How time flies when you’re in a race car flying through improbable loops and smashing into things. Speaking of which, Trackmania is turning ten years old next month. To celebrate, developer Nadeo is releasing free demos of Trackmania 2: Valley, Stadium and Canyon. If you’ve never tried the insanity that is a Trackmania race, head over to the Maniaplanet website to download.
Prepare to burn some rubber and press down hard on that virtual accelerator in a way you can never do as a mild-mannered, law-abiding citizen in real life—TrackMania's latest thing is now on PC. TrackMania 2 Stadium launched quietly over the weekend (well, as quietly as squealing tires can allow, anyway), and going by these screenshots? It's showroom-slick.
ShootMania Storm launches today. It’s a competitive shooter built for eSports, and as you might expect from Nadeo, the developers of TrackMania, it’s extremely malleable, with a level editor that lets you plug prefab components together to create your own arenas. It’s a game of breathless pace and precision, with its two-hit kills requiring well-timed projectiles - old hands at Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament should feel right at home.
To celebrate ShootMania’s arrival, PC Gamer is holding a tournament from 15th April to 7th May, with £800 in prize money to be divvied up between the three top teams. Whether you’re a pro-player in need of pocketmoney, or just a fan of oldschool shooters looking to recreate the twitchy thrill of a railgun duel, you’re very welcome to enter. Read on to find out how.
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.
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.
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 sun-bleached canyons, the cars polished to within an inch of their MOTS, the cunning use of the word "Turbo" 47 seconds in. As pointed out by RPS, there's plenty of reasons to get excited for Trackmania 2, even though there's no confirmed release date as yet.
For more on Trackmania 2, read our full preview in issue 227 of PC Gamer UK, on sale May 11.