Title: TrackMania Turbo
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: Like racing games? Buy this!
Price: £29.99/$39.99/31.69 Euro
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Originally announced at E3 2015, TrackMania Turbo is the first Trackmania game to release on a console since TrackMania Wii, way back in 2009. TrackMania is a racing game with its own twist; unlike popular franchises such as GRID or Forza, instead of carefully racing around a track in order to finish first, the TrackMania franchise has players driving through crazy designed courses to score the quickest time between the start and finish Line. TrackMania Turbo is no different.
The game features a single player career mode, much like most racing games. What makes it different is that the career features short races on crazy tracks that that can be reminiscent of Hot Wheels tracks kids play with. From crazy sharp turns to tight tunnels, it’s a dream (almost) come true for kids. Players must earn the best time in order to earn the gold medal in each race, which roughly last between thirty and forty five seconds. Thankfully, players do not need to score a medal in order to progress to the next track; simply finishing a race with a new score will allow players to move on. Each championship gets progressively harder ensuring a well balanced experience for players.
However, to move on through the championships, which feature a whopping two hundred tracks, players needs to earn at least a bronze medal in each of the races of a championship. This can prove a bit frustrating as coming across a more tricky track will require players to restart it until they master it.
While most single player races will require players to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, the game will throw a regular three lap race against time in between. It works pretty well. The sheer diversity of the tracks is the star of the game. The brief intensity of the race makes its perfect for quick bursts and also avoids the boredom of long races against cheap A.I; it’s easy to just say one more and realize you’ve been playing for a few hours.
Interestingly enough, prior to racing, players can choose to race either against the gold, silver or bronze medals. Choosing one of these three ghost racers will give players the opportunity to discover a few tricks in order to obtain the associated medal. Or alternatively, players can race by themselves.
Luckily, if a race becomes too problematic, players have two choices: restart or respawn. The former will have players restart the race from scratch, in order to correct mistakes made the first time around. While the latter will bring players back to the latest checkpoint, the timer will still be running, so it will cost players a few precious seconds.
One the game’s most interesting game mode is definitely Double Driver. This is a unique cooperative mode where players are controlling the same car, requiring both players to be on the same page in order to reach the finish line.
Once players have overcome the challenges of the campaign, they can attempt to create their own hellish trail with the Trackbuilder. Created tracks can also be shared online for the world to try. If players are craving something new, but a bit too lazy to fiddle with the Trackbuilder, there’s a Random Track Generator mode, where the game will create a new track in a matter of seconds. Both of these mode will prolong the game’s life, providing an unlimited amount of tracks.
The game’s controls feel a well balanced mix between arcade and simulation genres. While not as stiff as games like Forza or tight like Burnout, each vehicles handle very differently. Cars like F1 racers will stick to the road, while off-road vehicles will be more slippery on the tracks. This will definitely keep players on their toes as they’ll need to adjust their driving from one championship to another.
Alas, as enjoyable as TrackMania Turbo is, it’s not without its faults. The biggest one being is that it requires players to race almost perfectly. If players do not anticipate a jump adequately, the vehicle will be flying sideways and there’s no way to realign it midair. This can cause unnecessary frustrations by having to restart the race. Thankfully, seeing as the most races can be done under a minute, restarting won’t be too much trouble. However, never learning from your mistakes will cause frustration.
Presentation wise, the game is spot on. Through my many hours of gameplay, I haven’t experienced a single performance issue. Although the color palette is limited and repetitive, whether it be on the asphalt, sand, or grass, it’s a visual delight. I still get a kick of the first person view during set points in certain races. Audio wise, Nadeo knocked it out of the park. The soundtrack features a mix of house and dance track fitting the races perfectly, making every twists and turns intense.
TrackMania Turbo packs a mean punch. Content-wise, players will definitely get their money’s worth. Whether it be the 200 races for solo play, unique Double Driver mode or the crazy online races in multiplayer, TrackMania Turbo is easy to pick up and play and will appeal to any fan of the genre. It’s unique blend of arcade and sim-like control, it’s easy to play and hard to master. While some races will prove frustrating, it’s a small minority. This game is easily my first favorite of the year. Don’t miss it.
- Crazy tracks
- Random track generator!
- Easy to pick up and play
- Some tracks can prove frustrating
- too much reliance on trial and error
TrackMania Turbo is rated E for Everyone. It’s like playing with Hot Wheels in videogame form.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by Xbox