PC Review: Trackmania 2: Canyon

Can the mania spread through the canyon?

Trackmania 2: Canyon is the latest arcade driving game from Nadeo. I didn’t play the previous games, but I was impressed with what’s on offer. The game is all about community, sharing and creating tracks. There is a single player experience where you have to beat track times to gain medals which will unlock more tracks, but it’s rather shallow when compared to the rest of the game.

You can customise your vehicles with stickers and paint, but there aren’t a huge number of cars when compared to the likes of Forza/GT, but the game is more about speed and precision instead of realism and models. There are a ton of servers and matches being played with community-created content and some of the tracks I came across were very well designed. But I had problems making my own tracks, there’s no tutorial on what to do and even on Simple, what should be easy is complicated.

Most of the games being played revolve around beating each others lap times, I personally wasn’t that good at doing that, but I can see how addictive it can be to keep going for glory. There is a lot of potential and room for improvement, plus there’ll always be tons of new tracks to try out and all for free. The lifespan of the game is almost limitless as a result and makes the price tag seem more than reasonable. Damage to vehicles is done and it does impact the performance of the car when it comes to turning corners, which is quite tricky in itself when using the arrow keys. The game handles a lot better with a controller is a more enjoyable method.

If there’s one thing that gets on my nerves though, it’s that sometimes you have no idea where to go. There’s no mini-map of any kind and the arrows that are put across the tracks can be somewhat misleading at times. Visually, it’s a great looking game…perhaps not as good as the competition out there, but it does the job and the shiny effect on the cars really looks nice.

The Verdict

Trackmania 2: Canyon offers a ton of content for a modest fee. It gives you the chance to create and share online; it also has plenty of replay value. This is definitely a must-have for any arcade racing fan that wants to show off their skills, but also for those to show off their imagination when it comes to designing tracks.