Looking at the box and the screenshots on the back reminded me of many years ago playing 'Stunt Car Racer' on my good ole Atari ST. I choose to review this game of my own free will, sadly of late I think I will have to shoot my free will as it seem to be picking a lot of games with are truly awful, Trackmania Sunrise is no exception.
From the back of the box the graphics look gorgeous and on par with many other games out there. The reality of the situation is they are flat dull and seemed to be on a par with games around the 1999 era. Yes my graphics card is a few years old now but still games like Guild Wars work fine and look amazing. So what went wrong with this game? I can only assume they sacrificed any semblance of graphics quality for speed. Not only are the graphics on the dull side, they are hard to pick out at the speed the game runs at. So in many cases if you don't know the corner is there it's hard to see it, because it blends in so well with the rest of the graphics. I will call them Stealth Corners.
The music and sounds are not the strong points of this game; in fact the music is so damn awful you have to turn it off. The rest of the sound seems to be a collection of stock sounds probably from the BBC archive.
Well It took me long enough to find the controls in the manual, once I found them half of theme did not work. The keys to change camera angle refused to work, this made things doubly hard, as I drive a car I'm used to driving it form within the car not 8 feet behind it.
The actual game play experience was marred by sever flaws in the programming, meaning my PC would crash every other race. This is not the fault of my PC or software, I keep all my drivers and system up to date, the hardware is in top condition, as I run massive databases and do print quality graphics work during the day, so no fault with the old PC. All I can think of is a bit of lazy programming has left corners cut and issues with many aspects of the game.
Even the car designer interface had issues which meant if I scrolled too far through the lists of logos and paint brushes the game would crash. This was even with the latest patch. Anyway I digress.
The gameplay is bad, not fun, not adrenaline pumping, just plain bad. The ideas behind it seem to be going in the right direction, however the engine and its implementation mean there is no possibility of this being a good game.
Because of the ideas behind it I will have to give this game at least 1 point more than I would normally because it will appeal to some people and the developers and programmers tried their hardest.
Other than the ideas in the campaign mode, there is little to draw me to this game, I like racing games both arcade and simulation. Anything from NFS: Underground to Forza, as long as I have fun and want to play more I will like the game. Trackmania Sunrise fell flat on its face, even after the first race I felt unfulfilled and did not want to continue with the game. But I persisted for about an hour in the vague hope it would get better, sadly I wasted that hour of my life.
Unless you're a die hard fan of the series don't bother picking this game up because it looks like a customisable version of NFS: Underground with stunts. It really has no fun behind it and is what they call a sequel to far.
One final note from the chunky look of the menus, I would guess they thought about doing this as a console game but abandoned the idea, or plan on doing it in the future. This might make the game better, but for a PC game it truly belongs in the reject bin.
"On a different note, I'm not too picky with games and I don't want to trash every game I play, but I have to say there seems to be an awful lot of bad, and rushed titles on the market. It seems that many developers want to rush a game on to the market to get money quickly but don't seem to realise what they are making is bad."