Nadeo's shooty ShootMania and drivey TrackMania 2 games have both been given sizeable new demos, with the intention of increasing the player count in both Mania titles. The demos are pretty generous, offering access to a good number of environments, modes, tracks and the full editing suite in both games, although this unlimited access will expire after 48 hours, to be replaced with something perhaps a little more reasonable (an hour of play every day, or more if the player count falls below 100). Head here to check out the TrackMania 2 demo, and here to check out the ShootMania one, or stick around to hear exactly what you'll be getting.
ShootMania was supposed to be the TrackMania of gun-games: a simple shooter in what’s become a tornado of killstreaks, unlocks and customisation. And it is, but only if you look at the bits where a mouse- click fires a gun at a bunny-hopping enemy. The rest is a rebuilding of the competitive FPS, but with an odd logic that suffuses everything from the menus to the movement.
It’s clear I’m in thrall to Nadeo’s eccentricities even before a shot is fired. ShootMania Storm’s menu screen is full of tiles. The biggest one is Storm, but to the right there’s a collection of smaller tiles with ‘Royal’, ‘Battle’, and ‘Joust’ written on them, and to the far right there’s TrackMania Stadium, an entirely different game. Er, which one of these makes people explode?
Nadeo only recently released TrackMania 2: Stadium, but already they're revving up for the next addition to their series of improbable racers. TrackMania 2: Valley is a rally-focused expansion, and is planned for release this Thursday, July 4th. Incidentally, let's take a moment to congratulate Nadeo for the clear naming of their sequel. It's better than their previous system of bolting extra subtitles with every version - resulting in TrackMania United Forever Star Edition:
Origins. Or something.
Prepare to burn some rubber and press down hard on that virtual accelerator in a way you can never do as a mild-mannered, law-abiding citizen in real life—TrackMania's latest thing is now on PC. TrackMania 2 Stadium launched quietly over the weekend (well, as quietly as squealing tires can allow, anyway), and going by these screenshots? It's showroom-slick.
Some things are too monumental too squeeze into a mere four week time period. And as it turns out, the PC Gamer Shootmania Launch Tournament was one of them. Admittedly, in this case the unexpected spilling over the final matches of our tournmanent into an extra week had more to do with technical issues than it did all the drama being too much to contain within our initial timeframe. But no matter, because this week's matches deserved a week of their own. Watch the finals and read our analysis below.
Tuesday evening saw the fourth week of PC Gamer's Shootmania Storm Launch Tournament. Nadeo's lightning fast shooter is exquisitely calibrated for tournament play - with its pixel-perfect shooting and heavy offensive on manoeuvrability - so we'd thought we'd go and host one, inviting expert commentators Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from eSports crew Team Dignitas to help decipher all the fleet-footed jumping and astonishingly precise shooting. So if you want to see a bunch of talented eSports teams battling it out in a game built to showcase their abilities, then watch the video below. If you'd rather just catch up with who shot whom the most on Tuesday night, in preparation for next week's Grand Final, then read the match report beneath it.
This is a double elimination tournament fought in Storm’s 3v3 Elite mode, which see two teams of three players alternately attacking and defending a capture point, though the attacking team only gets to field a single player, who gets to be either a victorious hero or an embarrassing failure. The first team to reach nine points wins the game, though a two-point lead is needed to confirm the victory, and there are five games in a match. Losers in the top bracket are automatically relegated to the lower bracket - and it was the Upper and Lower Bracket finals that played out on Tuesday night.
Welcome to the fourth and final week of the PC Gamer Shootmania Launch Cup. Teams have fought many battles and blasted many visored men over the course of the competition, but now it's serious. We're down to the final contestants which means we get to watch the fastest, twitchiest most spectacular players of the tournament face off for glory. The consistently impressive fnatic are facing off with Swiss Bulls for a share of the prize pot, but who will come out on top? Tune into the livestream at 7PM tonight to witness the action first-hand, with VO from commentators, Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from Team Dignitas.
Tuesday night saw the third week of PC Gamer's Shootmania Launch tournament. With only the finals and grand finals left to go, the calibre of play in both the upper and lower brackets has jumped from excellent to "wait, what did that guy just do?" levels of lightning-fast reactions and superhuman, pixel-perfect, long-distance frags. Thankfully we have our usual pair of commentators on hand to help out: Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from eSports crew Team Dignitas. You can let their gently reassuring tones guide you through the below video, or, if you're not afraid of spoilers, read the match report beneath it.
If you've been following PCGamer's ShootMania Tournament, you'll already have a good idea of the things you can do in the game. But the real question is: how? Basic map awareness and game strategy is one thing, but getting those trick jumps and speed boosts to zip you from one part of the level to another is quite another.
Help is at hand, however. Pro-player badasses Team Dignitas have agreed to stream their practice sessions live tonight and on Wednesday, from 7pm until 10pm GMT. Ziggy "nVc" Orzeszek, David "Zaccubus" Treacy and Ted "Kowa" Hansson will be showing off their skills and answering questions from Twitch's chat channel. Watch it over at our Twitch channel or check the embed below.
We're now into the third week of the PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup and things are getting tense. Last week saw an almighty upset for early favourites Team Dignitas, leaving them one loss away from being disqualified. Meanwhile, Team Infused have surely become one of the strongest contenders following their showing against Lemondogs - making this week's Infused vs fnatic bout one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament. You can watch that match, and a livestream of the other top matches tonight right here from 7pm GMT. It should be a fun old time, as the teams battle to stay in contention for the grand finale next week - not to mention the £800 prize pot.
Be sure to check out the standings, to see how the fixtures have panned out so far, and which matches lie ahead.
As always, we'll have expert commentary courtesy of Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from Team Dignitas. Hit the jump to see the feed below.
Since Trackmania’s release in 2003, millions of tracks have been created, uploaded and played all over the world. With each new release in the series, the Map Editor has become increasingly more powerful and user friendly allowing bigger, wilder and more challenging tracks to be designed with ease. With ShootMania, Nadeo’s twitchy team shooter built for pro-play, the same treatment has been applied to the principles of the FPS, giving users complete control over map design, game objectives, environment features and skins.
With so many players creating maps, it’s important to learn exactly what makes a good multiplayer map so that yours can stand out from the crowd. Symmetry is extremely important when designing FPS multiplayer maps, as every player should have an equal chance in terms of where they spawn and what the objectives are. With Shootmania’s Elite mode, you have one attacker versus three defenders. The attacker wins either by eliminating the opposition, or capturing an objective marker during the narrow window of time in which it is vulnerable. With such asymmetry, balancing maps while also maintaining an exciting experience for spectators is a very challenging task. I spoke to Guillaume Rocchiccioli who works full-time designing maps for Nadeo.
Tuesday evening saw the second week of the PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup. A double elimination tournament fought in the newly released ShootMania Storm's 3v3 Elite mode, nowhere else can you find so much drama and upset entwined with quite this level of balletic wall-jumps and astonishingly pixel-perfect shooting. The tournament is played entirely in Elite mode, which you can read more about here. In short, the first team reach nine points in this attack/defend game mode wins the game, although, as in tennis, a two-point margin is needed to win. Matches are fought on a best of three basis, with losers in the top bracket automatically relegated to the lower bracket. Once there, they may well be able to fight their way back to the grand final, but another loss in the lower bracket will see them kicked out of the tournament. If you didn't watch on Tuesday, you can still do so below - things kick off at the 15 minute mark. Be warned, beneath the video there are spoilers.
Last week saw the kick off of our very own ShootMania tournament. We had nearly 50 teams sign up for the month-long double elimination competition, and a mixture of pro-players and talented amateurs alike did battle for a bit of the £800 prize pot.
With last week's losing teams heading down to the lower bracket things are only going to get more intense at the top, and from 7pm GMT tonight we'll be streaming the best matches live on our Twitch channel, with commentary courtesy of Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from Team Dignitas. You can hit the jump to see the feed below.
On Tuesday evening, the PC Gamer ShootMania Tournament launched with almost 50 teams signed up to play in the month long double elimination tournament. With both amateur and professional players battling it out in the 3v3 Elite mode of the newly released FPS title from Nadeo, anything can happen and it almost always does. The tournament is played entirely in Elite mode, which you can read more about here. The first team to get to nine points takes the game, although they do have to win by a two-point margin. It’s a best of three with the loser going down to the lower-bracket where every match could be their last. If you were unable to catch all the matches, you can still watch the VOD embedded below before you read on to avoid spoilers!
ShootMania Storm launches today. It’s a competitive shooter built for eSports, and as you might expect from Nadeo, the developers of TrackMania, it’s extremely malleable, with a level editor that lets you plug prefab components together to create your own arenas. It’s a game of breathless pace and precision, with its two-hit kills requiring well-timed projectiles - old hands at Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament should feel right at home.
To celebrate ShootMania’s arrival, PC Gamer is holding a tournament from 15th April to 7th May, with £800 in prize money to be divvied up between the three top teams. Whether you’re a pro-player in need of pocketmoney, or just a fan of oldschool shooters looking to recreate the twitchy thrill of a railgun duel, you’re very welcome to enter. Read on to find out how.
Nadeo's twitchy team shooter goes on sale today and, as is the custom of their people, a trailer has been released to mark the occasion. It's pretty flash, simultaneously demonstrating the game's breakneck action and the merits of the in-game camera used to capture it. ShootMania has been built to be an eSports platform, y'see - so it comes with a reconfigurable rule-set and bristles with tools to help you set-up tournaments, capture footage and cast it.
TrackMania 2! I'd entirely forgotten it even existed. That's one of the potential dangers when you hide your games away in their own tiny corner of the internet. Fortunately, as of today, Nadeo's various Mania games are getting some added visibility. TrackMania 2: Canyon, TrackMania 2: Stadium and ShootMania Storm have all been added to Steam in various states of release.
Nadeo's frenetic FPS, Shootmania Storm, dreams of being an esport one day. It's a fast-paced competitive multiplayer shooter that channels the spirits of shooters past, so expect lots of speedy, slippery running, remarkable leaping and pulse blasters that evoke the rocket launchers of Quake and Unreal Tournament. There's a detailed, built-in level editor which players can use to create, test and share levels. If that sounds like your bag, good news! The bag is now in open beta. You can download the 1.24GB client for free now from the Shootmania Storm site.
Ubisoft have announced that the Beta 2 update to ShootMania storm will be coming soon. It'll add new map blocks, extra movement options like a grappling hook and wall jump, and a surface-rebounding charge shot. They've also released a video to trail this second test phase.
We hope you've fully explored TrackMania 2: Canyon's... canyon environment, because Nadeo have revealed a couple more. The game's Valley and Stadium expansions will be coming to their ManiaPlanet platform in early 2013, the latter returning from the original TrackMania to (as Eurogamer report) serve as a free-to-play component for the game. Stadium definitely seems to be the crazier of the two tracks, with loop-de-loops and all sorts going on. In related 'Mania news, Nadeo have also revealed a release date for Shootmania: Storm, which will arrive on January 23rd.