Nadeo has dusted off Trackmania Nations to relaunch the franchise starting from the most successful chapter. Our Trackmania review
There Trackmania review brings us back to the Nations stadium, one of the most successful editions of the series, but in this new chapter the space available is greater and there is no lack of finishes to enhance a very precise gameplay based on saving millimeters and on conserving inertia to obtain trophies and climb the leaderboards. In fact, each Trackmania challenge gives points despite the experience is always playable in asynchronous multiplayer, defying ghost and trying to decipher tracks that can be decidedly complex. But those who want company can also tackle the classic game mode together with a maximum of 8 other players, also in local multiplayer, another arrow to the arc of an experience that includes interface changes, important stylistic finishes and a social infrastructure enhanced that aims to enhance the core of Trackmania Nations, made of rankings that start from individual regions to reach the international scene, with the support of the creative drive of a community that has now 16 years on its shoulders.
How to access and contents of a title that looks to the future starting from the past
Trackmania, the name itself says, is a return to the past, a new starting point that does not revolutionize anything but wants to enhance an experience that in terms of gameplay it is already close to perfection and continues to be among the most immediate and fun ever. This is why Nadeo has decided to focus on infrastructure and content, with the aim of satisfying everyone also in terms of price. Available on Uplay and Epic Games Store, Trackmania offers three different levels of experience starting from the free to play mode which includes the 25 seasonal tracks created by Nadeo, an editor in the basic version but sufficient to create any type of challenge and the ability to climb the 10 ranking levels by getting points from practically every activity available.
There basic version the game, free, includes the official Trackmania Nations League competition, saving replays, local multiplayer and the ability to enter other people’s servers. But to get a more complete and content-rich experience it is necessary to pay 9.99 euros a year for theStandard edition, undoubtedly affordable, which includes advanced track editor, possibility to participate in the daily official competitions, to try the maps loaded on the test server and to upload your own map to the test server for others to try, access to the races of the day and access to public events and to the competitions organized by the Clubs. The latter can in fact create entire campaigns that are added to the competitions of the day, created by the players but evaluated and finished by Nadeo, in a title that aims to enhance the community’s activities, also offering a special access dedicated to the size of the clubs.
To be part of a Club in fact it is necessary to pay 29.99 euros per year, or 59.99 for three years, thus obtaining access to private rooms, the creation of campaigns, maps shared by other clubs, VIP ghost clubs with lots of play time attack dedicated to internal clan challenges, internal club ranking, Nadeo dedicated servers and a customization system that includes the possibility to modify textures and models. A small universe therefore that offers tangible privileges, most of which are designed to enhance a competitive dimension of a higher level. But as we said the bulk of the experience is available with the Standard subscription which at the expiration will still allow us to maintain access to the advanced editor and the maps of the day published during the paid period. So let’s talk about 465 maps with a one-year subscription during which we also have access to the ghost system which, an important element of Trackmania’s asynchronous competitive multiplayer, allows players to measure themselves against the records obtained by other nearby players in the ranking and with whom has obtained the best scores of a track.
Gameplay, adds and perspectives
The lack of the ghost system it’s the only thing that makes us turn up in front of the free access mode, deprived of an important piece for a title in which unthinkable shortcuts and millimeter calculations, easier to find by observing the games of other players, can shorten the times drastically. But to get by in all situations it is undoubtedly more important to master the several race grounds, taking a fundamental step along the road that leads to regional, national or even world rankings. This is one of the reasons why Nadeo has decided not to betray longtime players, maintaining dynamics similar to the previous titles to limit itself to modifications that look almost exclusively to the aesthetic dimension. The basic terrain is concrete, surrounded by grass, which recalls Formula 1 for the look and behavior of the car. However, it improves in the refraction of lights, resulting as the body of the car more pleasant and realistic. The mud has instead become clay clay, aligning with the style of the Trackmania stadium all made of synthetic elements. For ice, on the other hand, the look recalls the bobsleigh tracks while the convex terrain evokes indoor racing, both in terms of aesthetics and the behavior of the vehicle, and can be difficult to tackle if alternated in rapid succession to other terrains, with the control of the machine that it changes radically and any modifiers that can make some surfaces even more pernicious to deal with.
The modifiers, capable of transforming a linear track into an infernal circle to be crossed on four wheels, include turbo, death laps, slow motion, engine deactivation and steering lock, transforming inertia into a vital resource and making a small difference in height a potential trap capable of throwing us off the track at crazy speeds. A real arsenal of pitfalls that can put a strain on our patience, but they can also enhance our skills. On the other hand we have the classic immediate control system of the series which, playing on the high responsiveness of the vehicle and the possibility of planing, allows us to face kilometer jumps, parabolic curves, obstacles and extreme passages, while we refine essential reflexes to face a title in which the slightest distraction can irreparably compromise the performance of life.
To help us keep our attention on the vehicle, Nadeo moved the odometer on the license plate machine, while making clear the amount of braking with indicator lights placed on the front wheels. Apparently minor adjustments, but in practice useful changes to increase the visibility of data that can help further improve the timing. Which also aims the new checkpoint management with the player who respawn at the speed he had when he crossed it. In this way, starting again does not necessarily compromise a test, even if aiming for gold, races and records every millisecond counts and it is often necessary to start from scratch and learn a track. For the rest, the changes are all aesthetic, with the bulk of the work done on the lights and assets of the stadium which, partly taken from the work of the modders, try to combine a look made of deliberately synthetic elements, sometimes capable of remembering the colossal d era between cacti and displayboards, with a more realistic rendering. In the background, on the other hand, there are flags flying, symbols of a title that from menus to music aims to make everything welcoming, lively and joyful, perfect for short sessions and also ideal for spending whole nights chasing a record. Among other things, it already includes several extra maps in addition to the 25 summer ones created by the developers and the subscription is, according to the authors, a way to ensure the arrival of new features and the continuous evolution of what wants to be the new starting point for the competitive soul of the series.
- The most famous chapter of the series finished and enhanced
- Three types of access to satisfy everyone
- At launch there are already a lot of extra content between skins and maps of the day
- Those looking for something completely new will be disappointed
- We would not have disdained some more technical news
- The subscription-based model, regardless of the amount of the sum, is unsympathetic to many