Trackmania was one of the first games I played back in the day. It’s still a nice game today. The gameplay feels solid and the graphics didn’t age badly, either. There is one problem, though. The StarForce copy protection they used makes the game unplayable on anything past Windows XP. Theoretically, it would even run on Windows 7. However, nobody has ever gotten around to crack it properly, at least not the latest version of Trackmania Original.
The game could have lived on as a classic on LAN parties, as it is so timeless and highly enjoyable even to this day. Even the newer installments of the game are not too different. Nadeo figured out a good formula.
If it weren’t for the obnoxious DRM they used, the game could still live on. I said that it is not too different from the more recent games, which is true to some extent. Why not play the newer ones? The point here is that the game is a piece of gaming history that is now more or less lost. Nostalgia, also.
Now, today marks the release of Trackmania Turbo. The game builds on the old formula, introducing some interesting anti-gravity mechanics, also introducing the aesthetic and feel of a cheesy 90s arcade game. For me, this looks like the most interesting version of the game so far. There is one thing, however, that restrains me from buying it: Trackmania Turbo is the first Trackmania game that has UPlay, Ubisoft’s desperate attempt to compete with Steam and minimize piracy (Or is that the purpose?).
Now when you buy the game on Steam, you’ll have to download Uplay in order to download Trackmania Turbo.
Why. would. they. even. distribute. it. on. Steam.?
With the initial thought I have no idea why on earth they would be doing that, it was no wonder after all. Ubisoft, just like EA or any other big AAA publisher are desperately trying to make poor marketing decisions and piss people off. Of course it is getting ever so harder to distribute games on today’s market, but the measures they are taking do not help either. Trackmania United and 2 worked well enough. There was no DRM launcher. All you needed to do is start the game and log in. Fair enough.
I fear that one day Ubisoft will shut down their UPlay service, leaving it as a dead form of DRM. They will care just as much as they did with the older Trackmania games. I doubt they’ll do anything to keep the games playable. For this reason I won’t buy Trackmania Turbo. I’m hoping for a decent crack. Maybe I can then play it with my friends via local network (is there even a LAN mode?).
That’s why I stick to old games like Re-Volt.
Why don’t you just do it like CD Projekt Red on GOG. Why?