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First Look: ShootMania Swarm

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Posted on February 22, 2012 AT 05:10pm

Nadeo charmed the world with their now-beloved racing series TrackMania. Next up for the team—taking on the world of first-person shooters.

While I’ve never really gotten into the TrackMania series, I’ve always wanted to. I’m not a big fan of racing games, but where I do like them is when they go for a more arcady feel or try to do something new and different. New and different, of course, was what made TrackMania so popular. The game allowed players to go crazy with their own creations, and those players took the game to places even Nadeo never imagined.

It is that very idea—gamers taking the game in new and un-intended directions—that is at the heart of ShootMania Swarm. Nadeo has crafted a specific set of defined elements—weapons, environmental pieces, some default game types—but is hoping that, from there, we the players take the reigns.

Think about if you go out and buy a LEGO set. In that set are a specific range of included pieces, along with an instruction manual telling you the main idea that the creators had for what those pieces could accomplish. Even then, however, LEGO boxes typically show you scenes of other potential creations from those pieces. And in the end, it is up to us—the ones buying and playing with those LEGOs—to decide what they will end up forming.

While Nadeo’s tools may not be robust enough to allow anything to be done in the game, their goal indeed seems to be giving players as many options as possible to create new and interesting FPS ideas. Built upon the same ManiaPlanet engine that powers TrackMania‘s robust track editing options, obviously creating your own maps for ShootMania will be the easiest element of creativity to grasp. It won’t just be about crafting environments, though—game types, rule sets, weapon balancing, and many other options will be on the table for those with a little imagination and a lot of free time.

Games like ShootMania Swarm often live or die depending on how much they are embraced by the gaming community. As I always support the idea of bringing more creativity and choice into our experience with games, I’m pulling for ShootMania to catch on just as its older sibling did.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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