Shootmania will be released January 23rd and I strongly encourage you to pre-order now. Here are some helpful Shootmania related links: