We all know how hard it is to imagine things in motion based on static images. Take yesterday's Shootmania Storm screenshots, for example. They show lasers flying about the level, but there's no time scale attached to them. How are we to know that the lasers don't take upwards of five hours to move?
Fortunately, Ubisoft and Nadeo have posted a trailer that shows movement. And shooting. And occasional bouts of mania. No storms though, disappointingly.
Don't tell Microsoft, but glass interfaces are so last year. Today's self-respecting laser gladiator won't enter the arena without a pair of metal goggles that prevent them from seeing anything. So say these screenshots of Nadeo's ShootMania Storm, released following the game's appearance at last night's Ubisoft conference.
We also get another glimpse at ShootMania's powerful map and gametype editor, which will stretch from the straightforward tile-based toolset show below to a full script editor. When I saw the game earlier in the year, someone had made Tetris in it.
Click through for the new screens. Nadeo released the first trailer for the game a few weeks ago, and beta sign-ups are still available.
Yesterday's Shootmania Storm trailer did odd things to my brain. It fired all of the tangled synapses associated in any way with lasers, bright lights and Tron at the same time, a sensation that triggered an involuntary "ooooh shiny" response that still hasn't quite fizzled out. But what will it be like to play?
That's up to players. As with Trackmania, Shootmania Storm will rely on players to create interesting new maps, game modes, videos and more. LAN play and dedicated servers are supported and there's a spectator mode for esports competitions. Nadeo have spent year tuning the game to make it as agile and "pure" as they can. If you're tickled you can sign up to the upcoming beta on the Shootmania Storm site for a chance to throw yourself into the eternal war between red and blue.
I played the original TrackMania not so much to death, but to the point where it was six feet under and the flowers had gone mouldy. In a way I’m not surprised by how little I’ve played its latest incarnation, TrackMania 2: Canyon. It’s the same jolly good physics-defying racing as the first, complete with the absurd track designs. But, for me at least, it just feels a bit too similar to the original.
This new video has piqued my interest, though. It reminds me of the thing that makes TrackMania great, other than the fact that you can drive upside-down: the community. I spent many a night up until 2am in that “just one more race” mentality, racing a hotchpotch of strangers on un-completable tracks. Once, I was racing three Swedish people on a track that simply consisted of a three-foot diameter tube and nothing else. We were all so determined to finish that we failed to see the futility of attempting to keep a racing car on a surface that it didn’t fit on in the first place.
After all this time, still nothing compares to that opening sprint. One car, purring on the starting block, becomes a swarm of 20 when the countdown hits zero. Latticed tyre tracks. Wheels clipping through bumpers clipping through bonnets. A turn is coming: easy left into easy right, then an exit into a suicidal drop. Three degrees off and you’ll fluff the angle for the jump at the end. But you’ve trained for this – and so, as the others make their mistakes, you glide dead-bang into the tunnel. Into the mouth of a mountain.
Quick! Get on the internet! Trackmania 2: Canyon has been released.
It costs £19.99 / $24.99 and is available to download from the official Maniaplanet site.
I've been fiddling with the Trackmania 2: Canyon beta over the past few weeks and can now confirm that it's just as much four-finger fun as the previous Trackmania games. It's an outstanding-looking racer too. Click through to see the most recent trailer, and for the system requirements.
A brand new Trackmania 2: Canyon trailer has come speeding out of the PAX turnstyles. It still looks beautiful, and we still can't wait to play it. There's a multiplayer beta underway right now for players who have pre-ordered. It's due out next month.
A simple video of Trackmania 2: Canyon's colossal loops is enough to make our stomachs go a bit wibbly. We can't wait to dive in and make our own ludicrous tracks using the included course editor. You can pre-order Trackmania 2: Canyon now to grab a spot on the beta. It's out on September 14.
Yesterday we mentioned the fast approaching Trackmania 2: Canyon multiplayer beta, now CVG have spotted a firm release date on the Ubisoft shop. Trackmania 2: Canyon will be out on Septermber 14. It'll cost $24.99 / £19.99. The full version ships with a level editor that will let you make your own impossible tracks, and the "mediatracker" which will let racers edit videos from race footage. RPS point out that Nadeo have said that a Trackmania 2: Canyon Steam release is still "unconfirmed."
You can read more about the developers and the story behind the development of Trackmania, and their other projects, Shootmania and Questmania in our feature on the future of Nadeo, or sit back and watch Trackmania 2: Canyon in action.
ManiaPlanet have thrown up a little countdown ticker to tease the launch of the TrackMania 2 multiplayer beta next week. Blues News spotted the counter on the ManiaPlanet blog, where the devs announce that the beta will be open to everyone who pre-orders the game. The beta will come with the map editor and a video editor, and when TrackMania 2 is released properly, the beta versions will automagically update. You'll be able to pre-order the game from the TrackMania 2: Canyon site "soon" for $24.99 / £19.99. For a good look at TrackMania 2: Canyon in action, check out these three perfect laps. It's due out in September.
Here's some lovely footage of Trackmania 2 shot by some folks on the beta, spotted on RPS. The absurdly smooth driving skills make us think that it might be a well-programmed bot doing the driving in this one. Every turn is nailed with unflinching perfection, which means we're free to coast along and enjoy the gorgeous new environments.
Like the first games, Trackmania 2 will ship with powerful editing tools that will let players create and share new tracks. The first game, TrackMania Nations Forever, is free to download from Steam. The sequel is due out later this year. Check out the official Trackmania 2: Canyon site for more.
A man creates a TrackMania 2: Canyon level right before Tim's eyes in this demonstration of the powerful level editing tools that come with the game. The demonstrator then loads up the game in real time to test his creation out, and we get to see the upgraded physics engine in action as he flings his sports car across the sandy landscape.
This is the TrackMania 2: Canyon footage shown at the E3 2011 Ubisoft press conference. All of the tracks shown have been created using the level editing tools that will come with the game. The original TrackMania was known for being a superbly fun, but lo-fi racer. TrackMania: Canyon's desert locales and graphical upgrades give it a new level of polish. It looks gorgeous, and we can't wait to play it. You can get Tim's impressions of the demo from his overview of the Ubisoft Conference here.
Bedroom coders’ lairs aside, Nadeo must be the smallest studio you could ever hope to visit. It’s so small that the guidance on how to get there counts the precise number of steps to descend before you reach the front door (it’s four). You park your coat in the mezzanine, nod to the receptionist on your way into the main office, then realise that the mezzanine is the main office, that the ‘receptionist’ is actually studio founder Florent Castelnérac and that you were dangerously close to walking into a cupboard.
TrackMania's best courses looked like lumps of concrete spaghetti. They were a mess of gravity defying banks and loops, broken up with ridiculous jumps and a hundred different ways to hurtle to your death. The latest TrackMania 2: Canyon trailer shows that the sequel will be staying true to the bendy madness of the original.
These new screens prove it's going to look outstanding. Get a closer look below.
The first Trackmania was a free-to-play blast of fresh air in the racing genre. Beneath the straightforward visuals and insane, topsy turvy tracks it was a surprisingly competitive game. Global and local leaderboards provided plenty of reason to keep re-running the tracks, and a the approachable level editor spawned some utterly bonkers creations. Judging from the teaser trailer above, the realistic new look hasn't compromised the avant garde course design. There's no release date yet, but the official Trackmania 2 site says it's coming "very soon!" You'll find the first screen of TrackMania 2 below.