Saturday, June 17, 2023

Online Saturday - Trackmania - Not Recommended For First Time Players

For today's Online Saturday video, i played the new-ish Trackmania on my launch model PS4.

Lets start with the title, i do not recommend this game for people who haven't played any of the previous Trackmania games. In the video i go so far as to say that i consider this game to be somewhat rude and maybe even insulting to first time players. If it was a new studios first try, i'd maybe be a little les harsh, but when it's Ubisoft and new game in a long running series it's hard to think of any excuse as to why a game from both working together could be soo inaccessible for new players, and in some respects downright lie to them. 

This version of Trackmania is a free to play game. i knew that going in. so everything i saw i expected to be all that was available to me. for example, i didn't see any track building stuff so i wasn't expecting it. but the truth is that it wasn't all for me. but the game doesn't tell you this right until your ready to click go. i do not appreciate this, the game is simply lying to me, teasing me.

This lack of information runs throughout the game. for most of this video, i had no idea what i was doing or why. i simply had to learn as i went cause the game spent no time trying to educate me. there wasn't even a tutorial! the game does have training but, as i show in the video, all it says is drive. it doesn't tell you the best times, there is no ghost data as an example, nor does it even explain why you're doing this challenge in the first place. what added to the frustration was that you can't restart either. you had to complete training for a chance to do it it again better. And you'd want to do it again as there are medals to win, tho at not point does the game ever say why you want them.

Game modes are equally uninformative, they're just names. you won't know what any of them do until you click on them. so i learnt that Royal mode was the game's Fall Guys equivalent. the big differences being you're in teams and you have no idea what challenges await ahead of you as your dumped onto a track and have to go. Even when you're playing this mode the game lies to you. when your teammate completes a section you can press O to with them to the next. Pressing ∆ restarts you to your last checkpoint. that is until it doesn't and it jumps you ahead without warning.

Another example of the game doing it's own thing was in Arcade Mode. i assumed this was simple arcade racing. But no, i was put into a team and our team was up against 3 other racers in their own team. That's easy to adjust to, but when the level started it was a warm-up. it gave no extra information so i had to assume it was to allow us drivers to give the lap a go before we raced. However, the warmup just stopped before i got to the end and i have no idea why. Why would the game let us practice if it wasn't going to let us practice?

The racing itself isn't that great either. the cars are skittish which means they're not satisfying to drive. there's not a huge sense of speed either. the connection of the car to the track is fairly non-existent, and graphically the whole thing felt too simple, under populated, and rather bland.

So even as a racing game, it's really hard to recommend. there are other issues shown in this video, like my initial inability to find the garage or workout to choose a skin for my car there. So what does this game have going for it. well, it's Trackmania. the wacky track designs that you can race on is Trackmania. whilst they're there, and other prominent games don't have them, it's the sole reason i can think of for anyone to play this game. but other than that one reason, i just can't recommend this game. i deleted it after recording this video.