TrackMania is a series that has been around for a decade now, but unfortunately, that has been limited to PC users only. Here comes Ubisoft to the rescue, helping Nadeo bring their over-the-top series to next-gen consoles with TrackMania Turbo. Having the series available to a wider range of gamers is always a risk, as console users may not take to it like PC players. Fear not, TrackMania Turbo is absolutely awesome!
Game: TrackMania Turbo
(Review copy provided by publisher)
Let me start my review with this. if you have never played or heard of the TrackMania series (like myself!) but really enjoy the Trials series, I can almost guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this in an instant. Everything reminded me of Trials, from the crazy track designs to the colourful art-style attached to it. Of course, this racer presents you with 4 wheels, rather than the 2-wheeled bikes you get in Trials.
You would think that having a car would be a simple, Gran Turismo like cruise. Get the sunglasses on and get ready for a nice simple ride in nice simple tracks. If that sounds like your kind of fun, I do recommend that you hastely head for the exit button on your browser now! TrackMania Turbo is as crazy as you can imagine, with controls that are easy to learn, but very, very hard to master, trust me on that!
Let me start by saying that TrackMania Turbo looks absolutely gorgeous. The offline campaign mode spoils you with over 200 ready made tracks for you to overcome. I have sampled most of them so far, and each one of them is as vibrant and colouful as the last. Giant inflatable pigs? roller coaster like designs? Turbo pads that blast you in to the air…. you get the point I am trying to make. Although the tracks are over-the-top, you are visually notified quite boldly on when upcoming turns, jumps and boosts are coming up.
The sound completely fits the tracks laid in front of you. As you are trying desperately to control your car and complete the track, the background music seems to perfectly fit that vibe of what TrackMania Turbo sets out to achieve.
As I previously said, the main campaign is is made up with over 200 different tracks, which are split into different sections. The sections are split into 10 tracks each, 8 mini tracks and 2 tracks that require you to do 3 laps. As there are a hell of a lot of tracks on offer, each mini track will take you around 30 seconds to complete, with the multi-lap tracks still only taking around 1 minute 30 seconds. Of course, like Trials, you can aim to complete the track in order to get Bronze, Silver and Gold trophies. Good luck on getting that gold trophy, that is all I am going to say!. Again like the Trials series, there is an option to quickly restart the whole track, or if you prefer, start off at the latest checkpoint.
It is all good having these times to try and aim for, but we all very much know it’s not just a case of getting from A to B. Well, it is, but TrackMania Turbo doesn’t let you obtain that coveted gold trophy without a fight. As I said before and is very much obvious in the game, the controls are easy to learn but hard to master. You really have to control your car to perfection, without trying to lose any speed at all. Sounds impossible right? The mechanics work really well in the game, giving you a real sense of achievement when you have got the perfect time and have achieved that gold medal that you really want. Whilst the mechanics work well, that still doesn’t mean that you find it really hard to get that time you need and even finish the course in some cases. You’ll often find your car spiraling out of control if you attempt a jump in anything but the right way; attempt it in a different angle and you will quickly find your car jumping off track, causing you to restart from the last checkpoint or the whole course again. With it only being 30 seconds however, you won’t find it much of a frustration to keep restarting as you strive for perfection.
The campaign mode is not the only offering in TrackMania turbo. There is a fully fledged create-your-own track mode where you can make it as crazy and with how many loops, jumps that you care to fit in. There is also a mode where you and a friend can together and drive a car together, creating double the carnage if you or your friend doesn’t get the movements right. Online races are also available, where you get a couple of minutes against other racers trying your best to get the best overall time and get yourself up the leaderboard.
TrackMania Turbo is a fantastic arcade racer which offers a hell of a lot of fun. Why the series never made it to consoles before is baffling but this offers a fantastic alternative to Trials. Whether you want to attempt to get gold on all tracks, create your own or aim to become one of the best online, TrackMainia Turbo offers a fantastic experience. It also is available for £24,99, another reason why I can’t recommend it enough. Whilst my skills aren’t good enough to obtain gold, TrackMania Turbo certainly gets a gold star from me.