Trackmania has always been one of my favourite racers on the PC platform providing a competitive leader board where you will always want to go one better than your friends or the world. The franchise has always been big on PC but never really graced the main console platforms until now. Nadeo returns with Trackmania Turbo determined to reach a bigger audience and potentially break controllers.
Trackmania Turbo brings back the over-the-top arcade racer where getting the best time is everything. It’s simple to play, just accelerate, turn and brake but definitely hard to master due to the different variations in tracks and worlds to play in. It’s a trial and error affair where players must rinse and repeat each run to get the better times. Each track has a bronze, silver and gold medal level which is determined by the targeted time and it’s up to you to get the best medal you can. Tracks start off easy but ramps up in difficulty the more you learn the ropes and progress through the stages. While repetitive at first, Trackmania Turbo succeeds on its competitive nature and thanks to its insane leader boards, no matter how hard you try – someone out there will smash you.
The leaderboards allows you to keep track on how you’re performing on each track versus pretty much anyone. It also allows to see where you’re ranked globally and also by nation and state. As it narrows down, I’m glad to say being in the top 100 in New South Wales, Australia feels like an achievement. There’s always an itch to scrape in better times for Trackmania Turbo and with systems like this embedded plus the ability to add ghost cars adds to the replay value.
Nadeo has done some pretty impressive work with the theme and visuals of Trackmania Turbo while also providing some licenced backing tunes to keep you in beat when you’re shaving those extra seconds. The world’s features varied from roller-coaster cities to canyon runs. Nadeo have also covered the game in an arcade theme from insert coin start menus/restarts to retro gaming bit-style designs. So they’re not really joking when they said this is a full-on arcade racer.
One of the signature features of Trackmania is the track builder and it makes a return here in Trackmania Turbo. The builder is easy to use and you’ll spend hours here to create some insane (possibly) gravity defying tracks we’ve seen in past Trackmania titles. The problem here is however the builder has been simplified which can be a little minimal for past Trackmania players but for consoles players – it should be easier to jump into quickly.
Loading times have been in my experience the biggest weakness in Trackmania Turbo. It takes quite a bit, probably a tad too long for new tracks to load. Once you’re in a track, it’s fast to restart at checkpoint or start but transitioning from one track to another will make you wait which breaks the momentum of the game. Some tracks, well most are quick and you’ll find yourself waiting in the loading screens more than actual racing.
Trackmania Turbo takes the core strength of its franchise and delivers a competitive and addicting package to the console audience. Despite tedious load times, the game provides the best arcade racing action with tons of replay value thanks to the various include tracks and community content.
Platforms: Xbox One (Reviewed), PlayStation 4 and PC
Reviewed using a review code provided by Ubisoft