Also On: Xbox One, PC
We do our best to avoid movie trailers. Not only do they give away too much, but they often set too high a bar. If a trailer is doing it's job – generating interest – it's far too easy to set up the viewer for a letdown when the movie doesn't hold up. The same is sometimes true for video games. The trailer for Trackmania Turbo promises incredibly fast racing over surreal courses. In this case, not only is the trailer worth watching, but it's dead on.
Trackmania is and has always been about fast cars flying through fantastical courses of loops and jumps that have no business existing in the real world. Scenery is great and it goes by in a blur. Trackmania Turbo offers more of this than ever. There is no car damage, there's just going as fast as possible while staying on the track, of which there are 200 in four different areas.
Each of the four areas has its own car. Canyon is all about drifting, and that car slides like it's on casters. The Stadium track offers a classic open wheel speed demon that grips like crazy, as it should. Lagoon and Dirt Valley are somewhere in between.
Unfortunately, you won’t be playing any track you want until you progress through each area in order. Each environment is divided into five levels of difficulty (white, green, red, blue, black) and each level has 20 tracks. There’s no skipping straight to black until you earn enough medals on lower difficulties. At first, the screen full of locked tracks is a bummer. But most races are very short and even if you don’t think you need to practice it starts to make sense to progress through all 200 tracks in some kind of order. It’s not as rigid a system as it appears, either. Earning medals opens up the options quickly once you get going. The tough part is earning gold medals.
You’ll find a plethora of ways to share mania of tracks with friends, too. You can face their best times through online multiplayer, local hotseat play is available (praise baby Jesus), as is split screen. Online multiplayer offers custom lobbies, and the number of options is obviously intended to make Trackmania a shared experience.
Building custom tracks is either the icing on the cake or the best reason to log on, depending on our mood. More car customization available before hitting the aforementioned gold medals would be nice, but for quick, dirty, racing action, there might not be a better choice on current consoles without firing up a retro classic. In that case, we’d be missing out on the lightning fast eye candy that goes along with Trackmania Turbo.