The PS4 version of Trackmania Turbo was primarily tested for the purpose of this review.
Do you remember playing with Hot Wheels as a kid? The twists, the turns, the loops of the tracks… Have you wished you could make it a reality? Well look no further than Trackmania Turbo! With a blend of arcade-style racing and crazy stunts, and track building elements thrown in for good measure, Trackmania Turbo puts the pedal to the metal in an insane twist on the racing genre.Bright colours! Shiny things! Developers Nadeo have really spent a considerable amount of time and effort on the game, and it shows in spades. Every car has significant detail right down to the grooves on the tyres, and the environment shares a bright and vivid colour palette and great lighting effects. Of course most of the time you won’t notice this because you’ll be too focused on the road ahead, but when it stands out, it is really noticeable and a nice touch. The menus and even the game world itself keep with the ‘arcade’ theme of the game, making you basically feel like you are in a giant arcade game – with bright and flashy signs in your face at every turn. The music helps with this too; a series of licensed rolling beats functions as your in-race soundtrack, getting you in the zone to push yourself.Trackmania Turbo has a degree of difficulty I like to call “Trial and Error and Error and Error”. Basically the skills are easy to learn, and from then on you keep trying until you either get frustrated and quit, or you finally master a course. Every world in Trackmania has a different theme – Canyon Grand Drift, Rollercoaster Lagoon, Valley Down & Dirty, and International Stadium; and their names are pretty explanatory of their content. Drifting, boosting, twisting and turning your way through tracks, your main goal is to get the gold medal by beating the ghost car to the end. Sounds simple enough, right?
WRONG.Trackmania Turbo relies on a pretty simple accelerate and brake premise. Unfortunately, due to the arcade-ness of the game, the control of the cars (or lack of) can cause mayhem in itself. Some tracks, such as those featured in Canyon Grand Drift or Rollercoaster Lagoon are relatively easy as they consist of straight lines and drifting turns; on the contrary, when faced with Valley Down & Dirty, your vehicle loses all grip and sends you flying halfway across the track, having to restart about fifty times before you can pass off a bronze or silver medal. While initially the driving mechanics are fun and zippy, they soon become a bore when you are tasked to keep your car under control with basically no control.
Having said that, the game still manages to seriously entertain, and just like many of its tracks, it has both ups and downs (and also lefts, rights, jumps, loops, backflips, twists and turns). In most instances, blazing through the tracks with a catchy tune playing (which can be adjusted for loudness mid-race) can help you get into the zone and strive for the gold medal. Online multiplayer only adds to the chaos, pitting multiple people all after the goal of getting the medal with an inability to control their car.The track builder segment of the game is actually where a lot of fun can be had; aside from making some downright ludicrous tracks, you can concoct some pretty awesome and insane stunt tracks, and share them online with a community of like-minded crazies all fanging to have a go. Let your creativity run wild as you construct a track as menacing as the ones you’ve suffered through.What should be a relatively simple game in Trackmania Turbo instead is at times an extremely difficult and stress-inducing experience best left to temporary playtime sessions. While paying homage to its arcade racer roots, and including some great online capabilities and extensive track building features, Trackmania Turbo quickly uses what fuel reserve it has to burn through your patience and eventually leave you just like your car after leaving the track – broken and disappointed of how far off course you made it. A relatively solid game with a heap of room for improvement.