I was excited when I found out there were releasing a new Trackmania and got a chance to play the beta a little bit here. Some thoughts:
It’s more Trackmania, for better or for worse. I’ve loved every game since the very first one and it’s been really cool to watch it grow from an indie game in the $15 rack of Radioshack to a fairly large racing platform with thousands of servers around the world. Canyon doesn’t stray far from the original formula which is both relieving (they didn’t ruin it) and somewhat disappointing (having played every TM before it, I’m sort of bored already).
Because there’s only one environment they’ve spent a lot more time perfecting it and the car’s balance with drifting and twitchy controls seems spot on perfect. Thankfully, the annoyingly top heavy Canyon cars of previous generations is no where to be found here. It’s more comparable to the Coast cars, but with a proper turning radius and lighter on the feet.
The track creation tools are quite a bit smarter in this generation and more contextual, so one part might fulfill a variety of roles depending on how it’s placed – this is awesome because the part list would go on forever if it wasn’t simplified like that. It takes some getting used to, but everything’s there somewhere. It seems a lot smarter at letting you know what you’re doing wrong, instead of TMU’s habit of just saying ‘no’ and leaving you to wonder how you need to change things to make it work.
Overall, I’m liking it so far. It’s pretty much like you’d expect, and once the real servers get up and populated I suspect some awesome, awesome tracks will start coming out of the wood works.
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