The latest addition to the madcap racing franchise is ripping it up on Steam.
I have no idea where we are on the Trackmania timeline these days. The haphazard mix of sequels, expansions, subtitles and do-overs, not to mention the whole ManiaPlanet thing, has me completely baffled. But I can tell you that Trackmania 2 Stadium is now in open beta on Steam, and it is very much the real deal.
The new Trackmania will be instantly recognizable to veterans of the series because it is, for all intents and purposes, an old Trackmania - Trackmania Nations Forever, to be precise. The cars are the same, the tracks are high-speed, high-flying, multi-surface stunt-driving nightmares and the name of the game, as always, is to unlock tracks by earning medals in solo play and blow the doors off the competition in huge multiplayer races online.
But it's a seriously sexy overhaul of the old standby, with a ton of new visual effects and options, more detail around the track and even improved audio. It also offers built-in streaming functionality through Twitch (and possibly others) and supports stereoscopic 3D glasses, and while it may be disappointing that it's not exactly a "new" Trackmania, it is free, and it's gangs of silly fun.
The Trackmania 2 Stadium open beta is live now on Steam. The full version is expected to launch in April.