Review: Trackmania 2 Canyon/Stadium
TrackMania² Canyon will give players an adrenaline-filled experience, with insane jumps, controlled drifting and extreme speed. Driving in the Canyon is like running on a tightrope, only the fearless will succeed. It goes far beyond traditional driving games with a fully customisable world of tracks generated by the players themselves! With loops, wall rides, ramps and a multitude of other stunts, you’re in for the ride of your life!
- The graphics in both games are both bright and highly detailed, The night time levels in particular look fantastic, easily on par with the levels where as you come up over a hill the sun blinds you as it breaks through the clouds. Natural light to street light, the game nails it perfectly and is a joy to look at.
- Level design has been ramped up to the point where you dont know whats about to happen. You could be firing along a straight, round a nice easy corner then BAM your jumping over a ravine onto the adjoining road, then BAM your going through a tunnel, blinded by the sun as you emerge. Wether your racing out in the deserts or on a track high above a dam, the game does levels like no other. Mis-judge a jump and its curtains, hit it on the sweet spot and you got yourself a spectacular epic jump on your hands.From winding roads to flat out straights to full on wall driving. Thrill seekers will get a huge dose of adrenalin from the game. You haven’t seen levels like this until your driving upside down in a tunnel.
- Stadium gives you a more arena feel, racing through grass, dirt and all manner of jumps. Its a lush beautiful surrounding level design. You feel more like your in the Olympics or major racing arena rather than at a keyboard.
- Controls couldnt be simpler, it supports the game pad but works perfectly well with the keyboard, hell you can even play it one handed! Arrow keys do the acceleration, turning and breaking whilst 0 does the horn. Its so easy and satisfying to pull off sweeping drifts around corners.
- Editors, now with more power and control, you can design your own paint scheme down to the very last pixel. Events can be made and played on your own track, the possibilities are endless and as long as you got the time, the game has the options.
- The game is just one huge ghost time attack affair, no fear of hitting other drivers. The only perils you face are walls,drops and of course the stopwatch.
- Online is a revolation, bringing upto 100+ players into one game, you pick a track race your best times, get awarded ranks for your performance. All in the knowledge that you can see your opponents but cant hit them. Nothing beats seeing a sea of cars going over huge jumps in tandem.
- Both online and offline have a level playing field. For everyone uses the same one car, yes you can change the paint scheme but thats it in terms of change. You all race the same car on the same track, only driver skill can bring you victory.
- Offline campaign is a simple approach. Earn medals to unlock harder levels rinse and repeat. The offline section has loads of races (over 60) and will keep you entertained for hours upon hours. If nothing else you can use offline to practice the courses before hitting onlin.
- Full leaderboard support for online/offline. You can have just a friends list or see how you stack up with the rest of the world.
- You can save replays at any point and edit them, then upload them for all to see.
- The sense of speed you get from the game is staggering. Think Wipeout on wheels and your halfway there. Hitting tunnels and driving up the wall will bring back Rollcage memories but that is no bad thing.
- The game comes packaged with Mania Planets own UI system, here you have a selection of screens that puts all your Mania Planet games catalogued and ready for play. If you boot up one game, but want to play another? simply click the games box and it will restart the software and boot the desired game up no fuss. Here is where you will also manage your account like friends lists, times and any announcements. You can also adjust your volume settings and pretty much anything else. Its a clean crisp fluid system that further shows Mania Planet has thought of everything.
- The online community is friendly and always available to provide tips and suggestions.
- The devs themselves will jump on and chat among the players. Always listening to feedback and acting upon it. A refreshing sign indeed.
- Has 3D support if your into that kind of thing.
- Three types of view are available for you, each giving a better sense of speed than the last.
- Customise your horn and upload your own avatar to keep it personal.
- Sign posting in some levels is either not enough or non existent.
- More cars with maybe their own tier would be nice.
- Editors are so in depth that new users may feel put off by it all. It requires alot of work and time to make it worthwhile.
- Offline is pretty straight forward but the way it generally operates could put off new players.
- Menus can be controlled with the arrow keys, but then at the last minute require a mouse to select them. Kind of breaks up the fluidity of it all.
- The heavy dance/beats music may not be to everyones liking.
In summary, The games do so many things right and brings fun back to gaming. Your playing online with loads of players but it still feels like your playing on your todd. What Nadeo have done is take a simple idea and make it amazing. The sheer speed and lay out of the courses keep you coming back for more. Suits long play sessions or just a quick go on the fly. Doesnt matter what your specs are within reason, I tried the game on my old Intel HD laptop and it ran it no problems at all. I had to drop the quality a little but you couldnt really tell. They have looked after the small things and built from it, So for a lot of woah and WTF moments, pick this game up and drive away the hours and have fun whilst doing it!