Ubisoft's E3 presentation was the most interesting of a truly terrible bunch, rescuing E3 for me. But while everyone is talking about the incredible Watch Dogs, I squeed a bit over Shootmania, even though the presentation didn't show the game off in the best light. What was missing?
ShootMania Storm is TrackMania the shooter, a remix of the FPS genre underpinned by the creative features that drives their speedy car game: easy to build levels, easy to share. That never came across in their presentation, a forced battle of the sexes that tried to show off an oddly complicated game mode in four minutes.
Of course it's easier to show off teams blasting each other in a simple shooter, and it is a simple, speedy, direct FPS that feels like something from mid-2000, but there's a lot more to it than they exhibited. There's this.
That's the level editor, and it's why you should be excited about ShootMania. Editing a map is just as simple as in TrackMania: it's a tileset for you
to stitch world together, placing routes for players to run along and
walls to protect them instead of swooping, looping, roads. They make all
their levels using the same engine the player's have access to. Higher
functions are reserved for Maniascript: this is where TrackMania takes
normal racing games off the rails and introduces an internal scripting
language to the game. None of the game states are set in stone, so those
mappers with a bit more nous can create effects, control cameras, when
people hit certain points. It might look like a shooter from the UT
days, but it's a game that really allows the community to build what it
wants. It's not as easy as Minecraft, but it's not as complicated as
other FPS editors either. It's part of the game, not a adjunct: it's the
reason for owning it, and you'll get so much from it's integration: TrackMania isn't being propped up on official tracks; the players are all in editor borne fan creations.
Not that Ubisoft mentioned it at all.
This video is actually a bit more representative of the overall package, if you know what you're looking for: it's not just the level that's been made with it, it's the entire video: the level and the camera movements and effects. Video recording and editing have always been part of Nadeo's sharing ethos.
And it looks quite a fun shooter to boot.