The mission of Swim e Ubisoft it turns out to be somewhat thorny. Being able to create a title that becomes a modern trademark of the competitive game (goal achieved already as you remember from Trackmania Nations), also managing to expand the user to the new generation consoles. The community on PC it is one of the largest ever for a driving video game, and the chances of entering a market like that of consoles trying to match its users for the moment seems a utopia. He will succeed Trackmania Turbo, after a somewhat slow start (as is normal) to succeed in the enterprise? And above all, what does this new title put us in front of?
Faster, even faster!
One of the aspects that have always distinguished the brand, starting with Trackmania Sunrise, has been the difficulty of controlling cars, most of them at impressive speeds. Obviously, even in Trackmania Turbo, the developers have not contradicted themselves. The controls of the cars obviously vary from the type of car we will be driving, but also from the locations. Both the types of cars and the environments will be 4 different (one type of car for each type of location), and we are going to list them followed by the basic characteristics:
- Canyon Grand Drift
In this environment we will find ourselves competing in one desert area driving very particular cars: these favor long and spectacular drift while running at high speeds: to get into "Drift mode", if you allow me the deadline, it will be necessary to simply press and release the brake button. In addition to this, good handling with good grip, but limited control in the “flight” phases should be noted.
- Valley Down And Dirty
As the name suggests, we will find ourselves running in a valley, with mainly areas of forest. Also in this envoirment we will alternate phases on asphalt, with phases on earth (and water). The car we will drive here promotes good stability on asphalt (therefore even the drift will be very limited), and an extreme slipperiness on land; moreover the tracks of this type will put us in front of numerous jumps and "gaps". This type of races are much more difficult than those in the canyon, given the difficulty in controlling the car.
- Lagoon Rollercoaster
In this adrenaline rush we find ourselves competing in a beautiful tropical area, where it will seem to us to live on a real roller coaster! In these tracks "through a legal quibble the gravity zone has been partially removed" (paraphrasing one of the loading phrases, humorous and funny). Handling will be of medium difficulty on asphalt and on the "roller coaster“, Where the grip is good, while off-road and on sand the control will be much more complicated and slippery.
- International Stadium
With this envoirment we return to the classics. We find the location of the Stadium, daughter of Trackmania Nations, but obviously with a new graphics and better details. To do well on these tracks, you need to drive carefully, making the most of the angles, grip, and "slips" on meadows and mud. The cars we will use they are definitely reminiscent of Formula 1 single-seaters.
We close the roundup of information, mentioning that the single player campaign mode, has as many as 200 original tracks, all of them divided by 5 different types of difficulty, and obviously divided equally between the various envoirments. To unlock the next tracks, it will be necessary to earn medals (bronze, silver, and gold respectively) by defeating the ghosts and beating their records. Are you able to become the "Trackmaster" (green medal)?
Controller, a lifestyle?
One of the features that will certainly make players happier is to choose which set of controls to use while driving. Obviously on PC the keys to be used on the keyboard are many, but on the controller it could be uncomfortable. Therefore, in addition to the "restart from checkpoint" and "restart" keys, the choice of inserting is excellent double buttons for accelerating, braking and steering. To give an example, on PS4 you can accelerate with both Square and R2, brake with X and L2, and choose whether to steer with the analog stick L or with the directional buttons: a unique freedom of its kind.
Online multiplayer? Not only!
The competitive life of Trackmania Turbo obviously takes place online. The challenges we can create are countless, with the playlists you prefer. It will also be possible to challenge your friends on tracks created by them, or even challenge people from all over the world on theirs, and why not, try to climb as much as possible in the regional - national - world ranking. Many of these things had already been seen (albeit not at such a high quality) in older titles. What is the part of Trackmania Turbo multiplayer that brings innovation par excellence?
The return of the split screen! One of the most beautiful, but at the same time most underrated and neglected features of the last decade. With this title, you are finally back to playing a car game on the same platform, with the joy of having your friends next to you! Not only this, it does so with a series of new modes that make your games even more varied (and unpredictable)! Let's go to list all the ways in which it is possible to play in local multiplayer with Trackmania Turbo:
- Hotseat: It consists of playing with only one pad, passing it in turn between players. The aim is to be able to get the best time to the detriment of the protagonist ... before the tank is empty!
- Arcade: There is an air of classicism. You have to give your best, but you have to be careful to the maximum, since we will only have 3 credits available (insert coin, does it tell you anything?).
- Split Screen: There is not much to say, if not to reiterate the concepts a little above. We can play up to a maximum of 4 players, who will be called by “color”. The rules implemented to play are those used also for the Trackmania world championships! That is to say score "to Formula 1" up to 30, and thus becoming the "Finalist". The match is won by the first finalist who manages to win a race! In this mode the cars will overlap like ghosts, like when racing online.
- Secret: This is the extra new and delusional mode incorporated in this title. Power ups, cars launched, traps, and so on and so forth, activated randomly by entering codes during mode selection. Unpredictable, and tremendously fun: seeing is believing!
Another unique feature inserted with this game, is the mode Double Driver, in which you will run with your partner controlling the car at 50% (for example if you turn right, and your partner on the left, the car will go straight!). How many other things can you ask of a title to entertain you? Exactly.
Track Editor: Much tracks, much fun!
The trademark returns, also thanks to the Track Editor! The ability to create your own tracks, the envoirment you prefer, set a record time, and challenge the community to do better! The track editor has obviously been improved over the past titles of the brand, even providing different levels of "experience" to approach with. These are: "Beginner Trackbuilder", accessible and easy to use; "Normal Trackbuilder", more blocks, options, and the ability to create jumps; "Advanced Trackbuilder", which gives access to all blocks and terraforming. It will also be possible to activate a random generation of the trace, called "Random Generator"! (although the latter is slightly slow in uploads).
Miscellaneous of style
Everything else is a question of style. The graphics in the title are certainly the best we've seen from Swim, which even if it does not reach the maximum levels of excellence, is still relevant and guarantees a stable frame rate without smudging (at high speed then, would you really stop to admire what a support post looks like?). The soundtrack is varied and fun, suitable for racing and never cloying. The dubbing was obviously not necessary, except for the "3, 2, 1, GO" that you will hear repeatedly by dint of starting over, but the choice of having them recorded with is very pleasant both male and female voices in a dozen different languages! It will also be possible to create your own mix of music, and customize the cars to your liking!
Trackmania Turbo VR Experience
Trackmania Turbo has recently been updated with a free virtual reality mode, called VR Experience. To access it, you simply need to select it from the game's main menu. Obviously, to be able to use it, a virtual reality viewer compatible with your platform (for example the PlayStation VR on PS4) will be essential… and a good dose of cold blood.
The proposed experience it includes 40 tracks dedicated to it, which can be played in both single player and online multiplayer. The division of the paths this time is atypical: there are 10 tracks per type (Canyon, Valley, Lagoon and Stadium), and include 2 tracks for difficulty (white, green, blue, red, black slopes). The unlocking structure also changes immediately, having to complete the previous tracks with a certain score, but leaving us free choice of which location to play first. The various rankings, world, national and territorial, will be separate and not attributable to the basic title. T.We should point out that the difficulty and frenzy of the various available tracks are decidedly less compared to those of the base game. Even if this takes away a good slice of competitiveness from the experience, I think the choice of developers is very careful: it is difficult to propose such a title by reducing motion sickness to zero, and therefore these choices have been implemented to limit the damage. In fact, apart from the initial surprise and the progressive getting used to, the TrackMania turbo VR Experience does not confer excessive disturbances (however, it is not exempt from it). however, it remains a slightly prohibitive obstacle for the most sensitive people, especially in the gravity changes of the Rollercoaster, loops or vertical walls.
On a graphic level, the impact is remarkable, and definitely does justice to the experience, giving the player the opportunity to admire views and perspectives like never before.. Obviously the greatest effect is given by the 3 dimensions, and by the spectacularity of the jumps. The idea of inserting is excellent automatic return to the track in case of falls and the like, not only for a comfort factor, but to avoid unpleasant visual consequences for the player. In conclusion, we can say that this update is more than welcome, not just because goes to embrace an unprecedented game mode for the brand (and consequently provide an extra title to those who have purchased the VR peripherals), and not only because it slightly extends its longevity, but above all because Nadeo and Ubisoft did not ask for anything in return, and providing an overall good product. Too bad only for the low difficulty ...
VR Experience rating: 8