Back in 2004, Florent Castelnerac was first introduced to the world of eSports by his friend Matthieu Dalon, founder of the Electronic Sports World Cup. He liked what he saw; 400 players assembled against the French fantasy backdrop of the Parc du Futuroscope, competing across the likes of Counter-Strike, Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and Need for Speed.
Your first thought on firing up ShootMania Storm is: is it 2003? With its plain looks, small maps and basic controls, this online shooter for PC seems to belong to the time French studio Nadeo last made a brand new game, the community racing sensation, TrackMania. Or even earlier than that.
Your first thought on finishing a game of ShootMania is: again, again, again! Just like TrackMania's zippy arcade stunt racing, it has a purity, playfulness, pace and instant accessibility that make it refreshing and addictive in equal measure.
Also like TrackMania, ShootMania is built for a community of tinkerers and sharers. It comes with a powerful but intuitive map editor as well as the ability to use a scripting language to write your own mods and game rules. Like last year's entirely wonderful TrackMania 2: Canyon, it lives on Nadeo's new ManiaPlanet platform, a social network and system for sharing user-generated content.