Trackmania Turbo Review
Is this the arcade racer this generation was waiting for?
Trackmania Turbo Get the best price at
Editor’s Note: Trackmania Turbo features numerous online features and modes that we haven’t been able to test thoroughly. Here are our initial impressions of the final game ahead of our full review .
Trackmania Turbo is the thrilling arcade racer this generation has been missing, but it’s also a damn frustrating game at points.
At this stage I’ve completed 70-odd of the game’s campaign events, split between four zones and four different cars. Most of these are point-to-point events, your vehicle hurtling around the track in order to make the exit in a time fast enough to earn a bronze, silver or gold medal. I’m yet to earn a gold medal, and the 50 or so of those I have got are bronze. Trackmania is a hard game.
Each car has a very distinct handling model, and I’m certainly enjoying some more than others. My current favourite is the heavy, drift-friendly beast used to tackle the Canyon courses. Feeling very much like a classic ’90s arcade racer, the powersliding is excellent and rekindles memories of Daytona. I’m less keen on the twitch-happy buggies used for the Down and Dirty Valley courses, which always seem on the edge of careering out of control.
Track designs are deliberately tough, and perhaps a touch unfair. Obstacles stand in the middle of the track, jumps send you flying out of bounds if you dare enter them at a non-optimal angle, and clipping a rock can result in the kind of spinning an Olympic diver would struggle to control. Thankfully you can instantly restart an event (Trials style), as it’s something you’ll be using over and over again.
There’s a lot of content locked away in the campaign, a lot of which requiring a certain number of silver or gold medals in order to access. I’m not sure I’ll ever be good enough to unlock it all, such is the difficulty Trackmania relishes in torturing you with. Courses can be learnt, of course, and nothing ever appears randomly to throw you off, but this is most definitely a game for people who get a kick out of trial and error improvements.
Numerous modes exists outside of the campaign, none of which I’ve dabbled with yet, but I will say that the game looks unexpectedly wonderful. This isn’t a showpiece title in the same vein as DriveClub but the bright colours, crisp image quality and incredible sense of speed lend Trackmania Turbo an arcadey appearance that is impossible not to enjoy. On the Rollercoaster-themed courses the whole thing can be rather dazzling. There is some occasional tearing, but hopefully this can be patched out in the near future.
I can already see that competing against friends to fastest times is going to be a bit of an addiction, again like Trials, and for only £25 I can’t see many reasons not to give Trackmania Turbo a whirl.
Version Tested: PS4