hellerphant's TrackMania 2 (PC) review

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Trackmania 2: Canyon - The People's Racer

Trackmania 2: Canyon Review

Developers know when they have a good thing going; the last Trackmania title was released in 2008 and as of December last year there was still 700,000 users logging on, so how do you follow that up with a worthy sequel? Rather than breaking the mold Trackmania 2: Canyon simply brings forth a breath of fresh air to give the franchise a new coat of paint. Is it worth the price of admission?

What Trackmania 2: Canyon Got Right

Comprehensive ranking system - The driving force behind the competitive multiplayer aspect ofTM2 is the comprehensive, worldwide ranking system that Nadeo have implemented. After logging some of your best lap times you will be able to drill down to see where you stand in the rankings for that particular server, your state, country and worldwide. Knowing that you are ranked 107th in your state isn't a great achievement, and it compels the player to strive for that better ranking. It's addictive and provides a sense of achievement that few games can capture.

Improved physics and damage - While it may not be the most realistic racer on the market, TM2does sport an impressive physics engine that is a step ahead of its predecessor. A realistic damage model has been implemented that is purely cosmetic, but seeing your chassis warp as you smash into that pylon at 100KM/h is deeply satisfying. It's a nice touch that adds to the visual flair of this racer.

Community approach - Staying true to the series' roots, TM2 is definitely a community driven game. Nadeo only shipped the game with a handful of tracks and have left the users to fill in the blanks. Thanks to the robust yet accessible track editor there are already some truly amazing tracks on display that will test your skill. Considering the game has only been released for a short time, we can't wait to see what enterprising gamers come up with over the coming years. It's this ability to create, share and race that really drives the gameplay and will keep the title relevant for years to come.

What Trackmania 2: Canyon Got Wrong

Single-player is lacking - While TM2 has definitely been crafted with online multiplayer in mind, the single-player modes can often feel empty and boring. There are plenty of medals and challengs to be unlocked on each track, but something is simply missing that keeps the game interesting when compared to the multiplayer experience.

Visually dull at times - Car models are simply stunning as they move through the hot desert environemnts of TM2, reflecting everything that the car drives past with stunning results. However the lack of environmental change can be a little taxing at times - no matter how exciting a track is, being surrounded by the same desert at all times can be visually dull at time.

The Final Verdict

Trackmania 2: Canyon is one of the most addicitive and enjoyable racers out there today. With a huge focus on the community element, and the abillity to know your exact ranking in the world, country and state, you'll be hard pressed to find an arcade racer that is this much fun. If you're a fan of the previous iterations, you'll fall in love with the latest edition instantly.


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