While many people have played and enjoyed racing games like Need for Speed or Gran Turismo, or even Forza Horizon. There is one racing game that nailed almost all aspects, and it still goes by under the radar.
Trackmania Nations Forever.
Trackmania Nations Forever was a relatively simple racing game that has a multitude of different tracks ranging in difficulty. Even though the game can be incredibly repetitive, it still does everything really well. The cars look like a Formula 1 car and are decked out in the colours of a particular country. And on each track there is a certain time to beat in order to get a bronze, silver or gold medal. However, there is a chance to get an extra medal called the Author’s medal, which is awarded for beating a certain time that is not shown.
There are five different tiers, each more difficult than the last, white, green, blue, red and black, white being the easiest and Black being the Hardest. The tracks themselves are, again, simple and straightforward, however that doesn’t mean they are all together easy. There is everything from road to dirt to grass surfaces and they can all interchange together in the one track. There are also different types of tracks, for example, obstacle, race, speed, acrobatic and endurance tracks. All of them are set up to give the driver a different challenge along the way. Plus all of this is done in a massive arena that… get this…. people can explore. If players fall off the track and can’t get back, they can just choose to restart or investigate. Granted there isn’t much to investigate, but the fact that they have put enough work in to allow players to search behind the stands is pretty cool.
The last thing that the game allows players to do is use their imagination to create their very own tracks that they and other people can trial and race on. It allows players to make the most simple or elaborate tracks you can think of. This whole game is evidence that even when it is simple, it can still be brilliant.
The new Trackmania has done a pretty good job in redoing the classic Trackmania Nations game while adding new aspects. The new additions to the tracks are fantastic albeit occasionally painful. They added surfaces such as curved and ice tracks with the ice tracks bordering on the unplayable. They have also added things like a slow-mo pad, and a ring that you jump through which makes you hover back to the ground.
From the very outset, in the menu, it looks a lot busier. There are training tracks that allow players to get acquainted with the game, as well as the general tracks and even campaigns. The campaigns are tracks that people have made that almost anyone can have a go of. My favourite was a mario kart campaign where they replicated some classic Mario Kart tracks, it was honestly majestic. Unfortunately however, the yearly subscription idea of the game is a little frustrating, the fact that you only get five tracks per difficulty per season or the fact that it almost pushes players to subscribe because otherwise all you have is the practice tracks is ridiculous. There’s a significantly reduced number of tracks to be able to play from even if there are going to be 100 tracks to play from, after the year subscription is up. Honestly, they would have been better off selling the game with 100 tracks already made and then having the subscription service for the extra tracks and campaigns so that the game actually feels fleshed out and meaningful. Right now it feels kind of empty added with the wait time to get the other tracks.
One great improvement that they have done though, is to revamp the way people create their very own tracks. There is a choice of going a simple creation or advanced and the difference is massive. Simple creation is great for novice players who are not entirely sure how everything works, because it only gives them very basic options to choose from. Advanced, on the other hand, gives players almost 3 times as many options to allow them to try and create almost anything, it has everything from extra track pieces, to being able to build trees and hills to build a world around your track, not to mention, the free space to make a track is almost the whole stadium. If anything this is the best improvement of the game.
The graphics look incredibly crisp and precise and the same can be said about the controls. It still has a cartoony aspect to it, but personally, it suits the game. At least this time the details on the car and the tyres and even the person driving inside are really detailed.
Trackmania hasn’t done everything well, especially with the decreased amount of set tracks. However on the whole it has improved a lot of aspects, and is still an incredibly awesome game that will just keep growing and improving as time goes on.
Reviewed by Dillon Van Der Putten
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