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TrackMania 2 Stadium

By Toast30-07-2013
Bis18marck70 (editor)
Bobfish (editor)
TrackMania 2 Stadium

The Defence

Racing, Arcade
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Pentium 4 1.5 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia ION
AMD Radeon HD 6310
1 GB
1 GB

The Case


TrackMania 2 Stadium is the sequel to the original TrackMania Nations Forever, or the later ultimate version called TrackMania United Forever. The game focuses mainly on racing around a track either against time or opponents, albeit they are technically the same thing in this game. You might not know what I’m talking about but I shall soon elaborate on that point and bring up many others.

The Trial


Before I begin, you just need to understand two things. Number 1 is that you need a ManiaPlanet account to play this game, but this is free and doesn’t have any outstanding costs to participate online. Number 2 is that I have played this game with the mouse and keyboard devices, not a controller. Just wanted to make things clear. Now, as you’d expect the gameplay is heavily focused on beating the competition and gaining the best time on a particular map, so that you can gain a greater foothold on the competition by reaching a higher world rank within your selected continent and country.

For some reason I'm getting hungry looking at these.

For some reason I'm getting hungry looking at these.

You have the choice of multiplayer and single player which doesn’t really say much, so on with the details. The single player portion consists of simply choosing different difficulty settings for pre-made tracks. In each set, you’ll have to unlock more tracks by gaining a certain amount of medals in previous races, etc. So whenever you start a brand new track in solo mode, you will see the times you need to aim for in order to earn a specific medal in that race. You aren’t alone on this race track; you are literally racing against an AI opponent that can be titled Bronze Medal, Silver Medal or Gold Medal. As you are almost literally racing against time and they represent the time you need to beat.

When on the track and beginning the race, there is a sense of adrenaline when trying to beat the competition. The tracks themselves however can be quite misleading because of some very obscure turns and bumps, along with having to go at the high enough speed to manage to jump over or into something. Otherwise you’ll basically have already lost the race. Though, fortunately you can restart the race or restart at a checkpoint. However restarting at a checkpoint won’t teleport you and your opponent to your previous positions when you hit that checkpoint, you’ll have to restart the race itself to get another chance there. So that feature is worthless in the solo part of the game, you might as well just restart the whole race.

I have to nit-pick at one thing though with restarting at checkpoints and restarting races, for anyone that plays the game currently, it won’t be very clear how to restart. When you go to the main menu, is there an option to restart the race? No there isn’t. It turns out, to restart a race you have to press the ‘Delete’ key (default) and the backspace just for returning to a checkpoint. That is just bad game design. The game really should have warned me in advance.

They certainly want you to know who developed this game!

They certainly want you to know who developed this game!

The multiplayer portion of the game consists of you joining someone’s server, but you can’t get into some of them depending on your global rank. It could be too high or too low, which makes sense in a way, but it sort of leaves you as an outcast to some extent. Once I finally managed to get into a server to try out a few maps, I discovered that most of them were hosting only player made custom maps which of course is always a nice thing to find and play. There are always going to be good tracks and then the occasional mediocre, then just plain bad or very challenging ones, but there’ll always be something there for everyone.

Now, onto the customisation in the game, you have an in-game editor which you can use to build your own tracks for your own amusement or to import to your own server, or you can share them with the community (Steam workshop for anyone interested). There are 2 different editor modes for the game, simple and advanced. The simple mode, although limited, gives you the tools to build a very simple map, while the advance mode obviously increases the amount of options you have.

You can place different pieces in the editor such as ramps and basic tracks, checkpoints, start and finish points, speed booster pads etc. But there is a lot more you can do in advanced mode. You can test the map at any time and place the car at any point and literally add almost anything you can think of. Once you’re done you can save the map and name it, but in order for it to be playable by others you need to validate it by pressing the red flag. Then do a playtest run and finish it, just to avoid troll tracks that never end.

Of course it wouldn't be complete without dirt based racing segments.

Of course it wouldn't be complete without dirt based racing segments.

You can also customise or choose the paint job for your car. There are already preset choices for a certain amount of countries for you to choose from, or you can pick one and customise it further by adding stickers or manipulating the paint job along with the driver. It is a nice touch that you can do this, as I don’t think this game would benefit from having car modifications such as different frameworks or stronger engines, so there is a sense of fairness here which adds to competitiveness.

Although the game does most things right with gameplay and the mechanics when driving, the only thing letting the game down is their choice in having some very deceiving map design, it doesn’t seem fair at some points to have very weird turns and jumps that could spin you out of control or flip you over for going too fast. It doesn’t really make sense to have this sense of realism if some of the maps require you to do crazy loops and weird jumps when the maps feel and look arcade-ish in design.

The Verdict


The developers certainly tried to build upon the older releases by delivering an up to date version, although it feels as if they lack in certain areas and possibly tried too hard in others. It’s certainly worth a look for any fans of competitive racing in an online community or for fans of making and racing in custom maps online with others. There are a lot of people playing the game, maybe not as much as the prequel but there are definitely enough around to join in on and race against. The content in solo probably won’t last too long if you either complete everything you can or if you can’t proceed further by unlocking the other tracks, but it is a good distraction and good for practice.

Case Review

  • Great Looking: No secret that the game does look very good graphics wise, not the most stunning out there, but still damn good.
  • Immersion: Call me crazy, but it seems that every time you complete a track or beat an opponent in solo play gaining rank in the world leaderboards is addictive and wants to make you play on.
  • Car Physics and Control: Car handling is fine, however when you aim for realism in car physics, it doesn’t really make sense to have it in unrealistic track stadiums.
  • Track Design: Some tracks seem to be designed to literally throw you off course and either get you going in the wrong direction or flip you over and force you to restart.
  • Unclear Options: Having a button for restarting the race and not making it clear at the start instead of a main menu option is a very poor design choice.
Score: 3/5
The game is decent and worth a look, but be warned of its frustrating track design and at times, weird car physics.


Before I give my opinion of this game, you should heed this warning. If you’re the type of person who is likely to commit acts of extreme violence from game induced rage, then you may want to...ahem, steer clear of the Trackmania series. The first time I tried this was online with a friend and, within half an hour, we’d both used enough expletives to fill a trilogy of Quentin Tarantino films. That is however not to say that we didn’t have some fun in the process.

Trackmania is very much a game where extreme precision driving is required if you wish to even come close to the top 5. Every corner must be taken perfectly and the slightest hiccup will either send you flying off the track or make your time as good as worthless. The game is pretty much one mode...Time Trial. Even when you play online, your opponents are essentially just ghosts, which was a huge disappointment after seeing the trailers with over 100 cars on the track at the same time. Overall though, the game is fun and has its moments, but a sloppy (user unfriendly) interface, dodgy car physics and poor track editor make this game a hard sell.

Score: 2.5/5


This is a bit of a weird one. The first time I launched the game I went from laughter to rage to laughter out of rage. This is mostly due to having the wrong expectations and me sucking at the game...hard. You see, Trackmania isn’t as much of a racing game as it is a...racing game...just not the kind you usually see or play. The game has tracks that are more akin to an obstacle course than a racing track. You will crash, spin, miss and fall off a track a lot. That in turn will cause you to revert to a checkpoint, which is basically placed where you can’t make a jump or don’t have enough speed to do a 360. That in turn makes you just restart the track or turn off the game altogether.

As you can probably guess the above issues cause a lot of frustration as the tracks need to be memorised to even be finished. But that can be very fun and funny in a certain environment. That being in a group of friends. Watching yourself or others fail is so much fun and will certainly accommodate a lot of laughter. Just make sure you don’t stay long enough for the laughter to turn to rage.

Score: 3.5/5
Comments (7)
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Posts: 3290

A complete aside. But every time I see the title on the front page, my brain tells me it says "Trackmania Scrotum"

Posts: 1548

That long gif games the game look way cooler than it actually is.

Posts: 297

More like they toasted me =(

Posts: 1317

Yes it was. It's almost as long as it is awesome.

Posts: 3290

Uhm, that's a very long .gif

Posts: 1317

Psh, you guys just aren't pro enough!


Posts: 3290

So did you *puts on sunglasses* toast the competition?