TrackMania 2: Valley will be released on 4th July, developer Nadeo has announced.
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TrackMania's classic Stadium setting is making a return for Nadeo's sequel, and it'll form the free-to-play component of the soon to be expanded TrackMania 2.
Stadium's on course for release at an as yet undisclosed date early next year, and it'll arrive in tandem with Valley, the first expansion proper for TrackMania 2 since it launched with Canyon last September.
Whereas Stadium places an emphasis on the over-the-top elements of TrackMania, Valley's a more down-to-earth approach. It's based on a map that allows for tree-lined roads, tight corners and an experience that's more like that of a traditional racing game - although its taste for ludicrous jumps ensures that it holds on to the TrackMania character.
The big FPS rivalry of 1999 was fought between two games that decided to ditch single-player campaigns and focus on the future - on being multiplayer and competitive. They were Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament.
Ah, TrackMania. Whoever thought it was a good idea to transform a fun high-scores game where you can also build your own Scalextric-style rollercoastery courses into one of the best online time-attack games of all time deserves a pat on the back, as we pretty much said in our glowing review of TrackMania 2 Canyon last year.
As the gentle autumnal slumber of the countryside descends upon Haywards Heath like a welcoming, thick duvet on a chilly morning, the animals begin their preparations for the long winter ahead. There's Mr Dormouse, toying with his nuts in the crisp sunshine. A badger coughs up just enough tuberculosis to get him through another winter.
And in a house at the end of a winding road, a man in his thirties sits in his pyjamas, occasionally punctuating the stillness of nature's fragile symphony by screaming the rudest word in the dictionary. Coleridge weeps, and the squirrels become restless...
It's a fitting time of year to release TrackMania 2: Canyon, a game in which the skies are an ocean blue and prairie clouds hang low in the sky. Cold, fresh and breezy, it's a liberating environment upon which to unleash the imaginations of a community hardened by the devilish tracks crafted since the release of TrackMania nearly eight years ago.
With the season's initial surge of big hitters - the likes of Deus Ex, Driver and Space Marine - already nestled in the charts, it's time to take a breather.
TrackMania 2: Canyon launches on 14th September, Ubisoft has announced.
The PC online racing game costs £19.99.
If you pre-purchase the game from the Ubishop from 17th August, you're guaranteed a place in the multiplayer beta, which begins on the same day.
With the engine off, you could almost mistake TrackMania for a normal racing game. The car model is glossy and nicely detailed, and the tarmac of the road looks suitably rugged - despite the faint suspicion that the course has something strange planned as it heads towards the horizon. Then you put your foot down and your car comes to life. By the time you hit that first jump - the one that sends you zooming into the sky with almost nothing to hold you back - the TrackMania difference is clear.
Ubisoft racer gears up.
A closed beta for TrackMania 2: Canyon kicks off in July, publisher Ubisoft has announced.
There's no information yet on how you can gain access, but the beta will launch in tandem with the new ManiaPlanet network system.
It's a connected system that offers a map editor, the players' creations explorer, and ranking and match-making systems. TrackMania 2: Canyon will be the first game to use it, but developer Nadeo's forthcoming ShootMania and QuestMania will be incorporated too.
Ubisoft races in the first footage.
Still alive and very much on course.
Ubisoft has announced plans to create a user-generated content platform for PC called ManiaPlanet.
Speaking during its packed E3 conference, the publisher said TrackMania developer Nadeo is involved, but the idea is to expand ManiaPlanet to include other games.
Two were mentioned. QuestMania will go into beta soon, while ShootMania is targeting Q1 2011.
Ubisoft has bought Parisian developer Nadeo, known best for the car-jumping and route-planning TrackMania series of games.
Nadeo has announced TrackMania 2 for PC at the Paris Games Festival.
According to reports from the show (thanks Blue) and YouTube footage of the announcement, it's due out in 2010.
The section shown was from the Valley environment - reportedly one of three tilesets - and despite an impressive degree of visual fidelity the target computer for the game is one that can run the existing TrackMania Nations Forever.