Trackmania Turbo’s Free VR Experience Update is Pretty Great

November 28, 2016

Trackmania Turbo was released earlier this year, bringing the bite-sized high intensity challenges of Trackmania to current-gen consoles. Andrew thought it was pretty great, and on 8 November, half a year later, the game has received a free update for a ‘VR Experience’ mode to work with Vive and PlayStation VR. It’s a nice little treat to an already solid game, so what does the update include?

For starters, you won’t be able to play the main game in VR. If there’s one overarching theme I noticed in Trackmania Turbo VR patch, it’s that Nadeo have been very wary about potential nausea issues in VR. Given a game with insane stunts like Trackmania, where you can literally fly from ramp to ramp for kilometres, this is understandable. Instead, a new option appears on the game’s main menu which leads to 40 new tracks, set up within four of the existing environments already in the game. These 40 tracks are unique bite-sized challenges, that range from 10 seconds to a minute in length. These tracks can be played in ‘campaign’ or ‘arcade’ mode – in the former these challenges are unlocked gradually as you complete them, and in the latter they’re all available from the outset, although with limited retries. TMT_E3_SCREEN_STADIUM3_219532

The difficulty ramps up slowly, as does the VR experience itself. The game starts you in a third-person perspective, behind the car – I initially thought I could adjust the camera and go first-person for a ‘true’ VR experience, but nope, that control is locked. Instead, most of these levels are spent with your view behind the car, although you’re still able to look all around (which is useful for tracking any ghost opponents). Gradually, as crazier stunts such as wallriding or massive jumps or drifting are introduced, the game will shift you into first person so you’re better able to control the vehicle. All said, this is a pretty smart way to handle the player’s experience – as you get further and further into the tracks, you’ll find more and more of these first-person moments, which can get pretty dizzying if you mess up a turn and flip your car. But, you progress in a way that eases you into handling these high speed challenges – and the fact they’re all quite short means that you can take breaks as often as you need.

The only real downside is that all of these tracks are pretty easy. Some of them will require you to retry a few times, as they depend on knowledge of the track you couldn’t be expected to know from the outset, but even then it’s pretty easy to get the right moves down pat. You’ll be able to clear the whole VR Experience in a handful of hours, or potentially even one sitting depending on how you adjust to the VR positioning. Despite being a short experience it helps that a lot of these tracks are really fun, with elements from rollercoasters or dirt track stunt spectaculars all thrown in together to make for some pretty insane courses.

If you already have Trackmania Turbo and find yourself in possession of a VR headset, the VR Experience patch is absolutely worth checking out. If you’re the owner of a new PlayStation VR or Vive and you’re looking for some more games, I wouldn’t buy Trackmania Turbo solely on its VR element. While it is fun, it’s over in a couple of hours, like many VR games on the market right now. It helps, however, that Trackmania Turbo has 200 challenges outside of the VR mode, as well as a robust track creator and online multiplayer. It’s a pretty attractive overall package, so make sure to check out Andrew’s review of the full game.